I stopped into a convenient store in downtown Chicago yesterday to get a Gatorade and interrupted a conversation between two African American clerks, one of which was saying "There was a kid popping off rounds, and this old guy comes out of his house to tell them to stop, and he got shot. You need to stay in your house, old man, because you don't know what these kids are going to do these days. These kids are crazy!"
I agreed with her, as she rang up my Gatorade, and she went on to say "Come on, old man. You gotta get it together."
"Too late." I said. "He's dead." They both laughed, but I didn't really mean it to be funny. This old guy doesn't need to stop doing what he is doing; these young men need to stop shooting each other. The murders in my city are out of control, and the fact that there are every day, casual, light-hearted conversations about killing going on all across town is a really bad sign.