Increased violence has to end

In the book “All Quiet on the Western Front,” the main character becomes hardened to war and death. In violent times like these, it seems many Americans are growing the same thick skin.

But one look at a newspaper can serve as a good wake-up call to the actual conditions. The United States is turning into a violent place to live and people are turning away from the problem.

Places like Washington, D.C. and even Chicago are reporting record numbers of slayings. As movie theaters across the country begin showing “Juice,” the latest film about life in black neighborhoods, violence outside the movie houses is on the rise.

Yet people don’t bat an eye. It’s like they expect it—and that’s frightening.

But the news is local. In DeKalb, three separate groups of weekend attackers beat three local men. One was pounded by a baseball bat. Another fight involved a knife.

In Rockford, local citizens are meeting to air their views on gun control. Guns and their owners are responsible for numbers of black youth getting shot in the city’s downtown.

Perhaps most disturbing is the plight of tiny Freeport, tucked in Illinois’ northwest region. This city, smaller than DeKalb, is the site of three murders and another unrelated shooting in the last week.

These are violent times. Pay attention: Something needs to be done.