Is It Time To Leave Chicago?

Is It Time To Leave Chicago?
Chicago The Beautiful. (Photo Credit: Flickr.com/atramos)

My city is referred to as Chiraq. We are the murder capital of the U.S. Over the 4th of July weekend, there were 72 shootings in Chicago. SEVENTY TWO! So, when the Illinois legislature overrode the governor's veto on conceal and carry yesterday, that got me thinking: Is it time to get the funk out of Chicago?

  1. I've previously written about how Chicago high schoolers are already dressing like hunters because of the daily violence.
  2. George Zimmerman's biggest defense move in his trial over the slaying of Trayvon Martin is that he was afraid of the black youths in his area. Are you trying to tell me that the average middle class Joe in Chicago doesn't have some fear over "the others?" You don't think that means business men and women will be packing heat during my morning commute? I can't buy pepper spray, but a gun? Go for it and take it to the bar with you under your dress! You don't think some drunk bro isn't going to whip out his pistol in Wrigleyville post Cubs game?
  3. A friend recently told me that there has been a man in my neighborhood who stalks women walking alone at night, takes photos of them and posts those photos to a Tumblr. After being discovered by the neighborhood's watchdog community, the Tumblr has either been removed or the name changed. Now, imagine you are the police and you see a guy suspiciously following a woman. They stop and question him. He's concealing a gun under his shirt. He has a permit. They let him go. It's not illegal to be following a woman, carrying a gun and taking her photo without her knowing.
  4. I was dating a guy until recently who has a big deal finance job. He 6'3", well-dressed and stupid handsome. He lives in a nice apartment on a quiet treelined street in Logan Square. He wants a gun and his dumbass would TOTALLY conceal and carry to feel a little tougher. He says he wants it for protection, but he's a tall, black guy in a hipster neighborhood. It's not like he's high risk. With this new law, however, people who you would never suspect of having a gun on them...will have a gun on them...just because.
  5. WHO THE FUNK WANTS TO LIVE IN A CITY WHERE EVERYONE IS SO AFRAID OF EVERYONE ELSE THAT THEY HAVE TO CARRY A GUN?!?!? Now, we all have guns and it's like one shot of whiskey, mean look and warm day from a citywide domino effect of shootings. I'm not even saying that I'm anti-gun. If I lived in Montana and my nearest neighbor was 10 miles away, I would TOTALLY have a bunch of guns. There are bears and crap out there. In the middle of a tightly packed, highly stressed city, there has to be a better idea.
  6. Let's move away from guns for a second. Do you know how much Chicagoans are being taxed?! First, somewhere around 37% is taken from every single paycheck when you add federal, social security, Medicare and state taxes. Then, I'm charged 9.25% on everything I decide to purchase in the city with what's left of my check. When combining the two, that essentially means you are being taxed almost 50% of EVERY PAYCHECK.
  7. Hoping to get lucky? Oh, hey, guess what! Cook County has the highest number of gonorrhea cases in the U.S.
  8. Thirsty? High Gloss and Sauce just wrote that the EPA is urging Midwesterners to stop drinking tap water, because it could cause cancer and infertility. So glad that 50% of my check is going to keeping me healthy! Thanks, guys!
  9. Kids have been organizing flash mob robberies on Michigan Avenue. Terrifying. Now that conceal and carry is passed...that's going to go super well. A vigilante is going to fire at a kid, the kids are going to fire back and we're going to have an all out tourist and child mowdown.
  10. As any Chicago creative will tell you, this city does a terrible job of supporting it's own. Everyone's a starving artist. It seems that you can only grow if you leave. And we just looooooooooove to tear each other down. Crap on the events, shit on the musicians, beat up the writers. We're not doing an awesome job of lifting each other on up.

Chicago, I have loved you so hard and so long. You have been my longest standing relationship. I've even written you love letters, Chicago! This is all just becoming a little bit too much. You've got to get your act together. You've got to work on that enormous race and economic divide. You've got to stop this violence bullcrap...at this point, it might as well be classified as domestic violence of city vs. it's lovers.

