Nothing normal about young men being murdered on our streets

To the Editor:

Recently there have been letters to the editor and articles in the Dorchester Reporter telling people that we must not fear the violence in the Dorchester community and that people should go on with their lives as usual. Have we desensitized ourselves to the fact of a young black man being murdered on our streets is the norm?

How dare you tell us that we do not have a right to fear what's going on with the murders in our community? People are being shot and killed and we are supposed to ignore it and go on with life as usual. Am I missing something here?  Should we just step over the bodies, say a prayer, and wait for the medical examiner to pick up what's left of the young man who meant something to someone. Should we be celebrating that fewer kids were killed in Boston last year than the year before? When did it not become a travesty when a kid gets murdered?  One death on our streets is too many.  I am not saying we should let the violence cripple us. I am not saying that people should shut themselves in their home forever. But we cannot just move on.

Two weeks ago a young man was shot and killed at the end of my street. Some people rationalize it away, because the boy was known to the police. Should that fact mitigate the killing, and citizens have nothing to fear?

I sent out an e-mail asking people to be aware and maybe stay off the Dorchester Avenue for a while because I feared there would be retaliation for this killing. Unfortunately this fear was realized. Three young men were struck by gun fire coming from the murdered boy's funeral. One of these men died and another is in critical condition.

When did fear become such a terrible thing? I personally believe that it is fear that keeps us alive. It is fear that stops us from putting our hands in the fire so we not will get burned. I am not a coward and neither am I a nut that goes around alarming people to false pretences. I am a person who deeply cares about all the people who live in my community.

There is no easy solution for the violence in our community. But we must not get to the point where being ignorant to the violence will keep us safe. There is no norm to people getting murdered on our streets.

I get so angry when I hear people say we must take back our streets. You cannot take back something we never gave away. My biggest fear about these shootings is that some of them recently happened in the middle of the day, and that someone will be shot in the crossfire, or even worse, witness shootings. The City and the court system have not done a good job keeping witnesses safe. I believe witnessing these crimes could be as bad as being the victim, if not worse.

Barry J. Mullen

The writer is an organizer of the St. Marks Road/Glenrose Road/Semont Road/Florida Street Neighborhood Watch.

Letter to the Editor
Why Carney Hospital should remain open
Dear Editor,

We support the continued operation of Carney Hospital as an acute care hospital. The reasons are many:

• The emergency room provides 30,000 visits annually in a neighborhood that needs these services;

• The hospital draws primary care physicians to locate in our neighborhood;

• Carney has a much-needed psychiatric service;

• As a community teaching hospital, Carney offers excellent services at rates significantly less than the larger academic centers. In a time of rising health care costs, it is short sighted to close a lower cost facility;

• Local residents rely heavily on Carney for emergency, diagnostic, inpatient and specialty care at a cost that our patients can afford.

• There are 950 full time equivalent , well paying jobs at Carney.

Carney Hospital was the first hospital in Boston to offer full admitting privileges to community health center doctors, allowing our doctors to care for patients in the hospital. Carney is a critical part of the health care safety net for Dorchester, South Boston and Mattapan. State and local officials, working with the community need to find a solution before a needed resource is lost.

Daniel J. Driscoll, President & CEO

Paulette Shaw Querner, Corporate VP

Harbor Health Services, Inc

Joel Abrams, President & CEO

Dorchester House Multi-Service Center

Marva Serotkin, President & CEO

The Boston Home