[ENOUGH] Guns and Murders in Chicago

Why carry an illegal gun?

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and drug dealer, served over 18 years for murder, Black male, age 37.

-“It's a coward's thing. You gon’ shoot and you gon’ run.” R.P., former hit man with one bullet still in leg, Black male, age 21.

-“It's clean, and it’s easy.” M.P., former drug dealer and hit male, Army veteran, turned youth advocate, Black male, age 32.

-“Cheaper, easier to get, carry, hide, and throw away as opposed to a chopper like Ak47 or assault riffle. D.I. former gang member and drug dealer, served over 18 years for murder, Black male, age 37.

How will laws affect your carrying of handguns?

-“Them laws ain’t for nothing. They gone pass these laws... in a way to deter Black people from carrying guns, and have White people carry more guns.” D.I. former gang member and drug dealer, served over 18 years for murder, Black male, age 37.

-"The way most guns on the streets get used to kill people is not by the law, so change of laws is not on the radar of how this... go down.” R.P., former hit male with one bullet still in leg, Black male, age 21.

Any solutions to the gunplay in Chicago?

-“Use people like [gang leaders] Larry Hoover, Chief Malik who have a voice.” D.I. former gang member and drug dealer, served over 18 years for murder, Black male, age 37.

-“Have more jobs in the community; improve our schools.. more conflict resolution and communications skills.” R.P., former hit male with one bullet still in leg, Black male, age 21.

-“Stop telling people that they cannot have a job if they have a background. That will put them back into violence.” D.I. former gang member and drug dealer, served over 18 years for murder, Black male, age 37.

-“Too many of us young and older [people] beefing over petty nonsense. We need to learn how to better relate to each other.” A.R., former gang member turned City employee, Black female, age 45.

-“Preachers and politicians need to stop selling us out and taking the money... that supposed to be used to develop our people and communities.” M.P., former drug dealer and hit male, Army veteran, turned youth advocate, Black male, age 32.

-“We talk about stopping the supplies of guns, but we need to focus more on the demand for guns in our own communities. It is like we need the guns to survive to the next day.” D.I. former gang member and drug dealer, served over 18 years for murder, Black male, age 37.

-“Stop police corruption so we can trust the police we pay to protect us.” R.P., former hit male with one bullet still in leg, Black male, age 21.

Dr. Peter K. B. St. Jean is the Executive Director and Founder of Peaceful World Movement, an adjunct professor in the Department of Criminal Justice at Governors State University and University at Buffalo Department of Sociology, and the Coordinator of Pathways to Responsible Fatherhood at Haymarket Center, Chicago. He is also the author of Pockets of Crime: Broken Windows, Collective Efficacy and the Criminal Point of View