You've been my baby for 8 years now. Pull yourself together or I'm out.

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  • A girl after my own heart. Tweeting, sharing, loving this.

  • In reply to Jenna Karvunidis:

    Thanks, guuuuuuurl! :)

  • Omg, I didn't even noticed you had linked me. I was in it for the guns. Double yay!

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    How many of those 72 shootings (or even the 1,000 shootings so far this year) where done by legal gun owners? Did you see the video of the store owner who wasn't allowed to keep a gun in his business, so he had to fight off 2 armed robbers with a baseball bat? If he had been legally able to pull a gun on them, he might not have gotten shot.
    As for leaving because you are afraid that concealed carry will cause more shootings, note that the 49 other states all have some form of concealed carry, and they have fewer shootings on the average weekend then the city of Chicago, so unless you believe that people in Illinois are that much different then the average US citizen, your fears are quite unfounded.

  • it's very likely that Chicago will pass ordinances that outright prohibit (think dry counties in southern states) or so over-restrict concealed gun carry (think abortion restriction or even liquor laws in red states) that it will be too much trouble or cost prohibitive for people like your ex-finance guy -- he'll have to protect himself from hipsters the way the rest of us do, by ignoring the ironically.

  • In reply to Icarus:

    You win today, sir! Awesome comment.

  • Your 'truths' make me sad. However, I will be hopeful and positive about our future. At the same time, PLAN B is to move... Let me know before you go so I can plan to go with... (Montana is out of the question) :-)
    This was a great read and an eye-opener. Now I must do more research on this new gun law!

  • In reply to Nikk:

    Tell me about it. The only way to change something is to speak up!

  • In reply to AnaFernatt:

    Thanks for reading and I'm glad you liked it. :)

  • I don't agree fully on your issue with conceal/carry. You hit the nail on the head though with how much we're being taxes versus how little we're seeing for that money.

    Many move to the burbs now knowing they won't save money on taxes...but many move knowing they're GUARANTEED a decent school for their kids, a safe neighborhood, and their tax dollars spent on important things...not light-up sculptures. Not stadiums for a private university when we closed up 50 schools. Not renovating a tourist trap when we don't have enough police on the CPD.

    Do I want to own and carry a gun? No way. I always said I'd move the day I felt I had to carry a gun to feel safe. I also think though many live in Chicago under a cloak of naivety. They live here thinking it'll be a more populated version of Schaumburg or Northbrook. They do stupid things, make dumb mistakes, and thus end up filling out reports of their mugging or assault.

    Meanwhile, poor minority kids trying to live an honest life are instantly looked at as "potential gang-bangers" while being shot at by actual gang-bangers simply because they live on a certain street. No programs for youths. Not enough police, and now we're telling them to cross into the bad areas just to go to school.

    Conceal/Carry isn't the issue...because our previous gun laws didn't stop those 72 shootings...or the 900 deaths we would see over a year in the 1990s. Maybe it's time the citizens do something more like help honest people get on the ballot and elected. The machine keeps pumping because the voters keep handing these crooks public office.

    Maybe it's time we let TAXPAYER-PAID public art go on the back burner. Maybe it's time we put the bike paths on hold. Maybe it's time we tell private universities to build their own damn stadiums. Maybe it's time we stop trying to become this mythical "world class city" and just be a boring, bland, solid running city.

  • In reply to djamnfx:

    Hi Djamnfx -

    Thank you for this super thoughtful comment. I love your points.

    I definitely agree that there are some naive people who put themselves in really dumb situations, but I've also known some "street smart" friends who've been victimized in violet, super scary ways.

    I particularly like you're point here: "Meanwhile, poor minority kids trying to live an honest life are instantly looked at as "potential gang-bangers" while being shot at by actual gang-bangers simply because they live on a certain street. No programs for youths. Not enough police, and now we're telling them to cross into the bad areas just to go to school." I agree that this is a huge blind spot for a lot of people when they are looking at the overall problems in Chicago.

