Over two weeks ago, there was a shooting at a high school football game in Pleasantville, New Jersey. Two children ages 10 and 15 were struck with the 10-year-old, Micah Tennant, dying five days after the shooting. The game took place between Pleasantville High School and Camden High School. You may have heard of Camden as it is regularly rated as one of the highest crime rates in the country. Pleasantville, despite the name, is not dissimilar to Camden albeit on a smaller scale. What Camden is to Philadelphia, Pleasantville is to Atlantic City.
I grew up not too far from Pleasantville. It was about a 15-minute drive but it might as well have been worlds away. I grew up in a ‘white people rich’ town on the beach although I never really thought of my family as rich. To hear my dad tell it, we were constantly living hand to mouth although we always had a roof over our heads and the utilities were never turned off. I thought we were just an average family economically. Conversely, Pleasantville was always treated like it was a slum. We were constantly told by our parents to stay out of Pleasantville. My mom would even roll up the windows in the car whenever we had to drive through town. It could have been 100 degrees out and my mom would still have us roll up the windows. I haven’t been back there in decades so I don’t know if it has improved any or not but by the sounds of this story, it doesn’t seem like it has.
Anyway, six suspects have been arrested for the shooting. Four of those suspects are grown-ass men who shot another grown man at a kids’ high school football game. While I have yet to see an official motive for the shooting, it seems obvious that the five of the suspects, including an unidentified 15-year-old minor, had some form of grudge with their 27-year-old target. The adult victim in the shooting was also arrested since he was allegedly carrying a gun that he was forbidden from carrying since he was a convicted felon. 31-year-old Alvin Wyatt is said to be the alleged triggerman. He has been charged with murder and attempted murder.
I know I’m rambling, but what I’m trying to say is that no matter what your socioeconomic status is, no one should have to worry about being shot at a high school sporting event. The shooting took place in the third quarter of the game. The game was called off and the rest of the game was played at a later date in the Philadelphia Eagles’ stadium where no fans were allowed to attend. Only family of the players were allowed to attend.
Micah Tennant’s murder is just a microcosm of where we have ended up as the society of the gun. Instead of watching Micah grow up, his family instead had to lay him to rest. All because a group of ‘men’ couldn’t wait until after a kids’ game to settle their disputes with the coward’s weapon.
UPDATE 2/25/2020: Last week, Wyatt pleaded not guilty to the murder charges. He is looking at a possible sentence of life without parole.