A Democrat politician in Chicago promoted a novel suggestion to address the city’s insane homicide rate: ask gang members to restrict their shootings to the evening hours.
Maria Hadden, a Chicago alderwoman — aldermen and women are elected by their constituencies to serve a four-year term —sent an email in which she promoted a proposal from a group called Native Sons asking gang members to restrict their shooting to between 9 p.m. and 9 a.m.
“We have to start somewhere,” Tatiana Atkins, co-founder of Native Sons, said. “Our goal is to approach our city’s gun violence problem strategically and not all at once. Things didn’t become this way overnight and change won’t happen overnight,” CWB Chicago reported.
“Under this ordinance, we ask that people stop associating with and glorifying’ shooters,’ stop glorifying ‘switches,’ and stop wearing those ski masks everywhere which perpetuates you as some ‘opp,’” Atkins said. “When those who live a certain lifestyle try to hang with ‘regular’ class citizens, they put everyone at risk.”
“Switches” turn some semi-automatic handguns into effectively automatic-firing weapons.
“If people know that after a certain hour, the likelihood of them being shot by an unknown and unprovoked assailant are at a higher risk, they will be less likely to be out and about, and they may become more proactive with the supervision of their children,” Atkins stated. “At the end of the day, 5-year-olds are being killed by gun violence, 14-year-olds are being killed by gun violence, 78-year-olds are being killed by gun violence, pregnant women are being killed by gun violence, young boys with bright futures are being killed by gun violence, fathers are being killed by gun violence, and this shouldn’t be happening.”
“I myself have reached out to active gang members in regards to this ordinance and have had more positive feedback than negative and have even had some of them (a small few) post this ordinance to their social media as well,” Atkins concluded. “We live in a trend society, let’s get the right things trending – the more media, government officials, and community residents believe in this ordinance and stand behind it, the more likely the people will align with the ordinance.”
A February 2023 report found Chicago had the highest number of homicides for a major city in the United States in 2022. Chicago had 697 total homicides; Philadelphia had 516, New York City had 438, Houston had 435, and Los Angeles 382. The report stated that Chicago had led the nation for the 11 consecutive years.