    I also love your idea of just focusing on make this city work. A solid, running city. However, I don't agree this place could ever be boring and bland. I love this city. It's beautiful. The people here are passionate for Chicago. It has so much potential. I'm glad to see you are one of those who has your head in the right place to see that happen.

    Thanks again for reading and commenting. Have a great weekend!

    Ana

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    Hello Chicago ladies! I am a Chicago native myself, left in 1999. The writing was already on the wall with the reverse discrimination trying to get a decent paying job, oh and when I did find a ok job I discover that my overly taxed pay was going to pay kids to be bused into schools out of their district AND my some of my coworkers, based on their race, not only got paid better than me bc of their race and race alone, but getting additional pay for their travel expenses??? WTF?

    In ATL we have a bit of a Good Ole' Boy regime, but nothing along the lines of Jesse Jackson

  • In reply to Gmc226:

    Come on. Chicago ladies? Why would you think that only women are on this page?

    In any case, I'm glad you found this and thank you for your comment.

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    Oops sorry didn't mean to hit the send button.....that wasn't my only point....
    Here in Kennesaw GA our community is well mixed as far as race, level education, class and socioeconomic status. We are REQUIRED to have home protection, guns, by law of the city of Kennesaw and would you like to guess our murder and crime rate? Practically Null! Most southerner s carry guns in their car, on their body, it's a southern thing I guess. They never ever get robbed, mugged, raped......

    The city and state taxes while not pleasant it is nothing to the tune of Chicago taxes leaving you money for leisure. Leisure in Chicago? Not while I was there. All work just to live in a decent neighborhood and drive a decent car,hats the Chicago I remember.

    Oh and the reverse discrimination thing, doesn't exist down here. I'm not saying that the south doesn't have racism, it does, it's a different kind of racism down here, not the "I fear black men" kind of racism.... It has its own take on racism and I'm going to leave it at that. But no one gets paid more due to their race. The most qualified get the job and the best workers and educational background get the higher pay, period. You have to plan your career, work towards it, work for it, work on it, and that's how you get and keep the job and move up the pay scale, imagine that....

  • Aside from the inane gun remarks you make some good points. But, really, the parts of the city you are familiar with do not have anything in common with the south and west sides.

    I dare you to ride public transportation down to Roseland on a nice summer evening and hang out. If you do not know where Roseland is, Google. is great. Then you can wander over to West Pullman, where even a big black "hipster" guy (make up and take him with) will be pissing his knickers when he hears those /footsteps behind him or blocked entry way in front of him. Let me get this PC correct too: he is a big black guy so he should not be afraid, because of why...? Or maybe you and he just get caught in the crossfire. The gangs run the streets because they know they won't get shot by a law abiding citizen and won't spend any but nominal time in lock-up. The police can't act because Lord Mayor Rahm does not have their back but the backs of the gangers out there disguised as "community organizers".

    You live in a Chicago that is like it is because the politicians know they can get away with robbing you by taxes and fees, because they are wearing the same colors as the gang bangers.

    You won't be the only one leaving, I can promise you that.

  • In reply to Richard Davis:

    Hi Richard -

    Thank you for reading and commenting. I'm happy to see that this post is creating a dialogue. I absolutely don't plan to hang out in Roseland, Englewood, Back of the Yards, Harvey, etc. Neither does my former man friend. We're lucky enough where we don't HAVE to. Yet, there are families and individuals who live, sleep and eat there. I wonder if you ask someone who lives there (and this is a genuine wonder) if they would think the solution would be for more people in their neighborhood to be packing heat. That is living in a terror state. If you really look at these issues of gangs, it's so much deeper than gun laws. It's economic, educational and, honestly, sometimes it's just geography. I really encourage you to listen to the report from This American Life, where they spent 5 months at Harper High School, that I link to here: http://www.chicagonow.com/accidentally-sexy/2013/04/project-orange-tree-chicago-violence-means-you-should-dress-like-a-hunter/ . I also go a little bit further into the topic you address in your comment.

    Politicians "get away" with "robbing" Chicagoans with taxes and fees, because we're not speaking up loudly enough and not taking a strong enough stand. There's this attitude of "well, that's the way it is and has always been." That's why they get away with it. Getting people to talk about it is a step and I'm glad you stopped by to read.

