Will the gunshot surveillance cameras curtail shootings and deaths in Homewood and the East End?
City Council recently approved, 7-2, a bill that would install surveillance cameras throughout the Homewood area. These cameras don’t just film the shooters and victims, but it automatically zooms in on where the gunshots came from thus capturing the shooter on camera. This is very high tech and very expensive, $1.5 million, but Rev. Ricky Burgess, the front man and six other members of council felt it was important enough to invest the money.
How much is a human life worth?
An estimated 60 high-definition pan-tilt-zoom cameras and 54 gunshot detectors will be installed in the Homewood area.
I have mixed emotions about this. First I think of how many people all this money could help. Think of the renovated homes, the startup money for small businesses. The scholarships that could be handed out to kids wanting to go to college but can’t for the lack of funds.
But because we have a bunch of fools running around with guns thinking they are in the Wild Wild West, where they can gun down any competition or anyone they don’t like or who infringes on their territory, all this money must go into cameras.
Why? Because far too many victims on the Homicide list state that the shooter has not been recognized thus not been caught. So what happens in so many cases is that the shooting victim’s friends, gang, posse, whatever, know who did the shooting so they go after the shooter, and when they see him they don’t care who’s around him, they start firing. Then this guy’s friends, gang, posse or whatever retaliates and it goes on, and on, and on. Like the Hatfields and McCoys. With the death toll, and crippled pilling up among our young people, mostly males.
There are some who feel the money could be better used in education. But millions are being spent on education, millions are being spent on increasing businesses, but how can a community grow when its youth are being taken from it with all these senseless murders? How can businesses be started up in these communities when business owners are in fear of their lives by these fools with guns?
Everything else has been tried. Some are trying to curtail the homicides by creating more jobs through small businesses and larger businesses through tutoring services, by trying to cut back the dropout rate in schools. While others are working hard on these and other avenues we have to do something about now. And now our kids are dying. Now our kids are dying. Now our kids are dying.
So if we can start catching the shooters, it has to curtail the number of deaths. And it sends out a message to the shooters. You do the crime, you will serve the time. Because instead of walking the streets seeking their next victim, they will be behind bars.
Yes, I know some are saying that this only helps the White man because we are putting more young people in jail. Some of us need to be in jail, deserve to be in jail. Anyone who can take another person’s life for money, hatred, or whatever, needs to be taken off the street, because if they have killed once, it becomes easier after that. They must not have a conscious because they continue to live that life.
Bottom line is that if we can save one innocent life then the cameras are worth every penny. Because once we get these fools off the streets and behind bars where they belong maybe then we can go about rebuilding our communities, our neighborhoods, our city by re-educating our kids.
No one should be afraid to walk the streets of their own community, day or night. No one should be held prisoner in their community by a bunch of fools who don’t own anything yet are calling certain areas their territory.
(Ulish Carter is the managing editor of the New Pittsburgh Courier.)