The news from Rockford on Tuesday about gun violence did not make the headlines as there was a bevy of reports about COVID, a staggering traffic jam on icy roads in Virginia, and court trials (such as Dane County’s Chandler Halderson murder case) that sets shivers down the spines of even the most jaded among us.
But guns played havoc in communities far and wide causing great angst for the law enforcement community.
Following a shooting at Auburn High School Tuesday afternoon that left two teens injured, Rockford Police Chief Carla Redd made an impassioned plea to parents of violent youth, to end gun violence in the city.
“You all know who the kids are who have the guns, who have access to guns. They’re your kids, your neighbors, and your grandkids,” Redd said.
Stop sitting on your bottoms and doing nothing about it.
Every single day in every state and in multiple communities within each state the number of gun shootings, killings, and injuries mount.
In Chicago for instance, there were more gun-related homicides in 2021 than in any other year on record, according to officials. Cook County’s 1,002 homicides, a total that includes Chicago and the surrounding suburbs, was 121 higher than the previous record from 2020 and almost twice as many as the total from 2019.
Just two days before the Monday announcement by the county medical examiner’s office, Chicago police reported that there were more homicides in Chicago, 797, in 2021 than in any year since 1996. There were 772 killed in 2020, and a much lower total of 498 in the year before, the Chicago Tribune reported.
In New York City a recorded 485 murders took place in 2021, a 4% increase from the 468 tallied in 2020. It needs noting that the surge was driven by a startling surge in gun violence across the city. Last year there had been 1,857 shooting victims in that city.
One can comb through the statistics coast-to-coast and see gun violence shot upwards—sorry for the bad pun–as gun-related deaths among kids and teenagers increased during the pandemic. The reasons for the crime rates over the past two years are being studied as to why it occurred.
But it needs stating that this medical crisis in the United States could have been averted in large part with a fact-based White House in 2020 along with the absence of continual lies aimed at the most gullible within the Republican Party. When the larger social implications of not addressing the virus in a most serious fashion during the Donald Trump administration are examined the deaths due to a host of social ills will need to be cited.
Gun violence, not surprisingly, has most demonstrated its wrath and harsh realities on the poor, Black and Hispanic youth over the past years.
When it comes to guns and protecting our youth from getting their hands on the weapons, as Rockford law enforcement talked about on Tuesday, one does have to place that daunting social problem alongside the pandemic and ask a most basic question.
If people can’t even figure out how to manage to wear a face mask correctly, how in the world do we expect them to manage gun ownership?
This blog continually speaks out for gun control measures at the same time it responds to the latest gun violence that the misinterpreted Second Amendment has unleashed on the nation. My first letter to the editor as a teenager was printed in the Waushara Argus. The reason for my letter concerned the need to bring sanity to the issue of gun ownership.
Four decades later and the problem is worse than ever.
And so it goes.