As a native of Chicago inner City. In my 40 years, I have never seen the violence that preys on children like I have in the last 3 years. I have seen the best and the worst side of this inner city. From the beautiful manicured protected lawns to the trashy ridden litter that flies aimlessly through the emptiness of some of the cities soulless, north, south, east and westside streets, and alleys. I became a victim of this same gun violence as a child in the month of April of 1991, I think. Selective memory loss. Some events that have left a traumatizing effect on my psyche, I try to forget, up until something traumatic in the city happens again. Then the scars and wounds re-open. At least that is what happened to me last week as I was reminded of guns, anger and rage had a ripple effect on not one, but three children lives. These innocent children were killed by the hand’s someone who could not contain their anger and rage long enough to think before acting. Kanari Gentry Bowers, 12 years old; Lavontay White, 2 years old; and Takiya Holmes, 11 years old. They were not the intended targets of whatever beef was brewing in that situation at the time and neither was I. Honestly I had nothing to do with the ongoing beef rival gangs had going on. The streets said at that time, I was the female that got shot to revenge another female’s that was shot. Her boyfriend took his anger and rage out on me. While I was hanging out drinking ( in which I shouldn’t have at the age of 15) and I survived a horrible gunshot wound to my left leg that was almost blown off. The gunman had an eight gage shotgun that could have done some serious damage if I hadn’t obeyed the voice that told me to scooch my body up while hiding under a small car. That was the only place to duck for cover. It sounds like I was in the middle of war world III. Unfortunately, the 3 young children didn’t have time to make an informed decision that would have saved their lives. That I believe is where the sadness come in for me. I was able to recover from the injuries but these babies didn’t have that chance. My heart is somehow filled with guilt and frustration to why this continue to be a plaque within the inner city.
As WE may be aware August 2016 was recorded to have been the deadliest month in Chicago. 384 people were shot and 90 reported killed here in August alone. Totaling 2848 shootings and 472 killed according to an article I read written by JJ Gallagher of ABC news. At that time, by the end of 2016, it was recorded that over 4000 people were shot and over 700 killed. Those numbers are staggering and merging into a repeated cycle in 2017.
Displaced anger and rage are known contributing factors of why murder and mayhem are running rapid in the city of Chicago. Another factor is how these guns seem to be so popular among the troubled youth in this city. Since there are no gun stores in Chicago. There must be a questioned raised to how military weapons are in the hands of young men and women that are not trained to handle a weapon of mass destruction. I would certainly believe that the manufacturers that make these weapons have a precise inventory and know exactly which guns are missing and to make sure they are being transported from point A to point B with heavy security. Another question to ask, is this done intentionally to maintain a power structure that only caters to the dominant part of society? There are so many questions that need to be addressed that will deal with the city and its perpetuated violence. As we ask the correct questions are we really- ready to deal with a reality that black children are being killed in this city and no one can stop it from happening. We are all scared and hoping and praying our loved ones will not be Chicago’s next victim.