So, this 4th of July weekend here in Chicago, 82 people were shot. At least 14 of those were fatal. The lion’s share of those shootings were on Sunday, June 6th.
Let that sink in for a minute
82 people shot in 3 days, including minors.
That’s a lot of people. Even in a city as large as Chicago, that’s a lot of people.
That’s such a significantly large amount of people, that both the mayor and the police superintendent had to address the situation. While I can’t find the police press conference on Youtube, the message was very clear from Supt. McCarthy:
“It all comes down to these guns: there’s too many guns coming in and too little punishment gong out.”
It also can’t be lost that a significant number of these shootings occurred in poor and disadvantaged neighborhoods, and that was actually brought up by a reporter. It was at least pleasant that the Superintendent acknowledged that these neighborhoods don’t have adequate employment, schools, programs, ad nauseum…
…however, this doesn’t change the sad fact that children are running around in the killing fields, killing and being killed.
So, what is the answer? How can this problem be fixed?
Unfortunately, I firmly feel that a lot of people in Chicago don’t care, because it doesn’t affect them. As long as the violence is isolated to the southside, who cares. This problem is a direct by-product of the deep racial and economic fissures in the city. And good sociology teaches us that the violence won’t stay there forever.
So, are stiffer penalties the solution? I’d love to hear you all’s views on this.