“If the main topic with the president is only going to be gun control, we are pushing ourselves backwards, It’s hard to control guns here.”
In an interview with CNN, 20-year-old Veronica Morris-Moore, resident and community-organizer in South Chicago tackled the topic of rising gun-violence in Chicago, shortly after the President held a press conference regarding gun control laws in April.
Since April, gun laws have continued to prove irrelevant for the Windy City, who has seen a rise in gun-related deaths since 2012. The city has subsequently surpassed New York city, the previous leader in gun violence. In 2012 alone, Chicago had nearly 500 deaths due to gun-related violence, 81 more than New York city, who has a population nearly three times bigger.
In a massive shooting yesterday, 13 people were shot at Cornell Square Park, less than 500 feet away from Richard J. Daley Academy, a South Side elementary school. Among these 13 people injured was the 3-year-old nephew of witness Julian Harris. The toddler was shot in the ear by a man in a passing gray sedan. The boy is currently recovering from the gunshot wound and is expected to survive.
Obviously the gun laws aren’t working.
So, if guns aren’t to blame for these deaths and injuries, what, or who, is? Most gun-related violence in Chicago has occurred after 10 p.m., including the shooting of the 3-year-old in the ear (the bullet exited out of his mouth). Of these shootings after 10, at least half of the victims are under the age of twenty.
Parents are now being blamed for at least a part in these shootings. According to the 3-year-old victim’s uncle, the shooters have been prowling the neighborhoods every night, looking for people to shoot “just for fun.” He also said that this is common knowledge. People know this is happening. If residents of south Chicago know that gang members are looking for people to shoot, why are parents letting their children play outside after dark? And where are the police? If they know what is going on, why hasn’t the security in Chicago been greatly increased?
Although the blame may fall on the shoulders of many, one fact remains true: guns do not kill people. People kill people. Chicago, now the city with the highest gun-related death rate, is perhaps one of the cities with the strictest gun-control laws. We need to stop thinking only of gun control and start thinking of other ways we can save lives.
My thoughts and prayers go out to the families affected in yesterday’s shooting, the shootings before, and unfortunately, the shootings to come.