(11/20/2018) Tamara O’Neal was like most women in America. She had a career she loved, a strong network of friends from her community, and hopes for a long, happy life. On Monday she was pronounced dead; killed at the hand of a former romantic partner and a victim of one of the most prevalent and pernicious risks to women in our developed nation.
The carnage didn’t end there. A coworker, the gunman, and a Chicago Police officer also were killed in the senseless incident that might never have happened if Chicago provided adequate domestic violence support, mental health resources, and better screening for gun permits.
These issues are existential threats to our city and our people and must be addressed starting the first day the next mayor and City Council take office.
Changes in these categories won’t come easy, but they are as the most critical. We need to develop policy that creates fast, efficient, easily accessible services for those at risk of domestic violence, we need to restore and then expand the mental health services our city has lost, and we need to insure that anyone carrying a gun has passed a stringent series of checks.
Today we mourn Dr. O’Neal. But soon we surely will mourn another woman very much like her unless we demand drastic change.