An emergency summit was called in Chicago at Chicago State University by the members of the Congressional Black Caucus, resulting in hundreds gathering to discuss ways to slow and work to halt urban violence.
This post originally appeared at Occupy Democrats
By Justin Acuff
Those in attendance ranged from US congressional representatives to the general public, as reported by The Huffington Post:
Members of the Black Caucus — also including Reps. Bobby Rush, Danny Davis and Maxine Waters — were joined by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the Rev. Jesse Jackson and a number of law enforcement experts, academics and members of the public at the event.
The issue of inner city gun violence is extremely complex, and there is no one easy solution or fix. Poverty, something there is also no easy fix for, is the major contributor. This was discussed at the Chicago summit, along with several other factors:
“It’s poverty, it’s school closings, its a lack of good education opportunities, it’s a lack of jobs and opportunity to work, it’s the need for parenting, it’s need to rebuild the infrastructure and so all of these things become a part of the comprehensiveness of violence,” Davis said, according to the Sun-Times.
Addressing the summit, Emanuel emphasized the city must continue to work to “make our streets safer so they [the city’s children] have a normal childhood and it is not stolen from them by violence,” CBS Chicago reports.
“Common sense” gun laws are also needed, the mayor continued. (Source)
Many conservatives and supporters of an unregulated firearm industry will look at Chicago, with strict gun laws already, and assume that this means that it proves “bad guys will have guns no matter what” and “good guys with guns are needed to stop bad guys with guns.” Regardless of that argument, it oversimplifies the left’s true case — expanded background checks and magazine limits, which doesn’t actually impede “good guys” from getting guns at all. And while it has proven extremely difficult for cities with harsh gun laws to prevent guns from entering the city, it remains true that it doesn’t make any sense not to give a potential gun owner a background check given the opportunity.
The main cause and driver behind crime of this nature is poverty itself. Without a solid community and good neighborhoods, not only is it easy for children to slip through the cracks, but it becomes almost certain they will. Nearly all murders take place in a very similar fashion — and I’m not just talking about the murder itself. The life events in the murderer’s life before the crime occurs are astonishingly similar, from early problems in the home to involvement in the juvenile justice system. This isn’t an unfixable problem. As with many things in life, we have to pay now, or we have to pay later — maintenance or repair. The costs to incarcerate and sentence criminals are repair. If we decided to prevent the crimes in the first place, that would be maintenance — and a far better objective. Here’s a video explaining several different places we can intervene in a child’s life before they commit a murder: