Whether I leave late or show up on weekends, I feel safe going to work at Bourke Accounting. There’s a guy across the street selling hot dogs, women power walk around the building during breaks (their arms wildly, maniacally swinging) and parents jog with aerodynamic baby carriages. There’s a civilized air about the area that – if I wasn’t a paranoid New Yorker – lends itself to leaving car doors unlocked. Judging by the calm, workaday neighborhood of Bourke Accounting, you would consider Louisville a very safe town. And you would be right. And wrong.

Recently, Louisville has experienced an increase in gun violence; as of August 5, there have been 407 shootings compared to 208 at this time last year (WLKY.com). The most horrifying aspect of this is that many of the victims have been kids or innocent bystanders. According to Norton Healthcare, 16 children have been admitted between March and July of this year with injuries attributable to stray bullets, a 78 percent increase from last year (Wave3.com). Just a couple of more kids who will never get to fall in love, never get to be cool.

City officials point to gang warfare as the driving force behind these murders. Metro Council President David James suggests that half of the shootings are gang related, with many of the issues originating from social media. James says that, when these virtual wars spill over into real life, they are subsequently followed by retaliatory killings (WDRB.com). And so on and so on.

As if children being shot wasn’t bad enough, the perpetrators of these crimes are often little more than children themselves – nationwide, the typical age range of gang members is between 12 and 24 (Nonprofitrisk.org). As a child’s brain isn’t fully developed until the age of 25 (URMC.Rochester.edu), it is heartbreaking that these kids are throwing their lives away before they can totally control themselves or understand the repercussions of their actions. So, why are these kids getting involved in, very adult, gang games?

Blame movies like Scarface (the awful Pacino version, not the original), but kids think they’re going to make a lot of money by joining a gang. Let’s see…as an “average gang leader,” one can expect to make about $58,750 per year (Comparably.com). While you do have to worry about the Feds and violent coups, at least you don’t need a Bachelor’s degree. Of course, a subway operator makes $62,730 a year without college, too. And how much will you make as an entry level gang member? According to a paper by Steve D. Levitt and Sudhir Alladi Venkatesh, that number is between $6 and $11 per hour. Super glamourous.

If it’s not the money, it must be the loyalty of a family you’ve chosen yourself, right? Let’s just remember rapper and tough guy Tekashi 6ix9ine. When he was indicted for aiding in an attempted murder, etc., he promptly “snitched” on members of his gang and walked (Insider.com). That is some kind of loyalty. Keep in mind that Martha Stewart did her time without involving anyone. A woman known for making Pom-Pom Animals is clearly the real gangster.

As with most things, education is the answer. When we offer critical thinking and marketable skills, we offer a way out. If we teach the children to believe in a better future and to believe in their abilities, they are hardly going to be impressed with their pal’s duct-taped .22 and four-page arrest record.

Bourke Accounting might not be able to cure all of the world’s social problems, but we can definitely cure your financial ailments. If you’ve made a mistake concerning prior tax returns, a Bourke Accounting tax preparer can furnish you with the education to avoid such issues in the future. Bourke Accounting knows that we’re all in this together and we have a obligation to help each whenever we can.

Come see us any time. Our number is 502-451-8773 and don’t forget to visit our website at www.bourkeaccounting.com. See you soon!
Written by Sue H.