Some of us might like to think that a world where kids kill other kids is purely fictional, but it actually happens fairly often. Case in point: Chicago, Illinois.
Last week in Chicago, an 18-year-old man was charged with murdering an 11-year-old girl in a gang-related shooting. Tevin Lee, a Chicago gang member, accidentally killed Shamiya Adams with a stray bullet as she was playing with friends in her home. Lee was aiming at a 14-year-old rival gang member who had a fist-fight with another 14-year-old with Lee’s gang. In a similar situation in Chicago not too long ago, a 14-year-old girl was shot dead by another 14-year-old girl when one showed up to fight the other.
Chicago has one of the highest homicide rates in the United States, primarily made up of gang-related incidents, many of which involve people under the age of 18. This is because gang culture is so deeply rooted in the Chicago community, especially in the lower-income neighborhoods. In a community where people are more or less trapped into a cycle of violence even at a young age, is there any hope for change?
Maybe so. As I said in one of my earlier posts, a child’s behavior depends on his upbringing and environment, so the key to stopping youth violence is to surround kids with positive influences. After school and youth recreational programs would be a nice start. It’d be really nice if we could bring back bible studies in public schools, at least for those in areas with a history of violent behavior like Chicago. If we want our world to be a little less violent, it starts with all of us showing the youth that there are better ways to live, more than we allow a bad example to be set for them.