Thursday, July 6, 2017

Independence Day casualties – 15 dead, 101 shot, one killed by own fireworks

I’m sure there are some people who are looking to the figures offered up for the now-complete Independence Day holiday weekend and saying to themselves, “Donald Trump has a point.”
ATF help not in time for Independence Day casualties

This holiday weekend was particularly long (stretching from Friday afternoon to early Wednesday). So perhaps it shouldn’t surprise that some 101 people were shot – and 15 died.

AND AS THE Chicago Tribune pointed out Wednesday in its report, about half of those shootings occurred in the last 12 hours of the extended holiday weekend.

Something about summer heat and fireworks and the fact that many of the people who feel inclined to have them aren’t among the most stable of individuals in our society.

So explosive devices can cause heated tempers that can result in other types of deadly devices being used.

This revelation shouldn’t be shocking. Even though the idea of even one death ought to be appalling.

BUT IT IS just the type of tidbit that will get the Trump types all worked up. Trump, of course, being the guy who played partisan politics earlier this year by saying he’d “send in the feds” to respond to Chicago violence.
Coping w/ the city's levels of violence

It was only last week that he gave any indication just what his vague threat actually meant; federal Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents were reassigned to Chicago to work with a Chicago Police task force meant to reduce the flow of firearms within the city.

That same task force also is getting help from the Cook County sheriff’s police. I don’t doubt that the additional staffing will help in some form. Although we can make a serious argument that Trump’s effort (which amounts to some 20 federal agents contributed to the task force) is long overdue.

Quite frankly, if Trump were serious about addressing the problems of crime and urban violence, such an effort would have been made long ago. And it wouldn’t have been done in the form of threats to the city.

WE REALLY DO get the impression that this is more of a lame effort meant to entitle Trump to continue to make his snide comments about the city. And they won’t even be particularly well-thought-out comments – they’ll be the usual Twitter trash.

Trite snippets of no more than 140 characters that are meant more to appeal to the segment of society that already agrees with him, rather than try to explain his motivations for his actions.

My point is that I don’t think much of the federal effort. I don’t think it will do much of anything to reduce the amount of violence that is occurring in the city. I don’t think Chicago will be any safer a place because of the presidential initiative.

Actually, much of the city already is fairly safe. It is select neighborhoods that have problems, and I’m pretty sure that the voter demographic of those segments of Chicago are such that Trump personally could care less whether they ever get better. After all, they were the parts of Chicago where he only got about 1 or 2 percent of the vote in the November 2016 elections!
Would Trump build in Chgo if truly dangerous?

THE SAD PART, though, is that many other Chicagoans also don’t care much what happens in places like the Englewood neighborhood. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn many Chicagoans don’t know where on the South Side the neighborhood is, and would never dream of setting foot in it.

It is that type of apathy that allows for the current conditions – too many of us figure it’s “not my problem” if it isn’t occurring in our specific neighborhood. And on the occasions when such actions creep into our neighborhood, we look for the excuses that the people who did it were from somewhere else.

As things were, it seems Chicago police made arrests of 58 people during the holiday weekend on assorted weapons and narcotics charges. But as the Chicago Tribune reported, that didn’t stop the outburst of violence during the final hours of the holiday weekend.

All in all, a tragedy. Although somehow, I suspect many people will feel more sympathy for the death in the Gage Park neighborhood of a man killed late Tuesday when he bent over a fireworks tube that hadn’t ignited. It suddenly shot off, and he was hit in the head.


No comments: