18-year-old Janay Mcfarlane, a mother of a 3-month-old boy, was shot in the head and killed in a Chicago suburb just hours after her sister sat behind President Obama as he advocated for tighter gun regulations on Friday.
January was one of the deadliest in Chicago in more than a decade, with more than 40 people killed in homicides. “Last year, there were 443 murders with a firearm in this city, and 65 of them were 18 and under,” Obama said in his speech. “That’s the equivalent of a Newtown every four months. That’s precisely why the overwhelming majority of Americans are asking for some common sense proposals to make it harder for criminals to get their hands on a gun.” Obama also remembered Hadiya Pendleton, a 15-year-old who was killed in a South Side park days after performing at his inauguration.The madness must stop.
I recall a claim from my readings about the dynamics of public opinion which suggests that the public turns against a conflict when a threshold number is reached wherein a given number of people know someone from their high school class who have been killed there.
We have a good range of readers here on We Are Respectable Negroes. Perhaps, we can crowd source the following question? Is someone on military duty in either Iraq or Afghanistan safer than a young black person in urban Chicago? How does service in the "combat arms" (i.e. infantry, special forces, etc) complicate the risk metric?
Of course, one could do some crude calculations based on the number of black youth killed in Chicago during X time period and then compare it to the American casualty rates in Iraq or Afghanistan. This would give you a rough estimate. However, it would not capture the expected casualty rates in a war zone versus those in day-to-day civilian life. This same calculation would also not get us a sense of the real probabilities at work in comparing one's relative chances of being killed by gun violence (or other criminal means) in Chicago versus death in Iraq or Afghanistan.
Also, how do we count the wounded? And what of the ability of military surgeons to save the lives of those who suffer horrific traumas that (again, just guessing here) the average hospital in a major city may not possess?
I am sure there are metrics and models for computing the probability functions of these dark matters. Hopefully, some folks can teach a brother a thing or two on these matters so I can comment on them in a more informed manner.
Wouldn't it be a hell of a thing if going to Iraq or Afghanistan were safer for black youth in Chicago than staying in their own hyper-segregated, crime-ridden, gang infested, nihilistic, broken youthocracy, neighborhoods?