Every time I hear a story talking about shots fired near some event, I cringe a little bit. I am worried that whatever violence is happening might ruin a lovely event. Sometimes, the thoughts are selfish, like I'd like to attend this event. I hope this doesn't kill it in future years. Other times, it's just a general thought like, why are people ruining this thing that's going on?  That's where my mind was when I heard about gunfire causing a disturbance last Saturday at Downtown Days.

Lee's Summit Police was on the shots fired call immediately and didn't locate any victims or potential suspects, according to a KMBC TV report, yet what had me shaking my head wasn't the gunfire. But this line at the end of the story, "After the initial incident, police say several young festival goers attempted to create 'artificial panic' by running and acting as if an emergency was occurring."

Look, I'll choose unruly teens over gunfire any day. However, unruly teens and young adults can ruin it for everyone. Whether it's teens and young adults forming flash mobs and engaging in blatant shoplifting on Chicago's Magnificant Mile, unruly teens getting into fights at the town festival, or these kids trying to incite an 'artificial panic' among the folks at Downtown Days.

I don't get it. I was a bored teenager once. Yet the thought of trying to scare people I don't know into a panic never crossed my mind. Nor did heading to the local carnival, mall, or park to hassle people or cause trouble.

Those places and things were my escape—places to go and have fun and hang out with my friends. I'm not saying we weren't ever mischievous. Yet, we never purposely caused trouble. Or, brazenly just thought we were going to mess shit up tonight because we felt like it.

No, law enforcement can handle the shots fired issues or the run-of-the-mill fight between a couple of folks at events like Downtown Days. It's unruly teenagers, with little regard for others, who can genuinely ruin events like this one. After a while, organizers, police departments, and towns and cities decide that doing the event isn't worth the hassle of unruly teens and young adults.

Sadly, the families, residents, and folks who would enjoy the event are losing out the most. The unruly teens—no, they'll move on down the road and cause trouble at the local McDonald's.

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