Over the weekend, we ran an editorial that made the argument "Chicago is Newtown," where mass murder rolls out over time, one day to the next, resulting in more than 500 homicides a year. The response from Sun-Times readers, online and via Twitter, was passionate, and ranged from the highly thoughtful to the incredibly racist.
One reader wrote that we were missing the point when we failed to see that the solution to the problem is to end the prohibition on drugs. Make drugs legal, as we made booze legal, the reader wrote, and the gun-happy gangs will dry up for lack of income.
Many other readers wrote that the fundamental problem is one of young single mothers who fail to raise their children properly -- and who shouldn't be having children in the first place. That is an old, social sensitive and complicated issue, but an important one. Unfortunately, a number of commentators wrapped that point in ugly racism, which should surprise nobody.
In the coming days and weeks, we expect to keep writing about Chicago's alarming homicide rate and what's to be done about it, including the problem of parents who are not parents. In the meantime, you might want to check out the comments at suntimes.com.