This Toll Does Not End

photo by Carlos Javier Ortiz

photo by Carlos Javier Ortiz


In Newtown, Conn. the toll grew by another 27 lives.

That was two years ago on Dec. 14. It was early in the morning as a troubled 20-year-old swept from his home to the Sandy Hook Elementary School.

It was a heart-breaking addition to the chronicle of mass shootings in the US – a count that has steadily climbed in recent years.

Examining 14 years of mass shootings, starting in 2000, the FBI found that there was an average of 6.4 incidents annually in the first seven years. But more recently the number grew to an average of 16.4 incidents annually, the FBI said.

Over those years, there were 1,043 killed and wounded nationally.

But here in Chicago the drip of blood takes place almost daily.

Here the toll of dead and wounded also exceeds the toll of 14 years of mass shootings in only two years.

As Chicago police reported this week, murders are down by 3.5 percent as of November as compared to the same time last year.

Yet the number of shootings and shooting victims were up.

Deft reporting by CBSLocal also pointed out that some neighborhoods suffer on, witnessing no drop in the number of murders.

“Chicago Lawn, Humboldt Park, South Lawndale, South Chicago, West Garfield Park and West Englewood have seen more homicides in 2014 than they did in all of 2013, even without December 2014’s numbers. Austin, which has had the most homicides of any other community area six out of the past seven years, is currently tied for its number last year at 31.”

So what’s going on?

When and how does the plague end?

We will be talking about this on Wednesday, Dec. 10 at a forum on violence and what communities, public officials and the media can do.

We’ll also be viewing a series by MSNBC on Chicago’s gun-violence.

Our conversation begins at 6 pm at 1104 S. Wabash, 8th floor, Columbia College.

Our goal is for an informed conversation to help us see where we are headed and what we need to say and to do to stop the daily drip.

The panelists include:

Jim Kirk, editor in chief of the Chicago Sun-Times

Alison Scholly, chief operating officer for WBEZ

Janey Rountree, deputy chief of staff for public safety for the Mayor’s office.

Juliana Stratton, interim executive director, Cook County Justice for Children.

And hopefully you’ll be there to share your voice.

Don’t you think the time for silence is long gone?

talk to me – digame

steve franklin,, office 312 369 6400






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