Barack Obama is right to condemn violence in the black community, but despite correctly diagnosing the symptoms his grasp of the underlying disease is facile.
Nearly three dozen Chicago students have been killed this year, according to Chicago Public Schools. Obama said that figure is higher than the number of Illinois serviceman who've died in Iraq in 2007.
"We need to express our collective anger through collective action," Obama said.
He said the government needs to permanently reinstate an assault weapons ban and close regulatory loopholes that protect unscrupulous gun dealers.
He also said government should support and fund more after-school programs to keep kids off the streets. But some of the burden must also be shouldered by residents who need to do more to raise and protect at-risk children, he added.
"We have an entire generation of young men in our society who have become products of violence, and we are going to have to break the cycle," Obama said. "There are too many young men out there who have gone down the wrong path."
He later added, "There's a reason they go out and shoot each other, because they don't love themselves. And the reason they don't love themselves is because we are not loving them enough."
First off, how many of those dozens of students were killed with legally-owned "assault weapons"? I haven't done any research, but I'd bet anything that the number is zero. A ban on "assault weapons" is stupid.
Secondly, does anyone really think that young men turn into thugs because of a lack of self-love? Obama's prescription is exactly wrong -- go watch MTV and you'll see that if there's anything young people have in spades it's pride and self-importance. What young people need, and young men in particular, is a proper sense of humility. This humility might be encouraged by "love" of a certain kind, but not in the sense that Obama and others like him use the word.