My neighborhood has stupid numbering, I know because my house and the person next door to me constantly deal with people who are lost. For example, both our houses face west on Road A. Our mailboxes sit out front of our houses also along Road A and facing west. Yet, both our houses addresses are not Road A. There is a road between our houses that we’ll call Cul-De-Sac B. Cul-De-Sac B is to the south of my house and the north of my neighbor’s house. Road A runs south into the neighborhood and the first intersection in the neighborhood is a four way stop where Road A meets Cul-De-Sac B and Cul-De-Sac C. Now Cul-De-Sac C and Cul-De-Sac B have the exact same numbers. Despite my house and the neighbor’s house facing Road A with our Mailboxes on Road A our street address is 1234 Cul-De-Sac B and 1236 Cul-De-Sac B. To add to the confusion our subdivision sits off a county highway DD and the house across the street to the west has an address on that county highway and their street address is 1235 County Highway DD, close enough to ours to increase confusion.

At least once a month someone knocks on my door looking for a house that is not mine. Sometimes they are wearing uniforms such as FedEx or UPS, but the majority do not. Some are delivery drivers for Uber Eats or GrubHub or InstaCart or Amazon (Amazon seems to give the option to their drivers about whether to use an Amazon branded vehicle or their personal vehicle and they do not wear uniforms) and sometimes those knockers are visitors to someone at that address and have never been there before. Once this lost person was a visiting nurse that wanted an address in Cul-De-Sac C, they were not wearing a uniform and my numbered Mailbox fit into the numbers on Cul-De-Sac C and the house they wanted didn’t have any numbers on it anywhere so they stopped by our house to see if it was our house they wanted (it was not). Once it was GrubHub trying to deliver a food order at 9:20 pm.

Despite this, I have never once thought about shooting the stranger on my front porch. Why do I mention this? Because a homeowner in Kansas City , Missouri felt they had the right to shoot a black teenager in the head… twice for ringing his doorbell. Hell, violent crime in my city is actually higher per capita than in Kansas City, Missouri and I’ve still never shot a stranger for ringing my doorbell. The case as it stands now is the homeowner shot the teenager through a glass door in the head and after the teenager was down he shot him a second time in the head. If he shot him through the door, that means it wasn’t as if the homeowner and teenager were having a conversation and the man had no clue why the kid was there and didn’t care. The teen had been sent by his parents to pick up his siblings at an address on 115th Terrace and went to the same house number but on 115th street. An easy enough mistake, it happens here frequently despite Cul-De-Sac C having a completely different name than Cul-De-Sac B which as outlined above, is my street address.

Shooting someone for coming to your door, even after dark, is not a rational or reasonable cause for shooting them, not once but twice, once while he was on the ground, trying not to die. Someone I was talking to about it said maybe the homeowner and teen had an argument and the teen threatened him. Uh, through the door? Let’s be real. I have a glass storm door on the front of my house and I’ve talked to people through it and even as a woman, I’ve never felt threatened through the door. Also, did the homeowner keep the gun by the door or did they have to go get it? Even my most paranoid friends do not keep a handgun next to their front door and since the kid survived, I’m guessing it had to be a hand gun used to shoot him. This means the homeowner made the decision to get the gun and then shoot the kid through the door. Missouri has stand your ground laws, but there must be a clear threat to one’s life and property. The teenager was not armed, so where was the threat? As far as I can tell, the threat was that he was a black kid ringing the doorbell of a white homeowner’s house because the kid was confused about the address where his brothers were. That is not a clear threat to life or property meaning a crime was committed by the homeowner and KC needs to charge him for it. To me, standing over someone you’ve already shot once and no longer poses a threat, shooting them that second time is clearly an execution shot. Also, I’ve seen pictures of the kid in the news, he is not a hulking kid, he’s skinny and looks like most scrawny teenaged boys, so even his size could not be considered imposing and threatening.

The Kansas City Chief of Police said they saw no evidence of the crime being racially motivated. Really? Has this homeowner shot white kids who came to his door? If not, I need to be given a reason why this specific teenager posed a threat in the homeowner’s mind, if it wasn’t because he was black. For me, I picture (my non-blood related) nephew Lorenzo getting shot; he’s black and he is a Spectrum service man, what would have happened if he’d rang the homeowner’s doorbell, would he have been shot trying to do his job because he got the address wrong? And let me tell you, Lorenzo is terrible with directions… My family and his spent one very long night talking to police because him and my nephew got lost trying to walk home and neither of them knew north, south, east, or west, or where the hell they were in relation to their houses despite having been to the theater hundreds of times. I can totally picture Lorenzo being called out for an emergency service call after dark and going to the wrong address… and that is enough of a crime for someone to shoot him and then ask questions about why he was there.

In other grim news, we are 107 days into 2023 and there have been 163 mass shootings so far. Also, gun violence is the leading cause of death for children and teens, surpassing car accidents in 2022, and that’s with the exclusion of suicide according to the CDC. I don’t believe we should lose the right to bear arms completely, but we do need to do something to stop the tide of gun violence. Personally, I think gun owners should be required to obtain a gun license before they are allowed to purchase firearms and in order to obtain that license they must undergo six weeks of psychiatric evaluation, because the majority of mass shootings are committed by people who legally purchased the weapons they use for the murders.

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