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home : opinion : opinion/editorial June 28, 2016

6/6/2012 5:10:00 PM
Room for a View: One Life
By Charles Wilkinson

Headline: "Gunshots wound more than 40, kill at least 10" – and it was not about Iraq, Afghanistan or Syria. The city of Chicago outdid itself in violence over the Memorial Day weekend. A two-day heat wave may have had the city’s blood boiling but, as some say, guns and boiling blood don’t kill people; people do.

The city of Chicago continues to search for ways to confront and decrease the violence, pointing to gangs, drugs, neighborhoods orguns; but the major explanatio comes from be a basic disregard for life itself. Think about it: how does any mind get to a place, short of war or self-defense, where taking the life of another human being is an option? Something in our culture is sending the wrong message.The number of those among us who have no regard for life seems to be growing – and moving ever closer to where all of us live.

When I see headlines like the one above, as well as others like it with even uglier numbers tolling the bell for war-dead and terror victims, I hear myself shouting, "But even one life shouldn’t be wasted like that!"

* * * * *

One life, savagely ripped away from love, from possibilities, if not from dreams. A bloom in bud-time treated like a weed, or any life that in its own way was reaching for the sun, torn, tossed like garbage, gone.

One life, born of others, gone before its time; leaving behind a world barely grown into, and grieving arms empty of all but memories. One life, once an infant catching its very first breath; too-tiny fingers thin as light, a face – all eyes, with Granny’s nose and Daddy’s chin. One life that was stretching its way through growing, until ...

One life gone, long, long before time would have had its way; long, long before its last breath might have said a graceful goodbye. One life, once part of all of us, gone – rendering all of us less than what we might have become.

* * * * *

Death is a reality that happens to everyone; violent death – and violence itself – is a reality that should not. The violent deaths in Chicago over the holiday weekend were an obscenity worse than war. Disregard for human life should have no place among us, not in a single mind. A measure of violence can find excuse in our humanness far easier than guns in violent hands – hands belonging to minds that are learning somehow that violence is strength and life is a disposable commodity. That kind of thinking is sowing the seeds of our destruction.

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