Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Gun Control Debate is Stunningly Stupid

Although the Senate is deep into negotiations about much needed Immigration Reform, there are behind the scene maneuverings to attempt another effort to pass reasonable Gun Control legislation.  Of course Conservatives immediately see these maneuvers and are already working to block these efforts.

While I find no fault in the proposed gun control legislation, I personally hate to see Democrats, Liberals and Progressives waste much needed time, effort and money trying to pass a bill that will not reduce gun violence by even a single death.  Emotions will run high, passions will be inflamed, the nation will be even more deeply divided (if that's possible), and people will still die in genocidal numbers.

Our problem here as Democrats, Progressives and Liberals is that our Conservative opponents are 100% correct: Guns Don't Kill People, People Kill People!  If we genuinely want to reduce gun violence and needless deaths we have got to start attacking the real problems and guns aren't one of them.

I write often about murders and gun violence in Chicago.  It's easy to focus on Chicago because reporting is so good, statistics so readily available and the violence is so pervasive.  If you were only to read my blog you would think Chicago is the most dangerous place on earth.

The reality is that most of Chicago is just about the safest place in America!!  In fact in the parts of Chicago where most of the "known" guns are located (that would be legally purchased, licensed, registered and/or documented guns or rifles) there is little or no gun violence!  Curiously guns don't kill people in the North side of Chicago.  The guns are there, they people are there, but there is no violence.  In half of Chicago's 23 police districts there are virtually no murders.

But on Chicago's South and West sides, in fact in just a small part of Chicago geographically, virtually all the murders and shooting occur.  Almost all the guns are illegal, unreported and illegally obtained.  The police classify this as "gang violence."

If, as Liberals, we are bound and determined to blame inanimate objects for society's problems, then we must point out that guns are strangely prejudiced against the poor and against blacks, because that's who they shoot, wound and kill.  Damn those racist guns!.

The real factors in gun violence are poverty, lack of education and lack of opportunity.  In an incredibly controversial speech this week Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis decried the lack of funding for schools on Chicago's south and west sides.  She also condemned the lack of effort on the part of city leaders and "white" businessmen in investing in these communities.  Unfortunately she blamed "racism" and the resulting controversy obscured the real wisdom in her observations.

We must find ways to invest in children in the poverty stricken portions of Chicago.  We must improve education.  And we must change the cycle of violence, drugs, gangs and poverty that go on generation after generation.

Curiously, if we do that, the guns will become as silent on the South Side of Chicago as they are on the North side.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Resources: ABC News: Chicago Teachers Union president calls for tax changes to fund schools

The New York Times: In a Soaring Homicide Rate, a Divide in Chicago

And the very powerful, interactive website that tracks Homicides on Chicago: Redeye Tracking homicides in Chicago

No comments: