KATIE ZERR-It is time to stop pointing fingers

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Putting aside all of the rhetoric about rights and who is wrong and who is right, the people of this country need to take a long, hard look at what is happening here and find solutions to stem the violence.

One only has to look at what is happening in Chicago on a daily basis to understand that somewhere along the line, we are failing our children and our nation by perpetuating and allowing this atmosphere of violence.

We can blame video games, television, movies, guns and the political climate.

We can point fingers at single mothers and absent fathers or nontraditional families. All the while we are pointing fingers and laying blame, others are dying.

On Tuesday, Aug. 20, in Chicago the shooting incident list read as follows: in Englewood a 25-year-old man was shot in both feet when at least one person opened fire from a moving vehicle in the South Side’s Englewood neighborhood. In the Lakeview neighborhood, a 17-year-old boy sustained a gunshot wound to the ankle in the 3100 block of North Hoyne Avenue.

A 23-year-old man was shot in the arm and neck in the 2700 block of East 87th Street in South Chicago.

A 21-year-old man was shot in the neck on the 8800 block of South Escanaba Avenue.

A gunman approached a 19-year-old man in the 9000 block of South Yates Boulevard. The 19-year-old tried to run away, but the assailant opened fire, striking him in the arm.

Another male was shot in the groin in the 7200 block of South Green Street of Engelwood.

A 47-year-old man was shot in the lower back in the South Austin Neighborhood.

School has only been in session for a few days and we have already had the first incident of what could have been a multi-murder situation. In Georgia a man opened fire at an elementary school Tuesday. The shooter barricaded himself in the school’s front office with employees before eventually surrendering to police and no one was injured. According to a police report he was armed with multiple weapons. The man did not go on a killing spree and may not have had the intention of doing so, but he was within the school with the firepower to do so.

One of most disturbing incidents happened on Monday when three teenagers who were bored decided to murder someone for the fun of it.

Their random target was an Australian college baseball player jogging on the streets of a small town in Oklahoma.

One of the teens involved told police they were “bored and didn’t have anything to do, so we decided to kill somebody.”

The three teens were ages 15, 16 and 17. On one of the alleged shooter’s Facebook pages, investigators found the message: “Bang. Two drops in two hours.

This prompted Australian deputy Prime Minister Tim Fischer to call on Australian tourists to boycott the U.S.

“It is another example of murder mayhem on Main Street,” Fischer said. “People thinking of going to the USA for business or tourists trips should think carefully about it given the statistical fact you are 15 times more likely to be shot dead in the USA than in Australia per capita per million people.”

How we can we let this continue while we point fingers at each other and finding fault with those who don’t share the same ideology?

How can we continue to turn our backs to this problem, saying it is someone else’s fault when it is causing irreparable damage to our nation from within?

Would we feel differently if what has happened in small-town Oklahoma happened here?

It very well could have and the possibility is that someday it might.

How we will feel about that “big city problem” then?

We need to look at this problem with open eyes and minds and find some solutions before it becomes a part of our lives as it is in other parts of the country.

 

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