As people, we do things sometimes that are not, strictly speaking, necessary. We do things. We rise to challenges. Though we are not all capable of the heroism of our first responders, we can all find something great within ourselves.
Yes, now is the time to choose our future, so let us choose one that transcends the insanity and sheer stupidity of violent behavior. This requires personal empowerment. It also requires collective empowerment.
Education has always been an affair of "the heart," not "the head." Perhaps society has imposed a school reform experiment devoted to remediating academic weaknesses because we dare not confront the emotions of Harper High School.
Our changes must go beyond simple gun control; they must be thoughtful, comprehensive and persistent. Controlling the proliferation of guns is important, but supporting educational and community programs are our best bet to break the cycle of violence.
In the past year, 31,000 Americans have been the ultimate victims of gun violence. For each deceased, there are countless 'secondary' victims -- parents, siblings, classmates, teachers, first responders and community members.
As a city we have the data to accurately identify who needs help. With justice reinvestment dollars we can make smart reallocations to help fund efforts that transform lives rather than continue to curtail their human potential.
If there is any way that violence can be curbed it has to start with reducing the number of non-violent offenders entering the prison system and becoming violent offenders due to the pressure of trying to keep up with the hard-core code of prison.
So long as politics trumps performance, it makes more sense for Superintendent McCarthy and Mayor Emanuel to play the blame game than fight crime. In police politics, if you want to keep your job, nothing fails like success.
Members of our Chicago faith community and beyond are coming together using the global platform of Lent. Right actions can produce right people. We will come together with those who can and pray for those who cannot.
While I'm more than willing to join the conversation about stronger gun control laws and increased funding for mental health services, I believe that our problems won't be solved by addressing these issues only.
Whatever legislation comes will be too late to help the 20 victims who were killed by Adam Lanza at the Sandy Hook Elementary School. It will also be too late for the 270 children who have been killed by guns in Chicago since 2007.
83. That is the number of Americans who die from gun violence each day. Unfortunately, it has taken the tragic shooting in Newtown, Conn. last week for our nation to truly grasp that we have a gun problem.
The children I am teaching need to feel inspired and supported, not hypnotized by high budget movies that reduce human values to who can stay alive longer. Hollywood should offer a better vision for the future.
Illinois is one of 10 states where 17-year-olds are automatically sent to adult lockup, court and, in many cases, prison on felony crimes. Chicago police have arrested more 17-year-olds than their counterparts in any other big city in the country.