A Final Note on Chicago Gun Violence

Tanya Calvin With the weight of finals soon to be lifted off our shoulders, summer’s finally here. Vacations, concerts, fro-yo, beaches, camp: the time has come, and I think I speak for everyone in saying that we’re more than ready to get the fun started. Yet, in the mix of emotions that I’m experiencing in this last stretch, there is fear. I’m scared about this summer, terrified really. I’m referring to a topic I wrote about a couple issues ago. We hear about the violence in Chicago time and time again and, after a while, the facts become numbingly depressing. Summer in Chicago is infamous for the rise in homicide rates. This weekend, 23 people were shot, six of them dead. It’s the first holiday of the season, and this is the outcome. I won’t keep throwing numbers at you, but this is the reality: Chicago has become a war zone. Granted, it’s gotten better. There are less homicides this year than the last so far, and attention from all over the country has been given to the issue. Attention, that is, with little action. The endless debates about gun control seem to be going nowhere, and the closing of dozens of schools in Chicago isn’t going to help the situation at all (the closings are expected to raise drop-out rates which many argue will lead to increase in violence). As political as this can be, I hope for this article to be more personal. I understand that because Latin is such a small, caring community, we can become blind to what’s happening on the outside. We feel safe at school, but what about when we leave? A lot of us live in “safe” neighborhoods, but there’s no doubt that homicides are occurring more and more frequently in all areas of Chicago, not just in the “bad” ones. So I hope that you all are aware of what’s happening around you amidst the great times you’ll be having. Watch the news, find out if there are recurring attacks in certain areas, and avoid them if you can. Don’t stay out any later than you need to, and make sure you’re not wandering around the streets on your own. Tragedy has become much too frequent in our city, and I only hope for it to never reach into our community. Stay safe and have a great summer.]]>