We have more than our share of crime in this neighborhood.
But we are not like Roxbury and Dorchester and parts of Mattapan where gangs are murdering young people and innocents.
East Boston’s crime scene is so unlike that of other neighborhoods that everyone living here should rejoice that gangs toting handguns and shooting them indiscriminately are not part of the local culture.
There remains an organic community that cares enough to make a difference between war on the streets and relative peace.
Which brings to mind how much Mayor Menino has contributed to the well being of this neighborhood.
But what of the other neighborhoods. What of Roxbury, Dorchester and Mattapan?
How can gun toting young people and gangs be allowed to ruin life for so many who live in those Boston neighborhoods?
That’s a hard one to figure out.
Some people want to blame the mayor for not doing enough in those troubled neighborhoods.
But then, what is the mayor supposed to do?
He can’t declare marshal law. He can’t undo what has taken decades to take hold – and he certainly can’t get all the guns or the drugs off the streets, which are the two major problems that persist in these neighborhoods today besides poverty, broken homes and the general hopelessness that exists wherever in this city gun play is heard almost nightly.
What the mayor can do, and what he should do, is to declare an all out war on gangs and street crime and illegal guns in Dorchester, Roxbury and Mattapan.
It can be done and if anyone can lead this fight to a successful conclusion it is Mayor Menino.
Mayor Daley in Chicago has been very successful attacking gangs and in taking illegal guns off the streets. And in Chicago, the killing has virtually stopped.
Mayor Menino could do the same here.
This would be the mayor’s last great fight, the ultimate erasure of the worst twin cancers destroying three neighborhoods and threatening all of us – gangs and guns.
We don’t know how this would be accomplished. That would be for the mayor and his police commissioner to figure out.
We know this – Mayor Menino needs to start this fight and to lead it.
We know this also – when this fight is finished, Boston will be a whole city again, the true Athens of America, and a safer place for all her citizens to live.