    Have a great weekend!

    Ana

  • In reply to AnaFernatt:

    Ana, I live on the south side. I interact with the people that most who write from your point of view NEVER really TALK to. Would people feel safer if they could legally carry a firearm? Hell, yes. Does that mean everybody would carry? Hell, no. Have I actually ASKED people if they would feel safer, the answer is "Yes".

    The real, real problem is that the ganger run the street, and they are never locked up for good. You have got to face facts that some are just lost and DANGEROUS to everybody, including 5 year olds caught in the cross-fire. Pardon my bluntness, but if you see who shoots a five year old, and if you have a firearm, you should take that person out. Period.

    Regarding the politicians, you cannot take a stand against their legal robbery, because it codified into law -- and then they still have their paws out for more dough. Every day in every way politicians are buying the votes that keep them in office.

    When the electorate finds that they can vote themselves a share of their neighbor's hard-earned effort via wealth transfer, they will do it every time, because they have never had a civics lesson, and think they deserve it.

    Yes, you are "lucky" you don't live down here, and you should really get your tush down here, man friend or not, and ask some questions to real folks before deciding that a firearm in the hands of a law-abiding citizen is the problem. And most people down here are law abiding -- and fucking afraid, every damned day.

  • In reply to Richard Davis:

    Hi Richard -

    Is the south side filled with actual space aliens? Because you're right. I wouldn't talk to them. That would scare the crap out of me. Let's tone the personal stuff down a little bit, because you don't know me (my background, my story, etc) and I don't know you. Saying that I would "NEVER really TALK to" somebody is baseless, but I am interested in your thoughts on the issues. So thank you for those.

    Let's flip this around for a second and say that I totally think everybody in your neighborhood should have a gun and everybody feels safer now and everything is solved. What about the people in my neighborhood? Where there's "less risk", but there exists for some a definite fear of people that live on your side. Should they start carrying guns based on that fear? Crime happens in Lincoln Park, Logan Square, Wicker Park and Boystown too. In my personal day-to-day, it feels like a very scary escalation. I should also just note here that not all of the southside neighborhoods are horrifying, crime-filled neighborhoods. I'm only assuming that yours is, based on your assertions.

    Lawmakers aren't all powerful deities. It's a tough, long road, but things can be improved. This right here is part of fixing that. You need to talk, act and vote.

    Ana

  • In reply to AnaFernatt:

    Ana: "Is the south side filled with actual space aliens? Because you're right. I wouldn't talk to them. That would scare the crap out of me."

    This comment suggests the great divide. You really do need to keep moving to a more gentrified community, and perhaps a gated community, and not venture out. But does this make for a body politic or a balkanized society?

    We have nothing to talk about. Debating people who believe that the gun is the problem rather than the person is pointless. You seem to forget that there is a Bill of Rights, and you cannot have the option to choose which Bill you support and what parts. If a dude in Wicker Park wants to exercise his Second Amendment rights, for whatever reason, as long as he is not a psychopath, then he should be allowed to do so, just as he should be able to post a blog or stand on a soapbox.

    You can vote all you want, but in Chicago and Illinois the fix is in. You can dream that your vote will somehow reduce taxes, because some lawmaker will suddenly see the light, but this will not happen here, where votes are bought and paid for and a kickback goes to the politicos. There is no incentive here and increasingly across the nation for reducing taxes, because the idea has set in the American mind that it is okay to "beggar they neighbor". Of course, someday, the politicos will run out of other peoples money.

    That day is soon.

  • This post is SO inane. And what major city do you think you'd be better off in? Hmm?

    Los Angeles with its sky-high property taxes (yes, higher than Chicago)? Don't forget all the pollution!
    New York City with its racist policing strategy, "stop and frisk"? Yeah, no racial tension there.
    Washington, D.C. with its EXTREME income disparity? Oh and its, sadly, just as segregated and JUST AS CORRUPT as Chicago!

