Chicago's Hot Summer 2012: Posses And Preachers

If you’re an American male, you’ve been lapping up shoot-em-up Westerns all your life. Oh, sometimes we update them by substituting 6-guns with missiles, but it’s always the same good-guy-beats-bad-guy-and -gets-girl-in-the-end. The formula was patented long before even John Wayne or Tom Cruise.

But if you remember, just about the time the hard-charging posse was ready to throw the rope around the dirty varmint’s neck to gratify our lust for vengeance, that damn preacher [or maybe school ma-rm] would show up to heal their rage with the balm of justice [see The Oxbow Incident for details].

It’s not all that different today in another hot-summer Chicago. The passionate posse of our rage spills over in the sports bar and at the 19th hole with: “How long are we going to lets these punks get away with it! In my day, the cops came in shooting first, reading their Miranda Rights a helleva later!”

And you know what…? Often that was true. Only the facts show that killing the bad guys often only spiked the gang rates. Posse-police didn’t succeed any more then than they do now. Because the same facts show there will always be more breeders than bullets.

The “breeders?” Everyone knows who they are: the broken families and busted neighborhoods where the good kids die young. Only not everyone knows what to do about it. Sure, better rearing, schooling, and caring. But each of these institutions — the family, the school, the church — is almost in as much disarray as the breeders.

Now what? To be perfectly and dismally honest, humanity has been asking that very same question ever since Cain killed Abel. Psychiatry calls it the libido…sociology calls it the environment…theologians call it the human condition…big city mayors call it another hot summer!

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  • I should have realized that a grandson of Sicilians would understand the complexities and conundrums that arise from the free reign of the "vendetta" in a hot summer atmosphere .... I used to think that an answer was to move humanity into "Cooler" climes ... though then there was that latest Norwegian tragedy ... and this Geezer must remember that it also gets pretty cool along Chicago streets in winter as well ... alas we too have no easily proffered cures to the malaise of our most human weakness and acts of violence ... Sigh!

  • In reply to Geezer:

    Geezer ~ Yep, a lot of sighs here in town too...but just beneath the sighs are the cries for "clear the gangs out with the only things they can understand: Guns." I predict that guns will indeed rule the summer! No one in Chicago seems to have an answer.....and even if they did, there wouldn't be enough money and motivation to bring it off....nothing changes

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