MANSFIELD: Rolling the Dice

Not to throw shade on Mayor Frank Jackson’s grandson, but I’m thinking of putting together a pool so that people can make a wager on how long it will be before he’s again busted with a firearm. Frank Jackson, Jr. recently plead guilty to misdemeanor charges of threatening people with a gun and possession of prescription pain medication that was not issued in his name — guns and drugs being a seriously dangerous combination.

While Jackson Jr. is the subject here, he’s only a stand-in for hundreds of other young men in our community that strap on a gun with the same regularity as you or I put on our shoes or socks. I would venture to guess that after the mayor’s grandson got arrested back in May, that within 24-hours of being released, he already had another gun in his possession. And when he walks out of the Justice Center after again getting slapped on the wrist (he received similar treatment in 2017 for essentially the same charge, in a few weeks the first thing he will do when he gets back in his vehicle will be to check and make sure his gun is still under the seat.

How do I know this shit? I myself was once addicted to what’s called “pistol power.” I was fond of wearing three-piece suits with a shoulder holster underneath made of the finest Spanish leather all over New York City. I felt I needed it for protection, and yes, I got caught with it on more than one occasion (albeit, I never menaced anyone). But being arrested and admonished by a judge to reform my behavior didn’t mean shit to me, just like it doesn’t mean anything to Jackson Jr. Simple words are not going to change their behavior, and as long as they keep getting probation — what the fuck?

If the rollers want to give the mayor’s grandson another case, all they have to do is find (or make up) a reason to stop and search his vehicle. They’re guaranteed to come up with a gun, and here’s why: A person has to grow out of the propensity, the desire, to carry a firearm, and nothing a judge or probation/parole officer can or will say makes one damn bit of difference.

I’m not wishing ill or “burning bread” on Frank Jackson, Jr, but the plain fact is, he’s going to do what hundreds of other young men with similar mindsets will do: He’s going to still get high and still pack a gun — and on occasion menace someone who pisses his off since the downers he favors makes a person mean. But he should know this: When you pull guns on people you’re eventually going to have to use it, or be thought of as simply a dude that “makes wolf poots.”

The hope is that he will grow out of his behavior (the system damn sure ain’t about to scare him out of his habits) before he shoots and kills someone. The option of locking him up until he matures would be met by a chorus of black folks loudly claiming that society is being too harsh on yet another young black man by sending him to prison. But the fact remains when the system gets Frank Jackson, Jr — and other young men of his ilk and stripe who are dangerous to society — in its clutches, it should not allow them back on the street until they’ve grown up.

Somebody could get killed — and it might even be them.

From CoolCleveland correspondent Mansfield B. Frazier Frazier’s From Behind The Wall: Commentary on Crime, Punishment, Race and the Underclass by a Prison Inmate is available in hardback. Snag your copy and have it signed by the author at http://NeighborhoodSolutionsInc.


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