    My point is, there is not a single, MAJOR U.S. City that doesn't face challenges. If you're looking for some post-collegiate Disney Town with NO TAXES, NO CRIME, where everybody basks in the blessings of utopia, then you're SOL and you SHOULD just move to Montana. REAL citizens of this city work to make it a better place for EVERYBODY who lives and visits here. Start thinking about what YOU can do to strengthen your community, instead of running away to some fantasyland.

    You have made me SO angry.

  • In reply to ChiDL13:

    Hi ChiDL13 -

    Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment.

    Nobody is daft enough to believe we'll ever achieve a utopian society where everyone love everyone and everything is free and we all love each other, etc. That also doesn't mean that we should just accept our current circumstances as "just the facts." It's not just the facts if you're willing to work towards something better.

    I am thinking about what I can do to strengthen my community. As a writer with a large audience, the very first, and probably most powerful, thing that I can do is draw people's attention to these issues, as I did in this post. I'm honestly so thankful that it has opened up a dialogue. If I can bring some of these things to people's attentions and get them fired up (at me or with me), that's really the first step to making changes.

    I'm super happy to learn that you are sticking to it and currently involved in efforts to strengthen your community. Please feel free to share resources for others seeking these types of opportunities in the comments. If you've seen any specific successes, we would love to hear about those also.

    Thanks again for reading!

    Ana

  • Hysteria. Pure hysteria. look, if you want to be a coward, then leave Chicago. Get out. We do not want you. Only cowards and fools flee.

    You probably do not live anywhere near where all the death and mayhem occurs, like most of the people in this city. The death and mayhem occurs in places you would never visit, shop in, dine in, or drive through. Neighborhoods like Englewood, Lawndale, Grand Crossing, Austin, and other places where your lily white rear end would never step foot for any reason. That, love, is real racism.

    Go. Leave. F%$K you. Don't let the door kick you in the bootie. Oh, and I do not care about your tender sensitivities. You and your ilk are the problem not the solution.

    I was a Chicago police officer for almost 30 years. I worked in the worst hell holes in this city. Places where evil refused to walk. I went home every day in one of the places where the vast majority of decent civilized citizens live. I now live in a place where decent people live.

    So go on. Flee. Be a flee bag. Let the savages win. Go to some nice sterile suburb. But, never come back for anything. Not a sports event, festival, or any other event in nice safe neighborhoods. Stay in your sterile suburban cul de sac.

    We, who live here, are proud to live here, do not want you or need you. Be a typical white flighter who would never be the victim of any violent crime in Chicago. You do not deserve to call yourself a Chicagoan.

  • In reply to Peter Bella:

    Hi Peter -

    Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment.

    I don't think that I'm a coward. In fact, I'm standing up for something I believe in. I believe in Chicago. I think these issues outlined above are things that can be improved if enough people are aware, speak up, take action and generally start caring about it more.

    We're not living in some sort of Raymond Chandler noir novel, where we should just embrace the gritty underbelly as an atmospheric bonus of city living. In fact, Chandler was trying to highlight the depressing spiral of helplessness.

    It's true. I've never been to Englewood, Lawndale, Grand Crossing or Austin. That doesn't mean that I think the people who do spend their time there should just be forgotten about. That's an incredibly sad perspective. When I talk about Chicago's violence, I'm not saying that I'm afraid there will be a shoot out at Whole Foods. I'm talking about the whole city. I'm talking about ALL of us living in Chicago. I know that I am not target number one for a stray bullet, but that absolutely doesn't mean that I shouldn't care about the people who spend their days rightfully living in fear. I encourage you to read the perspectives in this piece: http://www.chicagonow.com/accidentally-sexy/2013/04/project-orange-tree-chicago-violence-means-you-should-dress-like-a-hunter/

    You don't think I could ever be the victim of any violent crime in Chicago? That's ridiculous. There was a woman raped four blocks from my house last week while she waited for the bus. There was a teenager shot in the street two doors down from another apartment I lived in. When I was a child, my family was mugged while we waited for a table at Uno's downtown. I know that big city's bring a level of violence, but to say that it is impossible for me to be victimized purely based on my personal race is inane.

