I spent a great deal of time studying sociological trends and aberrant behavior when I was pursuing my college degree. I graduated with a double-major in Sociology and Criminal Justice. In the course of my studies I accumulated nearly ninety credit hours in the social and behavioral sciences. It was my desire to truly understand human behavior so I could have a positive impact on the lives of others. My idealism clearly met realism after graduation.
Unfortunately, many of the systemic problems I studied thirty years ago remain in place today. Unemployment, poverty, drug and alcohol use, inadequate education, and a deterioriating community infrastructure can lead to isolation, anger, and hopelessness. How do people respond when they have lost hope?
Since I grew up about 40 miles from St. Louis, Missouri, I still follow many of the news outlets from that region. I saw in one of the articles recently that the homicide number for the city of St. Louis now stands at 190 for the year 2017. I checked the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department website to verify that number. The 2017 UCR (Uniform Crime Reporting) Homicide Analysis on their website reveals that as of November 27 the number of homicides indeed stood at 190.
Since the city of Chicago is frequently referred to when gun control discussions take place, I looked up their statistics as well. A website came up in my search engine and it caught my attention because of its unique name. According to "heyjackass.com" these are the stats for Chicago as of early today.
Shot and Killed: 581
Shot and Wounded: 2752
Total Shot: 3333
Total Homicides: 630
What can we do to change the trajectory of things? How can we more effectively address the social issues confronting us? Sitting on the sidelines is really not a viable option for the person of faith. I encourage you to not be overwhelmed by the magnitude of the problems. I simply invite you to make a positive difference in your little corner of the world. How will you positively impact one person today?