President Obama will be in Chicago today to talk about the gun violence in the city. Many outside observers are asking “what took you so long”?, as the vast majority of those murdered are poor black youth who were growing up in the city that the first African American president calls home.
We all know about Chicago’s tight gun control laws. There has been much discussion since the mass murder in Newtown, Conn around gun laws, gun rights, the second amendment, etc.
Those in favor of more gun control laws avoid the subject of gun violence in Chicago since it doesn’t fit the narrative. However, Mayor Rahm Emanuel is quick to point out that it’s not the gun laws in Chicago that are the problem… he believes that the criminals are getting their guns from the suburbs and surrounding areas. He doesn’t carry out his explanation to the next level and explain why the suburbs don’t have the gun violence that Chicago does.. maybe he’ll get to that soon.
But are guns the root of the problem with the violence in the city? Or is it gangs? drugs? What is the root cause of this epidemic of shootings?
I believe that the broken family unit is the root cause. There are too many single mothers on welfare trying to raise young men on their own, in an environment and culture that makes the route of crime the easy one to follow.
In a study done in 2011, 22% of white kids in Illinois were being raised in a single parent household.
In the black community, that number goes up to 74%.
If you have raised a teenage boy, you know the challenges of dealing with them as they turn 15 or 16.. they are strong headed, think they know more than their parents, and can have an independent streak. As parents, we bond together as a unit and make sure the kid knows who is in control. We try and find constructive ways for him expend his energy.. sports, music, help him get a job, etc. When he screws up, the parenting unit stays strong and works as a team to try and get him back on track.
Imagine doing this on your own as a single mom, on a fixed income, in the inner city. He is being recruited for gangs. The gangs provide him with money, which is tough to come by since there are few jobs to be had. The gangs sell drugs. The gangs use drugs. How does a single mom fight this on her own? The teenage boy makes himself the man of the house. Nobody is going to tell him what to do. Without a father, without a strong parenting unit, the kid is lost.
Why are there so many single black moms in the inner city? Because the gov’t makes it advantageous for them to stay single. In an effort to provide for them, the gov’t rewards them for having children out of wedlock. They are eligible for more benefits if they are single. Thus, they do not want to get married.
This has to change. We need to change the laws to where getting married is the best option for a man and a woman who have children together. Let’s hope that President Obama addresses this issue when he visits Chicago today. Chicago doesn’t need tighter gun laws to protect the kids. It needs to help the kids by encouraging a two parent household.