    I would argue that it's not me and my tender sensitivities that are causing a problem in Chicago. It's those who are willing to just accept the poor cards your dealt as "the way things are." Change only happens if people are willing them change things.

    More than violence, let's look at the high rate of STDs, the EPA saying that we should stop drinking the water, the insanely high taxes while our state is going bankrupt. This whole perspective of "f*** them" is an underlying theme that trickles down and billows out like ripples. More than guns and poverty, it's the same reasoning that STDs are rampant (you know, f*** those who are having sex), that my drinking water is filled with toxins (you know, f*** anybody that lives downstream from this farm), that my taxes are so high (you know, f*** anybody that isn't a lawmaker), etc. It's this mentality of f*** anybody that isn't me that people can't seem to realize will always end up circling back around and effecting them in some way.

    Thanks for reading!

    Ana

  • In reply to AnaFernatt:

    All of this. I agree with Peter 100%. Things are rough in some neighborhoods of the city, and 'we need to do *something*' is the common reply. But people like you talk out of both sides of their mouths. The gov't is inept but it needs to fix things. I don't want to pay high taxes but we need more programs. Where do you think your high tax dollars go exactly? They pay for goods and programs to poor communities but they also (at an increasing rate) go to pay for giveaways to large corporations so that people like your finance boyfriend find chicago to be an attractive place to work. You're afraid of crime? Move. Crime rates across the city and country are about as low as they've been in 60 years. Yes kids are being killed at a startling rate but overall the city is pretty safe. And Peter hit on the head, it's not like you'll ever spend any time in an area where you're at any real risk (yes I know that Wrigleyville is very very dangerous for sexual assault and that but I don't think that's what you mean).

    In short though cities are dangerous because they take problems that everyone has (poverty, loneliness, mental illness) and jams it into close quarters creating more problems. Taxes are high in cities because we shoulder the load for the Bears, Bulls and Cubs as well as the Bear and Bull Markets. You like having 20 miles of beaches, or the Taste/Lollapalooza/Pitchfork, or street festivals in every neighborhood, thank your tax dollars. It's your choice and you've every right to do what you feel to do, but yes you're a coward if you leave. You want all of the awesome that Chicago offers, take the bad stuff too. If you want to change things, help talk about how are tax dollars aren't improving anything. Raise the profile of things that do work. Volunteer your time either providing service or finding solutions. 'I'm moving' isn't changing anything it's deserting. And whiny.

    Also you're dead wrong on the artist front. I can name a dozen musicians (Lupe, White Mystery, Flosstradamus), comics (John Mulaney, Hannibul Burris) and writers (Miles Raymer, Jessica Hooper) big and small out of Chicago who've built their careers here over the last decade. It's 2013. If you're good, you'll be found.

  • In reply to Peter Bella:

    Well stated Peter. I recently read that 66% of new Cook County residents come from Michigan. They come here, wear their college apparel and complain. They can all GTFO. Don't like it? Leave! Start with trying out living in Detroit.

    Those of us that grew up here and have been other places know we have one of the best places in America to live if you are a city person.

  • Addressing your rambling points, some of which I'm not quite sure what you're even trying to say in them:
    1) Wearing an orange shirt won't save anyone from the vile behavior of a gangbanger.
    2)Based on statistics, anyone with any sense would be wary around groups of black 'youth'
    3)Wouldn't you rather empower yourself (you ladies are all big on empowerment these days) and blast this guy with your own CC sidearm?
    4)Carrying a firearm is not for an ego boost or to feel tough; it's a very real way to defend yourself from the scum
    5)We're not afraid of EVERYONE in the city, only the subset of the population that is causing most of the street violence; namely, young black males.
    6)How's one party Democrat rule in Cook County working out for ya?
    7)Well, all the more reason to be smarter about where you're lookin' for love!
    8)See 6
    9)This is the critical one. The government is waiting for some white guy to finally snap and gun down five blacks during one of the flash mobs. Then there will be black riots for sure (if we don't get them with a Zimmermann acquittal first), and the Feds will finally have their reason to declare permanent martial law. And please, don't give the flash mobbers the St. Trayvon treatment.
    10)Ummm, ahhh, whatever...

