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Friday Column: The myth of the lucrative drug deal

What's crackin' folks, and Whatever-emotion-you-want Friday to you.

So, today's column in the Miami Herald is about a young man convicted by a Miami jury yesterday of manslaughter for accidentally shooting and killing a 9-year-old honor student while she played outside her home. Damon Darling, 24, was apparently trading shots with another poorly-aiming knucklehead over a drug deal gone bad.

Now Darling is going away for a long time for the death of Sherdavia Jenkins. The outrage over her death is a given. And I'd be worried if the outrage wasn't there, or if the pinheads who wrote me a few weeks ago complaining that human deaths are no big deal because humans aren't innocent like animals dominated this discussion.

What was sort of overlooked a little was Darling's motivation for putting himself in a circumstance that led to him killing a little girl: He wasn't a drug dealer because he was desperate for money to help pay his sick grandmother's medical bills. He was a drug dealer, because he thought he could get rich quick, easily (the two are not synonymous in this case), or both.

And having written about crime for years, I know that Darling's belief about dealing was 99% myth. Most street level drug dealers are not "rich." Most never get rich. Most never even "earn" a livable wage and could probably make more money flipping burgers. And yet they cling to this Scar Face-esque dream, like the high school kid with two left feet who thinks he's going to the National Basketball Association.

Anyway, if you have three minutes, check out the column here.

And don't forget to follow me: http://twitter.com/jamesburnett


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the sarcasticynic

So why do drug dealers STAY in the "business?"


Most of them stay in for one or more reasons; too lazy to get a real job, to pay for their own habit, because they are stupid and think they are badasses.
Just my opinion.


A lot of people deal just to get their own dope for nothing -- you buy double what you want and you sell the other half for double what you paid for...so the stuff you keep is free... At least that was what happened back in the day.

James B.

Sarc, I believe they stay for a combo of reasons: laziness for some, but not for all. It's a lot of work dodging bullets, competitors and gang members for minimum wage pay. I think for some the scope of their world is so small - literally the five or ten block parameters of their neighborhood that it doesn't even occur to them to think about opportunities away from their comfort (and discomfort) zone. To me, that's a flaw that developed when they were children, a parenting thing.

BobG, I partly agree with you, but not completely, for the reasons I gave Sarcasticynic.

I hear ya Classof65, and no doubt that's still happening with folks who deal weed, but the people I've encountered and learned and written about dealing the harder stuff are doing it for income.

Owl City

thanks for this article...
I really need something like this.

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