On Friday's show, the Reverend Ricky Burgess walked Rachel through the Pittsburgh alley that at one time was the most dangerous place in America. Reverend Burgess, a member of the Pittsburgh City Council, was making the point that the gun-rights advocates at the National Rifle Association convention across town should come to his Homewood neighborhood and see the damage gun policies have done there.
Mr. Burgess described for us the many relatives and church members who've been killed by gun violence. The place he loves has come unraveled, so that ordinary life includes what should never be ordinary. Consider the story of 16-year-old Lakeisha Lane last month, who lived to tell. From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: "Lakeisha told police she was sitting on the couch in the living room of a home in the 6900 block of Kelly Street in Homewood when Mr. Marshall came in and asked her for a cigarette. When she told him no, she told police he pulled out a gun and shot her once in the leg before he fled."
The story gets four paragraphs, the journalistic equivalent of a shrug. "The only reason that people will say that it's OK to have these guns because they don't live where I live and they don't experience what I experience," the reverend told us. "You know, they have not seen their family members shot. If you see it once or twice, it will change your life forever."