Just revealed: About 500 bald eagles have been killed by shotgun fire so far this year. Hunters bagged nearly 5000 since 2007. Counting those that did not die, the shooters whacked 13,000 the last five years.
Once this news reaches the hinterland people will howl, you bet. They would howl if gunmen had shot 13,000 puppies or kittens. Or snail darters. Snowy owls or wild ponies.
Do you suppose they would howl if the deaths were of 5000 people? If they did, would the rest of us hear them?
Well the figures above do not apply to bald eagles. They apply to people gunned down in America. People. The figures apply to Chicago. Yes, 500 killed since January in Chicago. And 13,000 shot the last five years.
Suppose guerrillas roamed in packs in Chicago, Detroit, Baltimore, St. Louis and Newark. Seriously. Guerillas like those who haunt Iraq and Afghanistan. Do you suppose Congress might call for action to wipe out the warriors? Do you suppose the President might declare war on them?
If so, what do you suppose is holding them back? These cities are home to armed guerillas. Many of them operate in gangs. They terrorize people in countless neighborhoods. They shoot each other. They shoot innocents. Old men watering their lawns. Kids on their way to school.
John Kass writing in the Chicago Tribune calls them “…feral boys, brandishing their guns in cars, waving their death sticks in rap videos, young African-American men who believe they have no future, waiting to die.”
Murders are all the rage in Chicago lately. But this carnage has been going on for years. And Chicago hits the headlines more because it is larger than the other cities I mentioned. The other cities have higher per-capita homicide rates than Chicago.
A friend in her 70’s guided me through her family photo album a few years ago. She grew up in the crime swamps of Cincinnati’s projects. “Here are all my aunts and uncles at a reunion. Uncle Fred, he got murdered. His brother Gus here was paralyzed in a shootout. Gert got killed. Hankie went to prison.”
You see the news about the murders. You know there are lots of government programs meant to deal with them. Programs to help the communities deal with the violence. You know there is a lot of finger-pointing.
People blame the cops. And racism. And Democrat machines that run these cities. And unions that won’t allow better schools. They blame welfare programs. Those that subsidize lifestyles that encourage families without dads. Politicians call for rebuilding infrastructure in these cities.
But be honest. Do you see evidence of all-out warfare against these guerrillas? Do you have any sense that any leaders are trying to focus every resource against this horror? Do you sense our leaders have any sense of urgency about this nightmare?
Or instead, do you get the feeling this nation’s approach is a higgledy-piggledy patchwork? My vote goes for higgledy.
Sure would be nice if some leaders tackled this with fierce determination. Declared war. And enlisted forces from every corner of society. From business. From universities. From social agencies. From the police. From everywhere. And knocked political heads together.
You know they would if guerrillas invaded the posh suburbs around Washington. They probably would if hunters downed 13,000 bald eagles.
America should be shamed we have done so little. Millions of our fellow citizens fear to walk their streets. Their color and origin have absolutely nothing to do with this. They are Americans. We have a moral duty to protect them. And to remove this cancer from their lives.
From Tom…as in Morgan.