  • In reply to Chenjesu:

    Hi Chenjesu -

    Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment. I'm sorry that you found yourself confused by my writing. I'll try to respond in simple language.

    1) It's not just about wearing a certain type of clothes. It's about bringing attention to an issue, showing initiative and getting people in decision-making positions to pay attention. It's also a place to encourage an open dialogue, similar to this blog.
    2) Let's look at this fear of "black youth" for a second. Does that mean everyone should be allowed to carry a gun and just shoot one when feeling nervous? And I'd love to know what statistics you're referencing. Violent crime by race and age? Have you cross-referenced this with violent crime by educational level and income level? Have you considered that maybe this is the root of the problem and not that black people just emerge from the room ready to cause trouble? I strongly encourage you to listen to the This American Life report linked to here: http://www.chicagonow.com/accidentally-sexy/2013/04/project-orange-tree-chicago-violence-means-you-should-dress-like-a-hunter/
    3) There are two parts to this one. First, us ladies have been big on empowerment for quite some time now. Susan B. Anthony, Virginia Wolf, Queen Elizabeth I, Corazon Aquino. Have you heard of Hatshepsut? She is commonly believed to be one of Ancient Egypt's most successful monarchs. Second, no. I wouldn't rather be carrying a gun. I'd rather live in a culture where less people think certain women were "totally asking for it."
    4) Scum. Oh boy. Are you shooting dice with Capone?
    5) See #2.
    6) I vote. And I hope you do to. You don't have to agree with me, but you have to vote.
    7) Oh, I agree! Everyone should be smart about where they're looking for love. That's what most of this blog seems to approach. In addition to being #1 for gonorrhea, Illinois has one of the highest rates of chlamydia, syphilis and incidents of HPV-associated cancer rates in the U.S. HPV and Chlamydia can go pretty much undetected, which means it gets passed around a ton without detection and the reported rates are way under the actual rates. Oh, and don't let me forget that we're #3 for herpes. The spread of these diseases can be greatly stunted, if not totally obliterated, with a little education.
    8) See #6. Also, keep in mind that this is a problem throughout the entire Midwest.
    9) You're right. This is a critical one. Let's work to dissolve tensions, investigate the roots of problems and activate effective systems, rather than just saying "F*** it."
    10) You're right again. Look how much we agree.

    Thanks for reading!

    Ana

  • In reply to AnaFernatt:

    2)I never made any claim as to the 'why' for the high black crime rates; you brought that in. But in my opinion, you can trace it all back to Lyndon Johnson's Great Society programs, which destroyed the black family unit.
    Stats you can find at the FBI site; there's hundreds of tables; slice and dice away.
    And I listened to Part One of that podcast for about a half hour. Everything they said I already knew. Black neighborhoods are chaos, anarchy, feral, a zoo, a jungle, etc. They'll shoot you for looking at them the wrong way. Which is why most whites will do everything in their power NOT to live with blacks, even if they tow the PC party line in public otherwise.
    3)I just don't get the victim mentality. Say you got stuck in a no-win scenario where you were getting jumped on the street by a thug, and there wasn't a viable means of escape, and it's either them or you. What would you do? Beg for mercy? Scream hoping someone would come and rescue you? You would rather get beaten to a pulp then shoot, knife or physically injure the guy if you were able? Why would anyone advocate a position of powerlessness?

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    Chiraq? I heard it's called "Chicongo".

    You're waiting on the world to change are you? Just go! Chicongo = HOPELESS. It will NEVER, EVER GET BETTER. Not in mine and your lifetime put together. Forget it, just leave, i would. Wouldn;t even visit there let alone live there for less then a million bucks a year.

  • In reply to Robert Maybeth:

    Hi Robert,

    Thanks for the comment. Let me start by saying that I love this city. It's been very good to me and has so much potential. It's a beautiful place with a diverse cultural scene. I'm sorry to hear that you wouldn't visit. In fact, my out-of-town friends rank it as one of their top places to visit and international visitors have named it one of the friendliest cities in America. That's not something to smirk at.

