Shootings Are Not About Gun Control Or White Supremacy. Just Ask Chicago

Shootings Are Not About Gun Control Or White Supremacy. Just Ask Chicago

The real issue at the heart of these mass shootings lies with the pain the men who commit these acts are feeling.
Justin McClinton
By

During the same weekend two lone gunmen perpetrated mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio and El Paso, Texas, 55 people were shot in Chicago, seven of them fatally. Two weeks ago, two mothers who took a public stand against street violence were also murdered in Chicago. The irony of these slayings shows the true extent of the tragedy that is taking place in America’s second city.

While the murder toll in Chicago is brandished every year for a shocking media moment, the crisis is not taken anywhere as seriously as it should be, particularly at the national level. Honestly, if politicians had anything to gain from talking about it, we’d never stop hearing about Chicago.

The tragedy of mass shootings deserves a measured emotional response and a thorough analysis to help prevent them in the future. Yet liberals are prone to politicize these shootings to advance their political agenda.

The shootings are not a gun control issue or even a white supremacy issue. The real issue at the heart of these mass shootings lies with the pain the men who commit these acts are feeling. The thoughts expressed in their often-detailed explanations for their actions are symptoms of their intense emotional anguish. What these mass shootings have in common with Chicago is the murderers are in most cases men struggling to cope with life.

Chicago is a failed liberal project. The liberal media ignores the violence in the city because the gun control measures they advocate for have already failed there. Murders are down in Chicago, and it has nothing to do with stricter gun laws. Gun control has loosened in Chicago as murders have gone down, actually.

In 2014, Illinois began allowing concealed carry permits to give regular citizens a better chance to protect themselves from the onslaught. Tougher policing in targeted zones has also helped to curb some of the violence, but ridiculous amounts of shootings still occur.

Violence in Chicago could use more attention and fresh ideas. Yet our overtly political media space does little to address the issue. Partisanship has put the country at-large in a perpetual state of reaction. Instead of reacting to the mass shootings, the media has programmed us to react to President Trump. People now live as if we are in a constant election cycle, and the hysteria on both sides has made the public conversation less effective.

We are built with the wiring to blame our leaders for the problems we face, as it is difficult to cope with the reality that many things are out of our control. For liberals, Trump is the perfect scapegoat. By many of their reactions you’d swear he had pulled the trigger in Texas himself.

Many people believe that simply changing some gun laws would stop these shootings, yet most shooters have either violated existing laws or wouldn’t be stopped by proposed laws. Ignorance is useful for politics, but not so useful in problem solving.

Strict gun control laws did little to deter the violence in Chicago before the laws were relaxed, and it will do little to stop mass shootings. That seven people were killed in Chicago last weekend is just as alarming as these mass shootings. Chicago’s response should be to continue to innovate policing and continue empower people to protect themselves.

Just like last weekend in Chicago shouldn’t distract from the reality that murders are down in the city, these recent mass shootings shouldn’t become election fodder. Stirring racial animus toward white men for the actions of these mass shooters is the same as blaming every black man in Chicago for the sins of a few.

The political leanings of the recent mass shooters are just as irrelevant as the video games the Columbine shooters enjoyed playing. These superficialities are mere coping mechanisms for the void these men feel in their lives.

The violence in Chicago is not a product of rap music, and the violence of mass shooters is not a product of politics. Modern men are violent because they are broken. A few men are born broken, but society is responsible for most broken men. A certain degree of violence cannot be prevented, but in these extreme cases society must be examined.

While smarter policing and giving power back to the people has been a good start in Chicago, the unnecessary violence will continue until America decides that it cares about the plight of the men in the city. According to their own words, these mass shooters don’t feel like they matter much.

Men who resort to violence believe they are doing something that matters. The men in Chicago don’t have much, and the men doing the El Paso and Dayton shootings don’t have much either. Privilege has little to do with either. If we want to truly address the issue of violent men in America, then we have to stop acting like certain men don’t matter.

Mass shootings are beyond the issues of gun control and President Trump’s rhetoric. These kinds of shootings were taking place before President Trump, and they will continue to take place after he is gone. The more’s the tragedy.

Justin McClinton was born on the south side of Chicago. He is a Morehouse Man, a Sowellian, and a lover of all things Chicago sports sans Cubs. He has a PhD in education policy.

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