This is for all the graduating medical students and residents. You think you would like to start your career in Los Angeles, CA. You're thinking about the sun, the surf, the Hollywood stars you'll bump into at the local Starbucks. Sure it sounds great to be sipping frappuccino in January when it's 75 degrees outside. Or maybe you want to drive two hours into the local mountains for a little snowboarding action. Yes you can do it all if you live in L.A.
But there is always trouble in paradise. As any Angeleno will tell you, L.A. is not for the timid or faint of heart. If you move here you have to take the good with a lot of bad. Besides the traffic, congestion, high taxes, and air pollution, this past week illustrated some of the chaos that's inherent in living in a county of over ten million people.
Last Tuesday, a 17 year old kid brought a gun in his backpack to school in the suburb of Gardena. When he set the backpack down too hard, the gun discharged and struck two students, one in the neck, the other in the head. Luckily both will survive. This guy may not be the brightest kid in class. He brought a gun to school. Strike one. After the gun went off, he ran away into another classroom to hide, as if nobody would be able to identify him in the school. Strike two. Then it was discovered that he is on probation for assault. Strike three. Not a great start for a young life. The school was locked down for hours as police tried to search for any possible accomplices.
The next day, on the other side of the county in affluent Woodland Hills, a school police officer noticed a man conducting some suspicious activity just off the school grounds. When he approached the man, the guy shot him in the chest. Luckily the officer was wearing a bulletproof vest and survived. Again a school was locked down while police searched for the assailant. This time they were not successful.
Then the following day, a pedestrian was walking across the street in the suburb of Hawthorne and got run over by a car. The driver of the car did not stop. The body was then run over by another car which also did not stop. When a witness tried to help the victim, she too was run over by a third car. This time the driver did stop. But the crowd that had gathered at the scene starting attacking the third driver and stole his cell phone. He escaped and sped away. When he came back later to give a report to the police at the scene, he identified one of the people in the mob who beat him and the police were able to make an arrest.
So there you have it, life in Los Angeles. If you don't mind having your children in danger of getting shot in school or having the crap beaten out of you if you attempt to help somebody, this is the city for you.