Black women in Austin take note. We are now slowly approaching our moment of true equality. It may not, however, be the kind of equality that we want. You see, in just the past two weeks we have had three females shot in Austin. Thankfully, 9-year-old Cathy Haywood, who was shot while at a family function in the 1000 block of North LeClaire, survived the bullet that tore through her leg. But two others weren’t so lucky.

On July 17, in the 1600 block of North Mason, 28-year-old Tomiko Ellis was shot in the head. This past Friday night, 23-year-old Rosalyn Tripp was shot as she sat with relatives in a car parked in the 400 block of North Laramie.

I haven’t found any news articles that tell of the capture of anyone responsible for the shooting of Haywood or Ellis. So we still have two people who don’t give a rat’s ass about somebody else’s life while walking the streets of Austin looking for the next person to take out at will. But thankfully, when it came to the murder of Rosalyn Tripp, we know who the alleged killer is; 17-year-old Vincent Collier of the 300 block of North Central. I’m sure his parents are real proud of they way he got his name and picture in the news.

As I wrote last week, there is something very sick about the ages of the people who are doing most of the shooting – individuals in their mid-to-late teens. They’ve barely begun to live themselves, and now, because they were able to possess a gun, they have again taken someone else’s life. I am not a proponent of the death penalty, but would sure love to see some of those young punks publicly flogged.

And if the person doing the shooting is under 21, charge their parents – even daddy if he’s been out of picture – with “contributing to the delinquency of a minor.” Publicly flog their butts as well. Public flogging, if instituted, would immediately send an excellent “butt whipping” message to those whose entire existence is dedicated to creating and maintaining havoc.

As many of you who read this column know, I am not a fan of Mayor Daley. While I was watching Channel 7 News’ coverage of the rally that occurred after the murder of Rosalyn Tripp, someone asked the mayor about the effect of Chicago’s murder rate on his Olympic 2016 bid. His response: “It has no effect because, first of all, you look at all the victims; they know each other and the offenders…”

Well, ain’t that just dandy?

Our mayor, who normally spends his weekends in the peaceful calm of his Michigan summer home and away from the carnage going on in the streets, now justifies the murders of people because they “know each other?” Pay attention Chicago. The sight of Sherry Tripp crying into the cameras after having now lost a sister to gun violence – and previously a brother – doesn’t strike me as the hurt of someone who was disparaging violence amongst acquaintances.

There is something very wrong and sick-minded when the man elected to lead this city dismisses the murder of anyone with such a snide remark. It is even more wrong when he does it in response to a question about this city’s bid to host the 2016 Olympics. If our city does get the Olympics and we have an international incident between athletes from warring countries, will he dismiss the actions of the perpetrator by saying that the “victim knew their offender”?

One of the current, most widely accused crimes after murder is domestic violence. And yet, no one dismisses the seriousness of that situation with the crude remark that it involves a “victim knowing their offender.”

The murders in Austin, as well as the underlying causes, are valid reasons for all to get involved stopping the atrocities. The victims are no longer just men. They are women and children. The perpetrators continue to be individuals who can’t even vote, but elect to take a life as if they are God. Our elected officials are more concerned with their legacy than the murder rate of the citizens who elected them.

Pay attention Chicago. So that in February 2011, you can choose to send those who don’t give a damn about your life to a new life – as an unelected official.