Shooting the Messenger

Shooting the Messenger
by Joshua Braunstein

This piece is dedicated to the memory of Addrean Ross aka Lil Snupe who was shot and killed over an argument instigated from playing video games. Now Xbox marks the spot to gravestone on a funeral plot where a mother buries her baby boy in a wooden box. Life is not a game don’t treat it like a console you cannot console someone who had no controller or control over when the gunman pulled the right trigger. In the right place at the wrong time just the latest Jordan Davis with less press because it was black on black crime.

He was a verbal improv artist known to pick and juggle rhymes from where he sat the exact attack had bullets exit out of his back now we can’t get you back. If the only way out of the “hood” is drugs and rap why do you think they call it the “trap”? I’m just stating the facts. How can you call it a project if it’s not a work in progress? That’s nonsense its crap. The penitentiary is the pen and rappers write bars because the system is cracked. Treat your black boys like animals but act surprised when they adapt.

Now watch the evidence stack, he was slain by A stolen gun how could this B we are left to ask Y an X convict had access to a firearm. Now a woman loses the child she held in her arms for your right to bear arms and the world loses a talented young rapper with no rhyme or reason.

But this is no isolated incident. The grim reaper is grinning at the south side of Chicago because the death toll looks like Afghanistan without TV coverage or a word touching newsstands. We have grown numb and accustomed to the violence. Let’s break the silence go to the NRA nail the 95 theses in the front office. Do guns stop crime or do they cause it? Are the two girls from my high school killed at Virginia Tech tragic losses? Is there tragedy in the destruction of a masterpiece when you make it this easy to acquire the tools to erase them?  They would’ve graduated in 2011 but their parents learned the unfortunate lesson that college credit doesn’t transfer to heaven.

Human beings are not meant to see or bring death. The proof is in eyes of a returning solider with posttraumatic stress. Lil Snupe took two shots to the chest before his lungs sang the sad song of his last breath. How can we brace ourselves and ask who is next instead of reevaluating gun licenses and background checks? Because casual causality of an 18-year-old artist is not something I can accept. Will nothing change until it happens to their own flesh?

How many innocent sons and daughters must be slaughtered and play martyr before America can see farther than the barrel of a gun?

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