On a day devoted to eating, four men in Hartford housing project spent Thanksgiving fasting to call attention to gun violence and the shootings of five teenage boys there last Saturday, reports the New York Times. No one was killed in the shootings. But here in Connecticut’s capital city, home to 124,000 people – mostly poor, black and Latino – the police say that many young people who reach for a gun to settle minor disputes contend that they shoot to maim, not kill.
“They think it’s like a video game – you just shoot someone in the leg,” said Daryl K. Roberts, 47, a deputy police chief who was raised in a Hartford housing project. “They don’t realize they could paralyze someone.” The police think the shootings stemmed from a disagreement between rival gangs, one that erupted after a boy – not one of those shot – was suspended in school for brandishing a BB gun in the face of a classmate, who later reported him to the police.