I've written from time to time about self-defense and security considerations. In particular, last year I highlighted 'The Changing Urban Self-Defense Environment', pointing out how 'flash mob' attacks and similar crimes were making some areas much more dangerous for innocent citizens. It appears that the city of Chicago may have gone so far down that road that it's almost beyond recovery. We've previously discussed some aspects of crime in that city, and I'm sure many of you have seen news reports about last weekend's violence there. However, those news reports don't go into the background of why things are so bad - and not just on one weekend, but all the time. Needless to say, you'll hear nothing from Chicago's administration about it!
Fortunately, the blogging community can enlighten us; in particular, the policeman who writes at Second City Cop, and his colleagues who contribute news to him. I invite you to read these articles from that blog about last weekend's violence, in the order presented:
- 8 DOA & 40 Maimed
- Perception Problem? How about a "truth problem"?
- More "Perception" Problems
- Tribune Takes Notice
In particular, I'd like to quote the following from the last-mentioned article above.
This is the generation of no parents. No supervision. No order. No limits. These are the ones that are bringing back dog fighting in a big way. That have no conflict resolution abilities. That have no moral center. The end result of "immediate gratification" and "if it feels good, do it" that has been polluting society since the 1960's.
These are the broken, and quite frankly, we don't see a fix that doesn't involve putting thousands of them in prison and hundreds in the ground. Our opinion of course, but we're the ones on the front lines seeing it each and every day.
I have to say, based on several years experience as a prison chaplain in the USA, part-time and full-time in both State and Federal prisons, that I can't disagree with those paragraphs. I've met far too many young people like that, particularly from the inner-city slums of major cities like Chicago, Detroit, New York, Washington DC, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New Orleans, Houston, Los Angeles . . . They have no idea of discipline, whether of themselves or in the external order of things. They're broken. I don't know any way to 'fix' or 'repair' them, short of a genuinely life-changing experience such as a truly meaningful religious conversion. (Note that I say 'truly' and 'meaningful' - I've seen far too many 'surface' conversions that were only skin-deep, and weren't heartfelt or sincere.)
Some may argue that 'Second City Cop' is only a single voice, and arguably a biased, non-objective one. To that I can only say that my own experience of the 'criminal class' backs him up 100%, and many other sources in Chicago and elsewhere do likewise to a greater or lesser extent (not least the news articles to which I linked in the first paragraph - although one has to read between the lines to understand the reality of what they're reporting, because the papers daren't print the whole truth!). If any of my readers have any evidence to the contrary, I hope they'll provide it (or links to it) in Comments.
On the basis of the evidence available to me, I therefore suggest that certain suburbs or areas of Chicago have now become too dangerous for anyone to visit in the absence of an urgent, pressing and otherwise unavoidable reason to do so. I certainly won't go near the city as a whole, even to drive or fly through it, unless I absolutely can't avoid it. If readers are aware of other cities or towns that have become similarly dangerous to innocent citizens, residents and visitors, I'd be grateful if you'd please name them in Comments, and provide links to relevant sources of information.