I won’t sit here and tell you what it’s like to live (or even visit) a neighborhood where this stuff happens. I don’t claim to have all the answers about how to solve gun violence in America (and Chicago in particular). I can’t even tell you the root cause (I’m sure it’s some Malcolm Gladwell shit that most of us aren’t smart enough to comprehend while reading, let alone come up with on our own).
What I can tell you is that 500+ murders in a major american city by labor day is unacceptable. Young men and women are being gunned down by their peers and very little is being done about it from a federal, state, and local level. I know that the gun laws in Chicago are some of the most strict laws anywhere in the US. I also know that every time there is a shooting like this makes it’s way into the national conversation we spend 95% of that time debating gun laws (both sides are guilty of this). Liberals say the guns are coming from Indiana (a pro gun state) while conservatives site the strict gun laws in Illinois, particularly in Chicago. We do this because it’s easier to debate these issues than it is to address the real issues in these neighborhoods.
As I’ve already stated, I don’t have the answers and I can’t tell you the root cause. Someone much smarter than me does have those answers and we’re too busy politicising the issue to listen to the solutions. Good ideas like addressing systemic oppression of minority communities, strengthening gun laws (focusing on the illegal gun trade rather than legal guns), engaging with community leaders and giving them the support they need and deserve, more transparency within local police departments, more support for the local police department, more money for the local police departments, more grants and aid to encourage members of these communities to start and run their own businesses, more funding for education to give these capable children a chance to get through high school and go to college. The list literally goes on and on an on.
Unfortunately we’re not interested in THAT conversation. We’re much more interested in listening to two people debate theoretical gun laws on national cable stations.
We’re losing young people in record numbers. It makes me sick and it should make you sick.