It’s not that I don’t want to bring my signature sarcasm and unpleasantness to this story.
There’s just no place for it:
At least five people were gunned down Saturday in Chicago, including a 34-year-old man whose mother had already lost her three other children to shootings.
Ronnie Chambers, who was his mother Shirley’s youngest child, was shot in the head while sitting in a parked car on the city’s West Side. A 21-year-old man who was also in the car was wounded, police said.
Shirley Chambers, whose two other sons and daughter were shot in separate attacks more than a decade ago, was left grieving again on Saturday, WLS-TV reported.
“Right now, I’m totally lost because Ronnie was my only surviving son,” Chambers said.
Shirley Chambers’ first child, Carlos, was shot and killed by a high school classmate in 1995 after an argument. He was 18. Her daughter Latoya, then 15, and her other son Jerome were shot and killed within months of one another in 2000.
“What did I do wrong? I was there for them. We didn’t have everything we wanted but we had what we needed,” she asked Saturday.
Chambers said despite this latest tragic chapter in her life, she’s not bitter or angry.
“They took my only child. I have nobody right now. That’s my only baby,” she said.
A few hours after Ronnie Chambers was killed, a gunman opened fire on three men near a South Side eatery, killing two of them and wounding the third, police said.
On Saturday afternoon, detectives were called to the scene of another shooting in which a man in his 30s and a teenager were shot to death. There had been no arrests.
Somebody needs to write a letter. Remember Lincoln’s letter to Mrs. Bixby (whose tragic loss was the basis for the story of Saving Private Ryan)?
Washington, Nov. 21, 1864.
I have been shown in the files of the War Department a statement of the Adjutant General of Massachusetts that you are the mother of five sons who have died gloriously on the field of battle. I feel how weak and fruitless must be any word of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming. But I cannot refrain from tendering you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the Republic they died to save. I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.
Yours, very sincerely and respectfully,
Where’s President Obama’s letter to Mrs. Chambers? Her sacrifice is only one child less than Mrs. Bixby’s (more, considering at least two of the Bixby boys actually survived the war).
As busy as he’s been partying at inaugural balls and denouncing appeals court decisions, allow me to draft a note for the president’s signature.
I see from the report at Fox News (CNN declined to cover it) that you are the mother of four children who have been gunned down on the streets of my adopted home town of Chicago. Oops. My bad.
You see, if I hadn’t been so busy acting the demagogue, preening and posing as the deliverer of the people, I might have made the case that Chicago is proof of the statement that when we outlaw guns, only outlaws have guns. I might have observed that the overwhelming number of gun deaths occur among black people, committed by black people. That the barbarity and heartbreak of Sandy Hook Elementary School was the rarest of exceptions, and that nothing I have proposed would have prevented it.
Madam, they describe you as being not bitter or angry. Why are you not, may I ask? Did your babies look for trouble? Did they have it coming? You say you were there for them: then where were you?
Madam, I do not hold you responsible—or course not. But in no civilized society should a mother lose one child to gunfire, let alone four. You should be bitter and angry, you must be. You have been violated, and there is no earthly justice to put right the wrongs done unto you. If you do not know that, I do. Perhaps you do not feel bitter and angry because you feel nothing.
Unlike the Bixby boys, there is no consolation, no pride, no sacrifice. Only waste and loss. And as long as empty stooges like me continue to lie and obscure the issues around gun violence (all violence) in this country, we will only waste and lose more lives.
You have my word that I’ll keep trying.
Andrews AFB Golf Course
Type that up for me, would you sweetie?