UPDATE: The summer gun violence hasn’t calmed down at all: the weekend of June 17th saw 7 killed and nearly 40 injured by gun violence in Chicago, the next weekend pushed the total June bodycount to 20, and on the 4th of July alone 5 were killed and 21 wounded,
So far 2012 is on pace to be the bloodiest summer ever in the Windy City, there have been far more murders in the city than U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan, and the annual homicide rate is up 38% from last year.
A little while back al-Qaeda’s American-born spokesman “Adam the American” released a video exhorting Muslims in America to wage the “death by a-thousand cuts” version of jihad. Instead of looking to stage large dramatic attacks which would require months of preparation and planning, he implored would-be jihadis to simply buy guns and start shooting people:
Muslims in the West have to remember that they are perfectly placed to play an important and decisive part in the jihad against the Zionists and Crusaders, and to do major damage to the enemies of Islam waging war on their religion, sacred places, and brethren. This is a golden opportunity.
“The way to show one’s appreciation and thanks for this blessing, is to rush to discharge one’s duty to his [community] and fight on its behalf with everything at his disposal. And in the West you’ve got a lot at your disposal. Let’s take America as an example, American is absolutely awash with easily obtainable firearms…
So what are you waiting for?
And while there’s absolutely no evidence whatsoever that the recent shooting deaths in Chicago have anything at all to do with waging a campaign of terror on behalf of al-Qaeda, the marked uptick in violence is a troubling indication that our innercities may implode totally on their own, without any outside influence at all.
In the second-to-last weekend of May, the Windy City’s bodycount was 4 dead and 28 wounded, ranging in ages from 7 years-old to 68. Memorial Day weekend saw 11 killed and over 40 injured, a week later saw sustained violence: 9 dead and 46 wounded. Between Saturday night and Sunday night alone 20 people were shot. Although some shootings were obviously targeted, home invasions and apparent gang violence, a handful of them have troubling elements of randomness to them:
Two people died after someone produced a handgun and fired several shots into a crowd of people in the 700 block of West 50th Place about 11:15 p.m. Sunday, hitting five people, police said.
A white four-door car pulled up to a group of boys near the intersection of West 69th Street and South Artesian Avenue and someone inside opened fire.
As our military pours billions and billions of dollars into stopping threats from abroad, it’s important to keep in mind that the biggest threat to American security may be right here at home: an implosion of our innercities brought about by the social and economic devestation wrought as the War on Drugs created a cycle of absence by imprisoning so many black fathers and destroying any hope for economic advancement:
The precise era that saw a drug-law fueled explosion in our prison population, the early 1970s, are the exact same years that the economic situation of blacks began to starkly worsen and that the gap between rich and poor is wrenched wide open. Beginning in those years and continuing into today, “the economic status of black compared to that of whites has, on average, stagnated or deteriorated.”
Up until 1973, the precise year the Rockefeller drug laws were passed, the difference between black and white median income had been closing. But then that year it changed course, and in “an ominous bellwether… the gap between black and white incomes started to grow wider again, in both absolute and relative terms.” Direct empirical research into incarceration’s economic effects weren’t done until recently, when a Pew Charitable Trusts research paper showed that prior to imprisonment two-thirds of male inmates were employed and half were their family’s primary source of income. Additionally, upon release an ex-con’s annual earnings were reduced by 40%