To the Editor
I find it somewhat ironic that on the same day major news outlets were reporting on the tragic event in Houston that left 8 people dead and dozens more injured, the Chicago Sun-Times reported that 10 people were killed and 42 others were wounded in shootings in Chicago over the weekend.
Regarding what took place at the Astroworld music festival it was noted that a) “The concert is now considered to be one of the deadliest in U.S. history.” b) “Videos of the chaos show cries for help were drowned out by loud music.” And, c), according to the New York Times, “Houston city officials and concert organizers knew the crowd could be difficult to control.”
It seems to me that more concern is being expressed for those who, knowing the risks, chose to be in that environment, than for the victims of the Chicago shootings, many of whom were innocent victims of random acts of violence. We know how much time, effort and will be poured into investigations of what happened in Houston. We will hear much about making sure a similar tragedy “will never take place again”. (How many times have you heard that phrase?)
Perhaps if as much time, effort and resources were invested in addressing the violence and shootings in Chicago, that sad saga might come to an end. The streets of a great city would be safer. Children would not have to live in fear and take cover, even in their own homes, whenever they hear gunshots. They might even live longer, more productive lives. And, everyone could breathe a sigh of relief as the homicide rates begin to decline.
Whose lives are more important? Concert-goers in Houston or people living in some of Chicago’s rougher and tougher neighborhoods? Of course, concert-goers are important, even those foolish enough to put themselves at risk. So also are the children and adults for whom those neighborhoods are home.
Perhaps a little more compassion would be helpful whenever we hear or read of these kinds of tragedies. Perhaps, also, leveling the playing field by giving everyone the care and attention they need would bring about some needed changes. Certainly, the shared space in this place we all call home would seem a little more peaceful.
Roger V. Asplund, Dixon