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Small-town terror (1)

Autor /IropyipType Dodano /23.10.2006

He calls himself "Sweet Pea". He's 19 years old and dangerous a gang member and a drug dealer since he was 13.
He does not expect to live to be 25. He proudly displays a yellow hand-kerchief, the colours of his gang - the Vicelords - explaining how they are different from others gangs. He says he could get me a 9mm semi-automatic pistol for $80 or a Kalashnikov rifle for $250 and is astonished when I tell him that in Europe you cannot buy assault rifles quite so easily.
Sixty-three Americans are shot dead in the United States every day, a quarter of them like Sweet Pea, teenagers of younger. But what is astonishing is that Sweet Pea's hometown - Little Rock, Arkansas - now has a per capita murder rate higher than New York City or Los Angeles. Small-town America is staggering under an epidemic of gun and gang violence.
The coroner of Pulaski Country (which includes Little Rock), Steve Navojczyk, who has seen the murder rate almost triple in ten years, is quitting his job, fed up at the nightly slaughter. Last year, this small town of 180 000 people saw 76 murders.

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