In some parts of Boston, seventh- and eighth-graders live side by side with gang members and criminals wielding guns, says the Boston Globe. It is an environment, they say, that forces them to think about what streets to avoid, how to flee if someone starts shooting, and how to avert your gaze so the gunman won't turn on you. They talk about such subjects with the same frequency and nonchalance that teenagers elsewhere might discuss their favorite Red Sox player or pop star.
These conversations have gained in intensity after two 14-year-olds in the city were recently gunned down in daylight. Last Thursday – two days before the funeral of one of those boys was fatally shot, Terrell Morton, 14, sat with 15-year-old Mari LeGore in a community center and in startlingly casual tones discussed issues of life and death. Specifically, how they would respond if someone shot, but didn't kill them. “I'd probably chase him,'' said Morton. “I'd want my revenge.'' “It really wouldn't make it better,'' rebutted LeGore, a thoughtful, wiry 15-year-old. “Think about it,'' Morton said impatiently. “If someone shoots you, they're trying to kill you. They'll come back for you.'' Such conversations are common, LeGore said.