Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Murder: Chicago and the Northern Sacramento Valley Compared

Chicago made national news when they had 7 murders last weekend.

The 45 mile patch between Orland and Cottonwood in California suffered 6 murders from 4 separate incidents between July 2 and July 5. Just guessing, but I would put the population of this area of California at, tops, 40,000 people.

Chicago has 2.7 million people.

The murder rate in the northern part of the Sacramento Valley must be close to Guatemala or El Salvador's in the early 80's. All 6 of the unfortunate victims were killed by guns. Two of the incidents were family violence: an ex-husband killed his ex-wife and ex-father in law; a 19 year-old female in Orland killed her 16 year-old sister and her father and then turned the gun on herself. The 19 year -old lived but is in serious condition having shot herself in the head.

The two other incidents? A teenager from Chico killed by a gun in Orland (three murders in Orland over the weekend). Orland has a population of just under 8,000 people. A 28 year-old man was killed by a gun in the small town of Corning. Corning's population is 7,600 people. So far, the motives behind these two murders are a mystery.

So what to blame? Guns are dangerous things to have when our emotions are challenged by a situational crises. This rural part of California is awash in guns. The NRA dinners are well attended. Guns are loved. Cherished. Worshipped. Available.

When we don't teach emotional intelligence, when we don't teach people how to withstand tough emotional problems such as divorce, betrayal, jealousy---and when we add easy access to guns to the mix---people die. People Die.

And they died in this rural, agricultural breadbasket of California over the last weekend.

And yet, the gun worship continues. We need a cultural shift when it comes to guns. Soon. If you have a friend going through a tough time, check in with them. Figure out if they are unstable. Ask to take their guns "for awhile", until things simmer down.

We license drivers; it is time to license gun owners.

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