They are killing each other in Chicago. Not as much the adults as it is the youth of this large city on the shore of Lake Michigan. There is no doubt that something is wrong, very wrong. But there has been a problem, mostly on the South Side of this huge city for years. But after the horrific murders of twenty some children in at Sandy Hook, by a deranged, angry young man, the won-ton murders of young teens in our major cities across the nation are taking center stage, specifically Chicago.
During the course of the past several months since the events of Sandy Hook, random shootings have become the focus of attention as Congress considers even more stringent gun control legislation up to and including the banning of semi automatic weapons. Of course Second Amendment advocates are crying foul, saying that the guns are not the problem, people are. They say more gun control is not the answer. The answer is keeping guns out of the wrong hands and dealing with the criminal element. Taking guns away from everyone though is nothing more than calling for open season on law -abiding people who would obey the law and give up their weapon, their self-defense. The issue of ones right to bare arms is still another debate going on in Washington. But, I am not addressing that today. More so I am concerned about this won-ton disregard for life. It is a serious social issue in major cities, especially among the youth.
What happened at Sandy Hook was the result of a deranged mentally ill young man in dire need of psychological help. The symptoms were ignored, and the results of a tarnished mental health system, gave way to a tragic event that ended in the death of innocent lives.
However, we must be reminded that the events of Sandy Hook are in no way the same as what is going on in places like Chicago, Detroit, New Orleans, Atlanta, and other such cities across the United States. Sandy Hook brought us face to face with the realization that there are many, all too many, seriously mentally ill patients lost within and falling through the cracks of an obviously broken Mental Health System. And while many argue stricter and reinforced gun control legislation, others advocate a closer examination of the United States Mental Health System. Care givers as well as families all across the country are saying that all too often they are not able to get long-term mental health treatment for their loved one with serious mental illnesses, including conditions that are prone to violent behavior, and those who might be a danger to themselves or others.
All they get is a few days of institutionalization until the patient is medicated where they are returned to society until the next explosive event. In some cases, like that of Sandy hook, or in Arizona where we almost lost a Congress Woman to another deranged gun man. However, by then it is too late. We are usually given the horrific history of the shooter, and even sadder tales of the lives of people who might have one day been an asset to society. What a waste.
The Chicago’s of our nation however, are a far different story. It is just as tragic because again it involves the youth, the future generation of our country. These random killings are an indication that something has seriously array within our social fabric. There seems to be a loss of life value. A disregard for the innocent, a lack of recognition that ones actions might bring to an end an innocent life who had nothing to with their anger and determination to execute the guy standing next to the unintended victim.
While it is true that much of this is drug related, much of it is gang related as well. Some of it is the result of nothing more than a petty argument that went to far, and one pulls a gun and before you know it some young teenage boy lays in a pool of blood over some petty dispute of no real account. Again……What a waste.
The problem is that all too often innocent lives are taken in these random shootings. Just this past week the death of a 15-year-old drum majorete who had just returned from performing at President Obama’s inauguration once again brought Chicago and it’s some seven hundred murders to the spot light once again. Now, Chicago’s South Side citizens are saying that they dare not go out after dark. They can’t even sit on the front porch for fear of becoming yet another victim of random murder. Often kids lay in bed at night counting how many shots are fired during the course of the night. They wonder if one day the sharp report of a gun shot will find its mark on them.
despite the fact that Chicago has one of the toughest gun control laws in the nation, the count of the dead continues to rise. Jail time for many of Chicago’s criminal element caught with illegal guns is nothing more than 12 months. Michigan, for example is a five-year mandatory sentence. 12 months to chicago offenders is nothing more than a joke and often worn like a badge of honor. Still, after over seven hundred random murders nothing has been done to curb the violence. Police, Law enforcement Officials and Legislators seem to be at a loss as to how to best resolve the problem.
In the 70’s and 80’s while living in the Detroit area I remember law makers trying to cope with teen pregnancy. Babies having babies s on State representative pout it. Now, we as a society have a whole new concern. Yes, Kids are still having kids, but now on top of that kids are killing kids. Once again, no value for life.
I wonder if our social fabric is falling apart. If it is, then the next question is how damaged is it. finally, what will it take for us to repair the damage done to our social structure.
Gang related murders and violance on our major city streets have to be dealt with. The problem is just as serious as the problem we face with our ailing mental health system, as is gun control. When you combine all three one can see that what we have done in this country is to ignore our own people, allow our social fabric to deteriorate, lose course of our social values, while ignoring the needs of those most vulnerable in our society.
Gee, I was talking about these same concerns back in the 1970’s. I was ignored because such fears were not realistic. They were far-fetched. We would never let this nation slip so far. There was no way that we as a society would let our social fabric disintegrate, our values disappear, our compassion for others drift away. But when one looks at Chicago and places like Detroit today, counting the random murders, considering the plight of the mentally ill, as well as the poor and oppressed among us, one might wonder if that young community advocate speaking out in the 70’s might not have had a point after all.
That’s my point of view. What do you think? I always look forward to your insights on the issues of the day. Until then have a great day and as usual,
GOD BLESS AMERICA.