I will be 84 years of age next week and thus was born in America at a different time and place. I was born in the slums of the south Bronx in New York City, and, yes, we did have gangs, and there was violence. However, I was born at a time when even criminals understood that use of guns was the last resort, not the first. We had the Sullivan Act which made possession of a gun a potential criminal act. No one, even gang leaders, argued they had 2nd Amendment rights to blast away in streets, bars, or in churches as do so many of our gun nuts today. Even in a slum, we avoided people who waved a gun in public, too dangerous. Most fights were with fists although some resorted to a knife, but if this was done, the person was considered to be a coward. I only recall one person of my age who actually has a gun, we called him, “Crazy Elkin.” So, reading stories about the 4th of July weekend in Chicago leaves me with a sense of bewilderment. There were 84 shootings over the weekend and 14 people are dead. Two of the dead are teenagers, 16 and 14 who were shot by the police.
I am NOT blaming police for these deaths. Children today hear non-stop shouts about “my gun rights.” Being able to obtain a weapon is relatively easy in the United States of America. Police chief Gary McCarthy of Chicago summed up the problem: “It comes down to this. Too many guns coming in, and too little punishment going out.” The real murderers in Chicago are those who lead the National Rifle Association or their supporters. Anyone who desires to be a policeman in this moment of madness in America must either be mad or in desperate need of work.