Wednesday, January 30, 2013

What really needs to be done to stop the violence

There were press conferences, hearings and a lot of hubbub in D.C. regarding potential laws restricting guns, particularly assault weapons, magazines, and background checks. Like many people I support laws that will put reasonable restriction on guns, just like I would support restrictions on any dangerous substance. But anybody who thinks any gun law by itself can curb the culture of violence is delusional. Chicago has been in the spotlight as homicide rates have been particularly high and the most recent tragic death of Hadiya Pendleton, 15, who performed in the inauguration just highlight the issue more. Quite understanding @Prison Culture is well, irritated:
“If I see ONE MORE G.D tweet asking about what Chicago community members &  .orgs are doing to “end the violence,” I won’t be held responsible”.
  These include,,,, and many, many more.more. The problem?                          
“My point is that TONS of people and organizations are working every SINGLE day. . . Our young people are taking to the streets asking for trauma centers, fighting back against further criminalization in schools, asking for their fair share . . . “
There is a petition to ask President Obama to come to Chicago for the funeral of Pendleton. @Prison Culture asks
“ . . Also what is the President concretely bringing with him to the city on this trip? Will he (be) bringing more jobs with him for the Southside? Will he be intervening with Mayor 1% (to) insist that the dozens of Southside schools slated (for) closure be kept open? WHAT WILL HE BE BRINGING TO THE CONCRETELY FOR THE COMMUNITY? . . . So many of us who actually LIVE in this city want RESOURCES. You can keep the symbolism.”

Communities that have an economic base, where people have jobs, access to schools and resources do not have violence. While allocating of government dollars is often  presented as rob Peter-to-pay-Paul scenario—if more money is spent on the Southside does that mean less money on the Northside—we KNOW there is the money. What is often kept from us is where it goes and who actually gets it, and this hurts everybody. Until resources are fairly allocated, and not just siphoned off into non-development development i.e. TIFs or into the same corporate pockets, there will be violence.

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