The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Monday, August 19, 2002  

Not Packing Heat, Child Left Vulnerable at Family Event

“A 10-year-old girl was shot and killed by a stray bullet after gang members looking for free food and beer crashed a baby’s christening party at a church,” reports the Associated Press.

The girl, Maleny Mendez, was shot at approximately 1 a.m. Sunday as an argument between guests and party-crashers escalated into violence outside St. Paul's Lutheran Church in the Parkchester section of the Bronx.

“Another party guest, a 28-year-old man, was shot three times in the neck and remained in critical condition Monday, police said,” A.P. reports.

According to police, about a dozen men, described as members of a Mexican gang, burst into the party, held in a meeting hall at St. Paul’s, took over the deejay’s microphone and eventually got into an argument with the now-deceased 28-year-old man.

“The girl was wounded as she, her mother and sister left the party. She died at Jacobi Hospital a short time later,” the article concludes.

One wonders how Miss Mendez would have fared had she been packing heat herself.

Of course, there are other questions: Why was the deejay not armed?

And where was the pastor? Could this tragedy have been prevented had he been carrying a semi-automatic in his jacket that evening?

And the newly christened child, could not a small, pearl-handled revolver have been stowed under the christening garment for added protection?

Or would so much more firepower have raised the death toll of this already heartbreaking event?

[Staff: Please prepare for hate mail overflow.]

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