New Castle News Opinion

An early Sunday morning shootout at the O.K. Corral? On one bullet-dodging morning, downtown New Castle turned into the Wild West outside at what is being described as an after-hours club on Kennedy Square that at least one city councilman didn’t even know existed until bullet casings and bullet holes were found by police in businesses and scattered around the square.

Is there something wrong with this picture?

Yes, there is quite a bit wrong with this picture. Crime in New Castle has been on the decline in recent years, but an apparent shootout downtown in the wee hours of the morning is raising questions.

However, they seem to be the wrong questions. Many are questioning why there is an after-hours club downtown and not questioning the gun play that took place.

While it is not known if alcohol was being served or offered, the mere fact that someone, or many someones, have established a facility open well after 2 a.m. raises concern.

Traditionally, these types of clubs are nothing more than speakeasy’s, which were popular during the Prohibition Era.

If that is the case here, it doesn’t necessarily mean that passwords and hidden doorways are being utilized. The establishment is operating out in the open, but at a time of day when most people are sleeping. Whether this apparently invitation-only establishment is selling liquor, the fact remains that a gun violence incident happened at a place many residents and officials didn’t know existed.

So now the questions remain: What is city council prepared to do about after-hours clubs? Are there laws against such establishments in the city’s books? Do laws need to be created? Do special patrols need to be established in the downtown area between 2 and 7 a.m.?

New Castle is no different than other cities its size, and has had its share of gun violence.

By all accounts it appears the concern over the afterhours club is overshadowing the fact that gun violence erupted downtown.

City council should act to bring both issues out of the shadows and into the light.

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