Chicago Sun-Times columnist goes well beyond the usual and politically inspired explanations for the violence that is crushing Chicago neighborhoods and offers a fresh and thoughtful view.
In “Why are criminals randomly shooting seniors and children?”, the veteran Chicago journalist and child of Chicago’s projects wrote:
I get tired of people blaming poverty, lack of jobs, and community disinvestment for the “demonic acts” taking place all over our city.
It seems like killing has become some sick sport.
What could be the motive for such a heinous act?
Retaliation or revenge seem far-fetched.
There must be something more going on than the often-cited block-to-block warfare between gang factions.
Why we are witnessing such wanton behavior, not only against police but also against ordinary citizens?
It is as if the people behind these violent acts are trying to outdo one another.
Street gangs used to iron out their differences with fisticuffs, she notes, quoting Stanley Tookie Williams:
“Earning a reputation through fisticuffs was being replaced by gunslinging, by youths who lacked an ability to fight and needed an equalizer. It took nerve to fight with your hands.”
So well said, Mary. And insightful. Worthy of a Pulitzer.
If you’re right, the problem is even bigger than we imagined. Gun violence an unthinkable sport?
Gun murder and violence have become ends in themselves. Embedded, as it were, in the culture. How do we ever turn this around?
John Kass writes a beautiful and moving column about the funeral of murdered Chicago police officer Ella French. The haunting sound of car doors closing. “The pipes, the silence, and the funeral of Chicago Police Officer Ella French,” is here.To subscribe to the Barbershop and be notified when I post, type your email address in the box and click the “create subscription” button. My list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.
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