From Friday to Sunday, dozens of people were shot in Chicago. Seven of them died. All of them were human beings.
There is one view that these numbers are actually pretty great. The police are running their impact zone strategy, in which they flood cops all over the neighborhoods that have the most intense gun violence. Cops, cops on overtime, cops reacting to every twitch, cops pulled from other neighborhoods, cops cops cops. The weekend before this one, in which another 7 people were killed (and 41 shot), was actually pretty wonderful, according to this line of thinking, what with the eight fewer shooting incidents compared to that same weekend in 2012.
What this means is that in my neighborhood, we pretty much know that calling the police would be futile for most anything but, oh, a terrorist attack actually in progress, or a lion padding down the street with the mayor’s child in its jaws. The impact zone strategy means no impact anywhere else, and that at a certain point, the cops – exhausted, spread too thin, and already undermined by deep staffing cuts – will run out of patience and steam, and then what?
The environmental term for this kind of behavior is unsustainable.
I am one of those people who doesn’t think the impact zone strategy works anyway. I think any decline has a lot more to do with this year’s cool, rainy weather.
And look, now the killings, like the gang tags, are sliding out of the notorious areas and over here. (We are hipster adjacent, but also gang adjacent.) Two of the men shot this weekend were shot a few blocks from here, on a block as innocuous and ordinary as all the other blocks hereabouts. And the gang tag in this photo? This is the garage immediately next door to me.
Everyone who knows me knows I love to blame Rahm for stuff. But when it gets down to the roots of this, hey, I cannot fault him. It’s not like he imported this tsunami of guns into Chicago. It’s not like he fights on behalf of the gun interests. He may be coldly strip-mining our public resources, he may be selling off vast parts of our present and our future to line the pockets of the very few, but this – this relentless murder of one human being after another – this is something I think he really wishes he could end. I don’t have much to say about him that’s positive, but I really think he wants to stop this. But, like the rest of the country, he can’t do anything about the metallic, oily, murderous, thick ocean of guns we all wade in – like it or not, are forced to wade in – and so this is what he’s throwing at it. Like a child throwing a round rock into an oncoming wave. No one is stemming any tides here.