Mr. President, please come to Chicago.
In Washington on Wednesday, as you rolled out a slate of gun control measures quickly cobbled together in the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre, you said, “If there is even one thing we can do to reduce this violence, if there is even one life that can be saved, then we’ve got an obligation to try.”
If you believe those words, Mr. President, here is a heartfelt suggestion: Come back to your adopted hometown and personally host a summit that grapples seriously with the causes of — and crafts meaningful solutions to — gang violence in America’s big cities.
It’s really not much of an exaggeration to say that parts of Chicago resemble a war zone. The numbers are grim. Unofficially, there were 513 homicides in Chicago in 2012, nearly 100 more than New York City, which recorded 414 killings but which has a population three times larger. Chicago’s body count is 200 more than the number of U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan last year. The carnage has continued unabated into the New Year.