Monday, May 26, 2014

EXTRA: It’s all a matter of perspective

Five dead. Or was it six?

Fifteen wounded. Or was it really 10? Or should we be adding another three people who took hits Monday morning?

IT’S ALL ABOUT being able to offer up a holiday body count this Memorial Day holiday weekend. As though people will find it significant to know how many people got caught up in the crossfire; and how fortunate they were to not be among them!

It actually reminds me about my old City News Bureau days knowing that holiday weekends required a special duty – calling up assorted police departments every three hours to put together a running list of how many auto accidents had occurred, along with how many people had actually been hurt or killed.

It makes me wonder if I were a City News kid today, if I’d be doing a body count story instead.

At the very least, we’d have more definitive numbers to rely on.

BECAUSE I COULDN’T help but notice the Chicago Sun-Times story that had five dead and 15 wounded. Compared to the Associated Press dispatch that had six dead and 10 wounded.

Although I found it odd that the AP dispatch attributed information to the Sun-Times story.

The one fact to consider is that those figures were supposedly just for Chicago, the city proper – with one of the shootings being someone who got hit by the police. Published reports gave us accounts of three more shot Monday morning in suburban Dolton.

Literally people who were outside their homes trying to enjoy a Memorial Day holiday when they got caught in crossfire from two other people who happened to be passing through the neighborhood – one in his car and the other on bicycle.

Focusing on different casualties
I’M NOT SURE who to believe in terms of totals, although I’m not sure it really matters. Focusing on the totals has the effect of trivializing the violence. Does it really matter if it’s five or six?

There’s also the fact that the overall total is less than the totals we got a few weekends ago – remember the 36 people shot in a single weekend?

Do you think it consoles the family and friends of any of this weekend’s victims that this weekend’s total came to less than that weekend?


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