Violence. What can we say about it? Every two seconds a person gets killed somewhere in the world — from new born babies to the elderly. Human life has become brutalized, victimized and terrorized. And Chicago is ground zero for this reality.

With so many news articles about the city’s gun violence, it’s disheartening to see how the government is not taking effective actions to stop it. According to news reports, nearly 50 people were shot one weekend this month, bringing the total number of shootings even higher and adding more blotches to the landscape of death and destruction.

Babies are discovered injured on street corners, pregnant mothers and grandmothers are seeking out for help, generations wiped out. There are too many baby showers and not enough weddings. There are too many inmates and not enough entrepreneurs.

Why is this?

There has to be a level of frustration among reasonable people. The deep causes of the problem aren’t hard to contemplate. Judging from the deadly combination of illegal guns and gangs, anyone can deduce that quality education, economic empowerment and jobs are a real need here. There are too many guns and not enough opportunities. Schools are closing. People are losing their jobs. Teenage fatalities are increasing. Gang and interpersonal violence rules the city. The government needs to act now.

But that won’t happen if we don’t do what Dr. King advised in 1954. We need to rediscover lost values in our community. We need to understand that quality education is a right for everyone and that it is high time for the government to act on it.

The most recent shameful act was the killing of 9-year-old Tyshawn Lee, who lost his life to senseless gun violence earlier this month. He was shot down in an alley. The solution to this kind of killing is not just to increase the police presence in our neighborhoods.

The city needs to own up to the fact that it has created such a messed up environment that some of us can’t park our cars and walk casually into our homes without thinking twice or looking over our shoulders. 

Society needs a deeper commitment. The government needs to take steps in the right direction and implement tougher gun laws. It needs to attack the root causes of senseless murders and eradicate the violence from the bottom-up. And when the government takes away the guns it needs to give them hope in exchange. 

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