When I saw this news story on Facebook, I clicked to read the comments below the article. Many people offered condolences and remarked on how alarming the gun violence rate in Chicago has become. One particular comment thread caught my eye.
Most nights, all I can do is close my eyes and pray for these Black and Latino kids, trusting the all-seeing eye to protect them from other kids who also bury their pistols beneath boxers and briefs, kids who aren't as afraid to point and shoot.
"I am most proud of my work for bringing some form of closure to the family and friends of victims that have been murdered. Many people who have lost a loved one to violence feel better knowing the suspect responsible cannot hurt others and is not enjoying the freedoms that we have."
"A problem as serious and complicated as gun violence will always have multiple causes. One key cause is Americans' easy access to firearms without background checks that would keep firearms away from criminals and others."
Amidst the tears and pain, mothers are banning together in large numbers and massive diversity across the United States lobbying for stricter gun laws, spreading love and hope on some of Chicago's toughest streets and sending the message that action is needed now.
Although our backgrounds, experiences and the challenges we face in our work are as complex as the causes and the solutions to this epidemic, all have shown that there is more that can be done to end this senseless loss of human life.
Guns are one of the most divisive aspects of public policy in America. One wants to expand gun ownership and the other side reduce guns in America. Both argue that their own perspective will reduce violence with guns. I disagree. Neither argues from a point of view about what works.
The daily shootings in America's inner cities are all too frequent reminders of the tragic impact of gun violence on our national well-being. Some studies suggest that repeated exposure to shootings in urban areas is akin to the trauma suffered by soldiers in war zones.