For years now, Chicago’s gun violence problem has been growing. This is a recognized fact nationwide. There simply is no getting around the reality that the city needs to do something to curb the crime problem.
The people of the city itself are now being vocal about that – which is a good thing as they are taking to the streets to demonstrate something needs to be done. Unfortunately, on Saturday, the chosen street was Interstate 94, and the protesters blocked traffic to the northern suburbs.
When police closed all five lanes, a long stretch of I-94 behind the closure turned into a virtual parking lot. Vehicles on the highway were lined bumper-to-bumper, with nowhere to go except for a few exit ramps. Some motorists, with nowhere to go if they weren’t near an exit, left their cars for a time.
There is a dispute between the Republican governor of Illinois and the march organizers as to how many lanes were agreed to be closed in the beginning (two), however, in the end, the mob took all five.
“Shut it down!” and “Black lives matter!” the crowd shouted.
There is no question that gun violence in Chicago needs this kind of attention, perhaps not in this way, though, and certainly not by trying to do more of the same that gave Chicago the title of most dangerous city in America in the first place.
Hundreds of marchers, led by the Rev. Michael Pfleger of St. Sabina Catholic Church, crowded onto the highway on the South Side to protest the city’s high gun violence rates. They’re calling for “national common sense guns laws” and, for their communities, more public resources, more jobs, better schools and economic development.
Priests like this give Catholics a bad name.
All of that is great, but until respect for human life and property is restored, and potential victims have the ability to shoot back, all that is going to do is throw money at a problem without solving it.
Chicago has a gun violence problem. On that, no one disagrees. It’s what will solve the problem that is in dispute.