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Urban Child Soldiers

Recently, the Chicago Sun-Times reported on a harrowing incident in the Windy City. A witness shared the following account: 

“I had just dropped off a customer on 81st and Saginaw. She was about two houses from the corner. I let her out and started to leave. As I got to the corner of 82nd Street, there was a young boy in the street. He went in his waistband and pulled out this large pistol and he started shooting at this car. It was a blue vehicle and there was one person in it. The driver was about to turn onto Saginaw when the young boy started shooting. [The motorist] sped up and continued his turn and kept on going down the street. The young boy didn’t hit him and didn’t seem to hit anything. There was a group of one adult and six children of various ages on the sidewalk walking down Saginaw. None of them appeared to be hit. Then the boy, after he had finished firing, ran east on 82nd Street. He got to the next street and another young man met him and took the gun. The young man who met him ran off. The young boy got on a bicycle and rode away.”

The anonymous source said the boy was no more than 10 years old. Sadly, this sounds all too familiar to the scenes we see in Southeast Asia and Mexico. There are kids right here in the U.S. being used in violent acts without knowing that there are alternatives. If this is the only life they have known, then it is no wonder they end up in this cycle of violence. 

The article’s writer says “The adults behind these shooters are no different than the terrorists who recruit child soldiers.”

Though our “wars” in the U.S. may look different than those in the Philippines, children are still being caught in the crossfire. And as economic and cultural pressures continue to force kids into violent lives, the need for Project AK-47 and like-minded organizations is greater than ever. As citizens of this world, it is our responsibility to make sure the children in our lives are given alternatives. Thank you for your support, and more importantly, thank you for the things you do on a daily basis to care for the kids in your lives. 

Read the full article at the Chicago Sun Times.