July 31, 2012 Leave a comment
The aftermath of the movie theater shooting in Colorado that claimed the lives of 12 people brought out once again the familiar calls for greater gun control and national reflection to determine what could have triggered such a shocking act of violence. These types of harrowing incidents often tend to produce legitimate collective soul searching, which sometimes even manifests in effective legislation to prevent similar crimes from occurring in the future.
However, as heinous as the Colorado shooting was, viewed on its own it is worth noting that in terms of scale it pales in comparison to the near-industrial-level killing that regularly ravages much of inner-city America; in particular the city of Chicago, which has been grappling with years of protracted violence that has produced numbers of dead and wounded more appropriate to an active war zone than a major American city. Since 2001, more than 5,000 people have been killed by gunfire in the streets of Chicago, a staggering number that is more than double the number of American soldiers who have been killed fighting in Afghanistan during the same period. The majority of the violence has been attributed to gang rivalries that have escalated into open warfare, and as in any war innocent civilians have often borne a disproportionate share of the suffering.