City must go ‘all in’ to end gun violence
Sooner or later, Chicago, you will grow tired of burying children. You will grow tired of wailing mothers. You will grow tired of living in fear inside your own homes. You will realize that prayer, demonstrations and awaiting gun control legislation is not enough.
Chicago has lost both its sanity and its sense of sanctuary. Now is the time for action.
1. If you commit a crime with a gun, you will draw 25 years in prison without parole.
2. If you are involved in a crime in which a weapon was illegally discharged, or are a felon caught with a firearm, you will be sentenced to life in prison without parole.
3. If you are juvenile and you use a weapon, you will be incarcerated until age 18 (unless you are tried as an adult). A second gun offense after 18 will result in life without parole.
These legislative measures do not interfere with Second Amendment rights and could be passed tomorrow.
In addition, there must be recognition of, and an end to, structural racism. Sterling Bay got $1 billion for Lincoln Yards on the North Side. A recent WBEZ study of bank home lending found that for every $1 loaned to white communities, just 12 cents went to Black neighborhoods and 13 cents to Latino areas. The South and West Sides should demand billion dollar investments as well.
We also must invest in and rebuild our schools with smaller classes, desperatelyneeded teachers and support staff along with after-school programs. Further, we must rebuild our mental health centers. There must be greater police accountability.
In turn, we need to support teachers and police, who cannot function without community support.
Without these measures, we will lose Chicago. Violence is a citywide issue, and it should be all in.
If liberals find some of these measures too draconian, my response is, move to Englewood for one week.
George Bridgeforth, M.D., Bartlett