Among the things that the mayor is sure to call for in his address this week are lengthier sentences for people caught with illegal guns, which has been the drumbeat from his administration and the police department for the past several years. Nearly half of those people arrested for murder last year were repeat gun offenders. When violent crimes go unpunished while nonviolent ones get hammered, many conclude that the state seeks control, not justice.
The problem in cities like Chicago is a direct result of the drug war. You simply cannot fix inner city violence without addressing the drug war, because it sets up this "outside the system" marketplace in which violence is the only justice. End the drug war and get inner city youths integrated into society, or else the turf war shootings will continue.
Yes, the shootings in Chicago can be prevented, but there has to be an all hands on deck effort to do it. We need positive images in these dangerous areas to show kids and young men that violence is never the answer. That is hard to do because violence is the culture of not only Chicago, but the United States. It will be a tough job to prevent the shootings, but it can be done, eventually.
With the right support systems and renovation in impoverished areas of Chicago, I fully believe this would reduce the number of violent crimes in Chicago. People need something to hope for and people in deteriorating, crime-ridden neighborhoods don't have that opportunity. I think enhancing the school systems and teaching about gun violence in early grades could help prevent shootings.