The violence in Chicago has gotten totally out of control. But the recent shooting of 7-year-old Heaven Banks, even had Mayor Rahm Emanuel near tears. There have been more homicides in Chicago this year than in Afghanistan…which is ridiculous. This was also the 20th child under the age of 17 shot to death and it’s only June.
This week a second-grader was selling candy outside her house in the Austin neighborhood with her mom. It was about 10:45 pm when a possible gang member opened fire, hitting the small child. Although her mother, Ashake Banks, dove to the ground when she heard the shots, her daughter thought to run inside the house. It turned out to be the fatal decision which ended her life.
Heaven was later found unconscious in the hallway and was rushed to the hospital. Unfortunately, it was too late and she was pronounced dead soon after her arrival.
Her name may be fitting as she makes her way up above…but far sooner than she deserved that journey. A parent should certainly not have to bury a child. But the fact that it happened in her mom’s presence makes this story more tragic. How can a child feel safe…if even their parents are unable to protect them?
Her mother had even come up with the plan to open a candy stand to keep them safe. She told the press, “I opened up the candy store for the kids so they wouldn’t have to be pulled back and forth on the block because there’s been so much shooting”. “I figured they [gang members] know us, they wouldn’t come to the neighborhood and start shooting, but they really didn’t even care.”
The Mayor asked, “Who are these people…who raised them?” Good question…how can they sleep at night? Has society become so inconsiderate that they give life no value? It is a sad state of our existence and is as though we have gone back in time. Cavemen surely would have been more respectful.
The police have “strong suspects” but can only do so much to end the violence in the city. It is time for OUR hoodies to come out and join together as residents, to stop the gangs and criminals from taking over our city.
R.I.P. Heaven…may her loss of life not be in vain. Maybe she will be the start to Chicago residents saying enough is enough. It’s time to fight back and regain our great city.