We can't blink away the danger in Reading

Every year the scary numbers pop off the page of my Reading Eagle, triggering flecks of fire-engine red in my irises.Reading again is the most dangerous city in Pennsylvania, the fifth most-dangerous in the nation among cities of similar size, and the 29th most-dangerous city in the entire country.Just when we take a hopeful pause and point to all the marvelous initiatives trying to point Reading in a new direction, we again are brutally reminded that we live and work in a crackling cage of friction where the point on its moral compass is broken.Too often our town lapses into flash violence, a place where a Niagara of lawlessness can disconnect synapses and life itself. Such tragic rankings are unblinking and remorseless. They all add up to a sorry tale of impotence and failure by everybody around here.Granted, we could have better police resources. But more importantly, we need fewer bad guys and more good guys to finger the bad guys for the cops.For too many years we have had too many eyes turning glittery with primitive darkness in our city. Those eyes have destruction in them, including their own.And we also have too many eyes that spill primal fear from their pupils, like deer caught in the blinding headlights of a violent vortex. It all comes down to the eyes. The eyes of the cowed who wish they had eyes in the back of their head. And the eyes of the predators whose retinas never are detached from bloodlust and money lust.