The trauma of everyday terror
It’s the sheer randomness of the violence that sends such shivers. One minute people are blithely going about their business without a care; the next they are in the grip of utter terror, wondering as bullets fly if these are their final moments.
That undoubtedly captures the feelings of those trapped at a San Bernardino human services center last week. Or at Paris cafes and a nightclub last month.
But it also describes the everyday reality of life for far too many people who live in violence-prone American neighborhoods.
It is what makes Dijanira DeAndrade part of a largely invisible cohort of Boston’s walking wounded. In her case, the wounds are psychic, which means they will be much harder to heal than the one her 7-year-old son, Divan Silva, sustained in May when he was shot by a stray bullet while innocently riding his bicycle along a Bowdoin Street sidewalk in Dorchester.
“I don’t stop thinking about it,” the 28-year-old mother of two boys tells the Globe‘s Jan Ransom. “I keep picturing that moment . . . me running down and finding him on the floor.”
DeAndrade says as a teenager she was caught in the middle of a gunfight while walking with her mother, also on Bowdoin Street. And only weeks after DeAndrade’s son was shot, a teenager she knew in the neighborhood, Jonathan Dos Santos, was fatally shot.
DeAndrade and her son are two of those who have received care from Trauma Recovery teams of trained clinicians that the city’s Public Health Commission has stationed in eight community health centers in Roxbury, Dorchester, Mattapan, and Jamaica Plain. The program started in March, and aims to reach out within 72 hours to those who may have been impacted by a shooting, homicide, suicide, or other traumatic event.
The terror unleashed in San Bernardino was devastating, and the threat of more homegrown attacks inspired by the extremist Islamic ideology of ISIS is real and unnerving. But so is the everyday terror that hundreds of thousands of Americans confront while going about their lives in neighborhoods wracked by gun violence.
Just after the massacre that took place in June in a Charleston, South Carolina, church, the House Appropriations Committee quietly rejected an amendment that would have lifted restrictions that have been in place for years on efforts by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to study gun violence as a public health issue.
“The CDC is there to look at diseases that need to be dealt with to protect public health,” then-Speaker John Boehner said when asked about the move. “I’m sorry, but a gun is not a disease. Guns don’t kill people – people do.”
By one measure, at least, Divan Silva can be considered lucky. In a study of gun violence across 23 countries with a combined population of 854 million people, the US accounted for 87 percent of all children aged 0 to 14 who were killed by guns.
Attorney General Maura Healey said gun violence is a “moral crisis” and called on Congress to enact tougher gun control measures in the wake of the shootings in San Bernardino, California, that claimed 14 lives. (Keller@Large)
Sen. Jason Lewis of Winchester and nine other lawmakers are traveling to Colorado in January to learn how that state regulates marijuana. (State House News)
Sen. Anthony Petruccelli of East Boston says he is leaving the Senate to join the lobbying firm of Kearney, Donovan, and McGee, setting off a scramble for his seat. (Revere Journal)
The odd couple of Massachusetts politics, former governors Michael Dukakis and William Weld, first started collaborating on a rail link between North and South Stations. Now they’re pitching a cultural corridor for the northern Berkshires. (New York Times)
Rep. James Arciero of Westford and Middlesex County Sheriff Peter Koutoujian push legislation that would allow the seizure of certain assets of those convicted of child pornography. (The Sun)
Citing an auditor’s study, a Salem News editorial says poor management plagues state projects.
New Bedford police are cracking down on the homeless, arresting people found sleeping in the city’s parking garages and charging them with trespassing. (Standard-Times)
Lawrence Community Works offers loft space to artists in a Lawrence mill called Union Works to nurture a creative hub in the city. (Eagle-Tribune)
A tussle between Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse and tax collector David Guzman over a vacant position goes before the City Council. (MassLive)
Know before you go: The Boston Business Journal pulls together a list of the restaurants with “the most and the worst” health code violations.
