Sunday, November 20, 2016

Sanctuary Amid Slaughter

I mentioned earlier that it was ironic that Mayor Rahm Emmanuel of Chicago declared Chicago a sanctuary city that was safe for illegal aliens while at the same time his city is one of the most dangerous places in America for black men. Yesterday a news story came out that showed once again how true this is and how the response to the murder crisis in Chicago is so politicized that even a grieving grandfather cannot see past it. The headline tells the story: Chicago police say charges are expected in death of congressman's grandson

Officials in Chicago said charges could be announced soon in the shooting death of an Illinois congressman's grandson following an argument over a pair of basketball shoes.

Officials say two juveniles are in custody and are being considered suspects in the murder of Javon Wilson, after he was shot in the head in his Chicago home on Friday.

"The detectives are continuing their interrogations and charges are expected," Officer Michelle Tannehill said on Saturday night.

Police announced earlier that the shooting occurred after a dispute over basketball shoes.

Wilson allegedly knew his attackers, but the juveniles in custody have not been identified.

The 15-year-old boy is the grandson of longtime U.S. Rep. Danny Davis.

Davis said he was told that a 15-year-old boy had traded slacks for shoes with Wilson's 14-year-old brother, but thought better of the trade and went to Wilson's house with a 17-year-old girl. He said the pair forced their way in the house and argued with Wilson before the boy pulled a gun and fired.

As is all too often the case, the blame is on the "prevalence" of guns. Representative Davis said in the aftermath:

Davis also said that his grandson was a victim of a world where gun violence has become commonplace.

"It's almost, just the way it is. People think nothing of it," Davis said. "Youngsters invariably say, 'I know a lot of guys who've got guns. I know a lot of girls who've got guns.”

Davis added, "It becomes a part of the culture of an environment that has got to change."

Davis has been a member of the Democratic party for nearly 20 years. He was re-elected this month to his 11th term in the 7th Congressional District.

"The question becomes where does a 15-year-old obtain a gun? Who let the 15-year-old have a gun and under what circumstances?" Davis asked. "There's no answer for that except that the availability of guns is so prevalent in America to the point where you almost can't tell who has a gun" anymore.

The thing is, guns have always been prevalent in America. I grew up with ready access to firearms my entire life. I was on occasion angry with other people as a kid and teen but it never, ever occurred to me that it would be a sensible to get one of my dad's guns and shoot someone over a squabble or slight. My kids live in a home with guns and never would even consider shooting someone. Millions of people grew up like I did, in homes where guns were present but where guns were also taught to be something you didn't play around with. So something else must be at play here. 

The answer might have something to do with a culture that deems a slight or insult, no matter whether real or perceived, is something that is properly responded to with violence and deadly violence at that. There must be some reason why millions of Americans with ready access to guns never point a gun at someone else and so many others pull the trigger. 

I cannot imagine the anguish of Representative Davis in losing a grandchild and I grieve for he and his family but with all sincerity he and others need to ask the harder questions instead of casting blame on firearms. Restrictive gun laws have done nothing to curb violence in places like Chicago and Baltimore so it is high time that people entrusted with the public safety figure out what is wrong, even if those questions and answers don't serve a political purpose. 
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