    I'm not waiting for the world to change. I'm working to help change it. Directing attention to issues and encouraging discussion is a great place to start. Simply ignoring something and "getting on with my life" will never make it better.

    Let's look past the violence part and just look at the report from the EPA, indicated in #8. That's not just something found in Chicago. It's a warning on the drinking water for the ENTIRE midwest. If enough people are aware of that and are vocal about it, people in positions to change it can do something about it. It's like that thing they say about the squeaky wheel.

    Thanks again for reading and have a great weekend!

    Ana

  • With all due respect: Did you just wake up one morning and realize you live in a major city? I'm not even sure where you can leave to for a more restrictive attitude on guns than Chicago (Montana?! The gun owners there don't own guns for the bears).

    All your other complaints are just annoyances than anybody who lives in a densely populated area understands are a part of life within the first week of settling down. Perverts, sexual predators, and muggers? They're not exactly a new phenomenon. It's not like the Mayor personally screens all 2.7 million residents to make sure they're model citizens. Keep your wits about yourself, don't be naive, and perhaps thank your lucky stars you have a new way of protecting yourself now.

    Look, you can certainly leave Chicago, but don't expect any other major city to be significantly better than what you have here. You might find higher taxes one place, even more violence another place, and worse pollution somewhere else. You may be better off in a secluded suburb. Or small rural town. Or holed up in your room.

    P.S. STD's?! Really? Welcome to a sexually liberated society with younger people. Don't blame your poor judgement in who to hook up with on the city.

  • I blame the Bleeding Heart Liberals who ruined this city and Nation. They let all American jobs go overseas and let in all these Third World Foreigners into this country.

    Now you might say I am racists. I don't look at myself as one. I love people, all colors, races, etc.....I am just talking about economic survival among Americans.

    The Unemployment in this country has gone up over the decades. Many jobs will never return here that were moved to China, Vietnam, Mexico, Korea,, Pakistan, India, etc. More new comers, are taking away from social security which they never gave into.

    Many prisons are holding illegals, which Americans are being taxed on to support.

    Our Govt. is taxing more to support many social programs. Our Military is wasting more dollars than you can imagine. And if you raise a complaint about it, you are consider to be a traitor to this nation.

    Wait until the pensions have to be paid out to all the police, fire & teachers union members in the years to come. Our politicians are sucking the system dry with their retirement packages.

    It is all about Greed people. You can find this greed in many towns. The taxes are high, and the jobs are few, but to many, Chicago is home. Chicago is a great place. There are other great places to live. California, Texas, Virginia. Then there are sewer states......Florida the major one. It takes money to relocate and make a new beginning.

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    As a former Chicagoan, I always ask myself if I did the right thing in leaving. Thank you for this article. I know now that I did.

  • Ana, would you like to hear from someone who actually carries? Have you ever thought to interview someone who does before writing such an article?

    I left Chicago for Las Vegas six years ago. I couldn't legally possess a gun in Chicago but now I have a concealed carry permit.

    Having a weapon on me is an entirely different feeling than being unarmed for totally different reasons you describe. The last thing I'd do is get into some petty argument with a person on the street or anywhere else. I would not get into a fist fight because the other person could grab the gun. I don't drink when I carry.

    Most every other person who carries feels the same way. If someone starts an argument we're the people saying, "Thank you, you're right." I have to walk away from confrontation because the alternative is drawing and shooting.

    Everyone out here knows that a bunch of citizens carry and they know one of us might be at the 7-Eleven and would shoot an armed robber. That's why we don't have many stickups at the 7-Eleven. Far fewer people get mugged or beaten in the street out here too.

    How's that gun control working for you in Chicago?

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    Hey, what's wrong with taking pictures of people out in public? Some people are just natural artists with a camera.

  • Anna - go back to Michigan or Ohio or where ever you transplanted from. We could use less complaining and more real Chicagoans in this city.

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