It received almost no notice last week when Suffolk Superior Court Judge Janet Sanders tossed out lawsuits filed by Boston and Revere against the Massachusetts Gaming Commission. But Sanders also allowed Mohegan Sun to challenge the Gaming Commission’s decision to give a casino license to Wynn Resorts instead of Mohegan. (CommonWealth)
The Boston Globe and CommonWealth have very different takes on Boston Mayor Marty Walsh’s response to the Sanders court decision. The Globe reported he was likely to appeal, while CommonWealth said his body language indicated his desire to drop the court challenges and move on.
Speaking from the Oval Office for just the third time in his presidency, President Obama assured the country he would ramp up strikes against ISIS and called on Congress to pass several measures including gun restrictions for those on the terrorist watch list. (New York Times) The Herald says Obama didn’t offer much of anything new (though it seems to grudgingly agree with his call for a Congressional authorization of use of force against ISIS).
Former President Jimmy Carter says he is free of the cancer that had moved from his liver to his brain. (New York Times)
Bernie Sanders wins an online reader poll for Time person of the year.
Elizabeth Warren is mounting a national campaign — to help Democrats retake the Senate. (Boston Globe)
Adrian Walker calls on the city and state to remove Tom Yawkey‘s name from the street and MBTA station honoring him, saying the late Red Sox owner’s racist past is a stain on the city. (Boston Globe)
The New York Times takes a look at the growing scourge of pop-up and takeover ads on mobile devices that are seemingly impervious to clicking on the “X” to close them and could drive people away from websites and eventually the Internet.
The homebuilding industry is shrinking, with firms citing everything from restrictive zoning to tight credit lines as reasons. (Boston Globe)
UMass Dartmouth Chancellor Divina Grossman is stepping down from her post, though she says she may stay on the faculty at the school, just a week after reports surfaced that new UMass President Martin Meehan wanted to replace her. (Standard-Times)
Boston University President Robert Brown is the one Massachusetts private college or university leader whose pay package exceeded $1 million in 2013, according to a new report. Brown was paid $1.13 million in salary and benefits. A few stayed off the list but were knocking on the million-dollar door, including Northeastern’s Joseph Aoun, whose salary and benefit packaged (perhaps not accidentally?) clocked in at $999,000. (Boston.com)
The possible attempt by Partners HealthCare to acquire Hallmark Health System has been on hold, as the health care behemoth considers whether to move ahead with the effort after a similar acquisition effort involving South Shore Hospital was nixed in court. (Boston Globe)
Three independent chapters of the Alzheimer’s Association have cut ties with the national organization as it tries to consolidate local groups — and their resources — under a single umbrella. (Chronicle of Philanthropy)
State Rep. Josh Cutler of Duxbury blasted the MBTA for doing nothing to promote the restoration of weekend train service on the three Old Colony rail lines. (Patriot Ledger)
The MetroWest Daily News says that, given the legacy of the Big Dig, the Baker administration needs to be more transparent about how the Mass Pike tolls have been used.
Gov. Charlie Baker is getting bipartisan criticism over his early retirement program, as Democratic state Sen. Will Brownsberger and Republican Sen. Robert Hedlund both rip the administration’s decision to allow 70 workers who took the incentive deal back on the payroll, saying it defeats the cost-saving aim of the initiative. (Boston Herald)
Transit advocates are growing concerned about possible cost-saving moves the MBTA might make that will either reduce service or saddle riders with higher fares. (Boston Globe)
National Grid could face a $1.25 million fine for poor supervision of its gas lines on the Cape. (Cape Cod Times)
The Massachusetts Maritime Academy gets a $1 million grant to study hydrokinetic power, that is, energy generated by tidal flows.
California excludes rooftop solar installations from a key incentive program. (Governing)
A man is arrested in Hartford for stealing skeletons from a mausoleum in Worcester. (Telegram & Gazette)Ralph Gants, chief justice of the Supreme Judicial Court, visits the newly opened legal services center in Lawrence, which is intended to help people who lack resources or don’t speak English access the court system. (Eagle-Tribune)
Project COPE in Lynn and the Essex County District Attorney’s office offer drug offenders a chance to clear their record in return for going straight. (Salem News)