What about gang violence?
During my lifetime, both Democratic and Republican presidents, House and Senate members and the mainstream media have shown just how out of touch they are with regular Americans.
As a U.S. Navy United Nations Lebanon-peace-keeping-campaign veteran, I understand why politicians want you to think that the threat of international and lone-wolf domestic terrorism deserves our nation’s greatest focus. It provides cover for the failure of our ‘leaders’ to keep most Americans safe.
If one compares the extremely rare incidents of terrorism in the United States to the daily harm and violence caused by this nation’s 100,000-plus gangs, the disparity is like night and day. More people have been murdered and wounded in Chicago this year alone than have been killed by all international and lonewolf terror incidents since Sept. 11, 2001. And that is just one city.
We’re a few months away from voting for a new president for a four-year term. While the “war on terror” remains hugely profitable for those prosecuting it, most citizens trapped in our poorest neighborhoods care far less about terrorist incidents than they do about what’s happening right in their front yards. This is not because we aren’t patriotic or lack empathy, but because terrorist incidents aren’t the reason for our community’s rising body count each week. For the rest of us, the terrorizing organizations killing more and more of us every day are our own American gangs, not any international or lone-wolf terrorist.
For us poorest citizens, gangs operate like terrorists, ruling neighborhood after neighborhood practically unopposed. This leaves us wondering why no one running this country has acted to ensure our safety.
The time has passed for our elected leaders to make the wearing of U.S. gang symbols or gang clothing, the marking off of gang territory, and generally being in or acting on behalf of a terrorizing gang as unacceptable as being part of a terrorist group. If they do not do this, the disconnect between government and the people will continue. AJ CASTILLA Boston