Sunday, March 15, 2009

Chicago gun violence

http://www.suntimes.com/news/24-7/1477021,w-14-year-old-shot-killed-south-side-031409.article

Mayor Daley- With all due respect, passing more gun control laws isn't going to make a damn difference. Criminals don't care about the law! They WILL get the guns they desire. These crimes don't happen in a vacuum- kids get the guns from some adult somewhere. Some uncle or father or older brother or dude on the street corner gave them that gun. Want to eliminate gun violence? Throw some good old fashioned shame onto the citizens of the city- you'll never be able to police your way out of the issue. These na'er do wells with the guns come from families too- their authority figures, mothers, fathers, pastors, teachers, etc, need to take action and tell these guys that it's not OK to bring guns into their lives. You know the old saying, "guns don't kill, people do"? It's true. Every one of these dead kids is a direct result of some person deciding to pull a trigger.

Hell, there would be fewer dead kids if we taught every public school student in the basics of gun safety, marksmanship and conflict resolution. At least the criminals would hit their targets and not innocent victims. And maybe teaching everyone to have proper respect for the danger would convince a few marginal cases to NOT get that gun when they feel wronged or unsafe.

And not for nothing, maybe the police department would be more effective if they quit trying to be aggressive and shifted that effort into being vigilant and proactive. It's simply un-American to have mobile squads of heavily armed quasi-soldiers driving through neighborhoods having no contact with their fellow citizens. There is a culture of fear in the police department- far too many officers fear and even sometimes hate the citizens they took an oath to protect. That doesn't make for good interactions with the public. Have your officers interact with the communities- not just public relations guys lecturing to block clubs, but every officer. Walk beats, chat with the people on their porches, build trust. If these officers believe it is unsafe to do this, your police department has failed. If it's unsafe for heavily armed police officers to walk the streets, what must it be like for regular citizens?

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