In this world that we live in, things that were once thought to be absurd, unheard of, and rare have become common place. Unfortunately this also applies to tragedy. But every now and then a story surfaces that is so appalling, and so tragic in its details that I have to wonder why the national media has not picked it up.
This past Saturday, 7 people were killed in a Chicago shootings. Gun violence has become so much a part of urban life in this city that murders such as these barely raise an eyebrow. But perhaps the most compelling part of the story is the fact that one of the victims, 34 year old Ronnie Chambers, was the 4th and youngest one of his siblings to fall victim to gun violence in the Windy City. Chambers was shot in the head while sitting in his car. There is no known motive, and no known suspects, just another casualty on another bloody weekend in Chi- town.
His grieving mother, Shirley Chambers has been forced to contend with more heart break than any mother should have in one life time, and some how blames herself for the deaths of all four of her children.
"What did I do wrong? I was there for them. We didn't have everything we wanted but we had what we needed. They took my only child. I have nobody right now. That's my only baby,"
Her first child, Carlos, was shot and killed at age 18 by a high school classmate in 1995 after an argument.
Her daughter Latoya, then 15, and her other son Jerome were shot and killed within months of each other in 2000, in grim homicides that just became part of a growing number of African-American youths killed that year.
Chicago’s homicide rate has been on the rise for years, and the city is on pace for more than 700 murders this year. A figure that is set to surpass last year’s 516 and leave New York City’s murder rate in the dust.
Ronnie Chambers appeared on an episode of The Ricki Lake Show last month, where he was described as a former gang member.
He told the TV host that he was attempting to turn his life around and that his siblings' murders had prompted him to "do something different".
According to Mrs. Chambers her son was fully dedicated to following through on his pledge despite the prevailing gun culture.
At this point, I don't know what to say or right. The city of Chicago in imploding, and the fact of the matter is, it doesn't matter what gun control laws are in effect. Because the perpetrators, killers, and murders do not legally purchase firearms or operate within the boundaries of the law. There are numerous theories, ideas, and arguments in reference to what needs to be done to stop gun violence, and the answer is.....that there is no answer. There is absolutely no way to control someone else's behavior. We could talk about economic empowerment, better education, and mentoring. But it all comes down to the concept of individual choice.
Crime, and gun violence in particular will always be a fact of life in some communities because people make poor choices, and the prison industrial complex has found a way to profit from those incarcerated as a result of those poor choices. This, along with a school system that fails to promote critical and analytical thinking are complaisant in a never ending cycle which can only be broken by those who choose to do the right thing the hard way as opposed to the wrong thing the easy way.