Silverbacks Note: This is the third installment the a three-part collection on American gun violence. Read component one here and part two here.

You are watching: Do you dance with the devil in the pale moonlight

"You ever before danced through the evil one in the pale moonlight?"

This is the iconic question that The Joker, play by the legendary Jack Nicholson, posed to his victims in Tim Burton’s 1989 film, Batman. Friend see, what The Joker is questioning Bruce is if he’s ever wrestled through fate. Moreover, did the tangle v fate provide grief and also sorrow to his life experience.

I sure have danced with that devil in the pale moonlight.

Late in the summer that 2011, i ventured out with my roommate to majesties on a institution night in an attempt to background his spirits as he was dealing with a breakup. I readily available to be the designated driver for the night for this reason he could take his mind turn off the emotions the the breakup and have a an excellent time.

Coming out of the club that morning, together fate would have actually it, mine roommate started to say the there were Angels all approximately us and that he could see them. I affirmed his vision to appease him and also wondered come myself just how much he had actually to drink.

Seconds later each the us had actually the barrels the loaded firearms pressed against our torsos. Ours initial an answer was to press the weapons away, come which our assailants threatened that they would certainly shoot us. Castle stole our jewelry and then conveniently ran off right into the night.

We conveniently moved come the car and also drove off in the direction of flashing police lamp in the distance.

Thinking that us were do the efforts to chase them, among the robbers opened up fire top top our vehicle eight times at a close range. I can still hear the thunder the the firearm: boom, boom, boom.

Similar to the photograph above, I’ll never forget ducking down and also looking ago to view flames coming out of the muzzle that the gun.

As ns turned my gaze forward, the earlier windshield that the automobile in prior of united state shattered. Luckily the automobile was empty and we sped off towards the police lights.

Thankfully, he to be a terrible shooter and not one cartridge struck our vehicle. The Angels the my roommate saw that evening and the aviling prayers of my Mother had truly prevented us from being yet another fatality in America"s pistol violence epidemic.

Hearing the gunfire, the NYPD action quickly and also ultimately arrest the young men with our jewelry in their possession. We were a tiny shaken yet the police officers asked that we return to the precinct to identify the shooters later on that day.

The Officers had investigated the crime scene and determined that whoever was in the passenger seat would have been struck in between the head and chest area - I remained in the passenger seat.

With that chilling assumed in mind, the policemans then crammed six young black men right into a small room and also asked that I choose the guys who plunder us. Looking through a one-way mirror wherein they could not see me, i looked at this young men in the eyes and was overcome with strong feelings that empathy and also sadness.

The question began to pile up in an instant:

What might have transpired in the stays of this young males to bring them to this room?

Was it short wages and poverty that brought them come this room?

Was that the negative public education system that brought them come this room?

Was it the American government-backed circulation of crack cocaine come Black neighborhoods that carried them come this room?

Was it mass incarceration and the fatherless homes that those policies left in your wake that brought them to this room?

Having an understanding of the pitfalls in the area in i beg your pardon I prospered up in Brooklyn, I had actually a surreal feeling discovering that there was a pane of glass separating me native an alternative life the I can have lived. In fact, I would later find out that among the young men who plunder us resided in the ar I flourished up in. Right here I was, a young Black man working because that American Express, living on mine own, yet wondering what I could do to prevent other young males from being in this room.

In a way, i felt and also feel a feeling of survivor’s guilt. Ns walked away from the room muttering come myself, “there yet for the elegant of God go I.”

I recognize those young males went to jail and also I think around them from time to time. I wish blessing on their lives and I hope that they have the right to overcome the mistakes of your youth and also the unrelenting punishment of the American jail system.

It has taken me a few months to finish this collection on American gun violence and share mine own personal experience with guns. Sadly, as time passed, ns knew that prior to I completed this collection that there would be an additional mass shooting. Together I compose this piece, I obtained yet another Notification that Death that ten civilization have been gunned under in a Texas High School.

Why execute we require gun revolutionary in America? fairly simply, too numerous Americans are having to dance with the evil one in the pale requirements to stop.

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