Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Bloody, yet birthy during holiday weekend – Chicago now over 500 dead

Crystal Myers of the Back of the Yards neighborhood gave birth Monday to a son, and if he survives he’s going to have one heck of a birth story to share with people.

Because the Labor Day holiday weekend was one that saw 13 people killed and dozens more wounded – including his parents. It also was the tally that boosted Chicago to having in excess of 500 homicides for the 2016 calendar year thus far.

CONSIDER THERE ARE nearly four more full months to go this year. Who’s to say how high the death toll will get for Chicago – although I can only hope we won’t experience the days of the late 1980s when the city used to get close to 1,000 murders per year and where in some neighborhoods gunfire and death were just a common fact of daily life.

Myers’ son is going to be able to point to write-ups in both the Chicago Tribune and Sun-Times of the circumstances under which he was born a few weeks early on Monday.

His parents, Myers and Albert Moore, were sitting on a porch in the South Side neighborhood where the stockyards once existed when someone snuck up the gangway, fired nine shots, then fled.

Doctors at Stroger Hospital managed to save the baby, while both Myers and Moore were recovering from their own gunshot wounds and it was uncertain Tuesday how they would turn out.

THE SUN-TIMES REPORTED a lack of a motive for the shooting, although police speculated to the newspaper the incident may somehow be tied in to a shooting that took place the day before.

Here’s hoping for the kid’s sake, at least, that both survive along with the boy. Who gets to begin his life as the human face of just how absurd urban violence has become.

And how divided we are as a society in determining what the real problem is and what needs to be done about it.

For the record, 13 people were killed across the city, with 65 people suffering gunshot wounds. Most of the violence came on the holiday itself – some 31 of the 65 were shot from Monday 6 a.m. to Tuesday 3 a.m., according to the Tribune.

THE USUAL TRIVIAL analysis says that urban violence picks up during the summer months – the intense heat that we in Chicago think of as routine for August somehow gets us all riled up and crazy and our tempers go flying off the handle!

Could this line of logic mean that cooler weather will bring cooler temperaments and that the rate of shootings ending in death will decline in coming months? Who’s to say? The fact is that people tend to want to view the statistics concerning urban violence in ways that back up their own personal hang-ups.

There are those who will want to put the focus on trying to keep firearms out of the hands of people who can’t keep control of themselves, while others will want to view it as the fault of certain types of people living down to their nature.

Which usually will result in those individuals wanting to scream and screech their bigotries aloud and claim their own need to keep a weapon on hand.

WHILE OTHERS WILL want to “tsk, tsk” the situation away and pay attention to their own isolated neighborhood where they’d like to pretend such things never happen because the local residents are “just too civilized” to do such things.

I’m of the belief that such acts can take place anywhere at any time – a holdover from my own police reporting days of three decades ago where I encountered so many nonsensical acts that I came to realize there is no making sense of any of it.

With that thought in mind, I’m willing to wish Crystal Myers’ son into this world and I’d like to tell him the circumstances behind his birth are the screwiest he’ll ever encounter in life – it’s all uphill from here!

I only wish I could make him such a promise, and have it come true.


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