Saturday, June 16, 2012

Has Chicago become too dangerous to visit?

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:

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.



Anonymous said...

My employer does construction services and many areas of the city are "no go" areas for even considering work.

Your equipment will disappear, you will be harassed by not only the people on the street, but by the officials and other organizations.

You will need to hire security, 24/7, if any will take on the role of guarding an "outsider."

Modern day "Escape from New York" feel without the walls.

There is a route out for some of the residents. As a vet I have met many fine folk who once hailed from the worse of America's Ghettos. These are the sort of folk I would do anything everything I could for because they too could be counted upon to have your back. They were awesome to have on a squad or team.

They had dreams of something better - that seed & catalyst of a vision of there future - and they became that destiny. People of honor, integrity and faith.

Perhaps it is a combination of cutting off the support system for the hell we've created in the inner cities and sharing faith that would help those who have a future other than an early grave or a prison cage gain the vision & dream they need to make good?

It is up to them to decide, though we know that we will have shared with them the only thing that can sustain & improve them, pure Christian Faith.

Old NFO said...

No plan to visit, and I've even stopped flying through there...

perlhaqr said...

Ok, I guess I don't understand the flying issue.

I know Chicago is a complete shithole, but is there really that much of a problem that it would manifest inside the secured area of the Airport?

Joe in PNG said...

Yes- your flight may be delayed, and you may have to spend the night at a hotel.

Having said that, there may be a bit of good sense in the "Escape from New York" idea: find those who are willing to work their way to a better life and get them out. After that, build a wall around & let the scum inside fight it out until their heart's content.

Or let the people have their 2A rights... but that would be silly.

Broken Andy said...

Having been stranded in Chicago for a night, I can tell you it is no fun.

Anonymous said...

I avoid SE, NE and most of NW Washington, DC.
I no longer visit Baltimore.
Philly has long been on my No Go list.
Jacksonville, FL is another city to avoid. New Years Eve is NOT a good time to drive through. Even I-95 had piles of burning tires on it to stop cars for, quite literally, highway robbery.
The Overtown section of Miami is a death trap for anyone white and damn unpleasant for anyone else.
East St. Louis was a Hell hole 30 years ago and has only gotten worse.
Visited Chicago 6 years ago. Once was enough.

Anonymous said...

It makes me very sad to read this. I live in Canada and I can't think of a single Canadian city that I don't feel safe in. There are always a few areas of bigger centres that are not great and maybe should be avoided at night but I bet I could walk through Vancouver's drug riddled downtown east side without incident and without any need to have a weapon for defence. I sincerely hope that my American neighbours down south can fix these problems and make the United States of America the grand and proud country that is should be.

Toejam said...

My daughter and I spent 2 days in Chicago last June. The limo drive from O'Hare to center city was eye-opening even for a guy who spent almost 50 years living 12 miles from New York city and 14 miles from Newark, New Jersey.

The lake front and the immediate area were ok during the day but we didn't venture out after dark.

We were staying at a hotel near city center and I needed something about 8:00 PM. There was a Walgreens one block away and I ventured over.

Now I believe in Zombies!

mostly cajun said...

Please don't forget New Orleans -- ANYWHERE in New Orleans, at any time of the day or night. The denizens generally attack each other, but their accuracy is notoriously poor.

And since Hurricane Katrina, Baton Rouge has gotten much worse.

I won't talk about parts of Houston, TX.


skidmark said...

Until society is willing to agree to sacrifice two entire generations we will continue to have this problem. There needs to be a clean and complete break in the cycle, along with some way to reintroduce the core values of "civilization". As it stands today, anybody over the age of three is probably doomed to whichever fate their parents are caught in - for bad or for good. It's not a black/white, or poor/rich, or urban/suburban problem but one of values.

stay safe.