I was saddened by recent news that Chicago gun deaths are at an all-time high. I was also somewhat confused, as local news in my downstate Illinois area had indicated that the opposite was true prior to the recently escalated events. This disparity inspired me to do some digging.
Gun violence is everywhere
Chicago has been experiencing a rather high volume of gun deaths this year. This isn’t the only city to have seen the increase, but how does the Windy City compare to other cities in the US? I was intrigued to find the statistics were not what I expected to see.
For instance, according to the website Gun Violence Archive, across the nation, so far this year there have been 37,432-gun related deaths. In Chicago there have been 319; five already this week. So, no, the numbers don’t exactly indicate Chicago, Illinois has a monopoly on gun violence.
People are more than statistics
The truth of the matter is that there is a need for reforms to current gun laws to reduce the number of guns in the hands of those who wish to harm others. In many communities and neighborhoods across the Windy City, citizens are rallying and banding together to create innovative and empowering concepts to not just reduce the trauma of gun violence, but to reduce what promotes these acts.
Families, coworkers, friends, neighbors and public officials are working together to deal with the issues that drive people to such a final way to settle disputes. I believe it will be this type of activism that will truly change the narrative into a safer one.
Headlines are grabby for a reason
I know that the world is often a terrifying place to live, but it’s my firm belief that for the most part, people just want to live long, happy, healthy lives, and wish no harm to their fellow man.
I also know that humans are passionate creatures, and unless we learn to turn that passion to other outlets, all we will be left with is grief and sorrow. Because this is a delicately nuanced subject, rational dialogue must prevail if we are ever to reach a solution.
Who wins when everyone is dying?
If everyone’s out to make a buck, then remember that controversy sells like nothing else. Being a divided people will never solve the gun problem, but it will line the pockets of those who profit of these senseless deaths.
I have listened to the accounts of surgeons that have described digging out shrapnel from a small child’s body, and I have cried tears for souls I’ve never met as their photos have flashed across my screen in memorial. Yet, the shots continue to ring out in the night, the day, the theatre, and the halls of our children’s schools.
When the people of Chicago do anything, they do it pretty large scale, in my opinion. Shower love, Chicago, don’t spray bullets.