My thoughts and feelings about this are complicated, diffuse, and don't make a lot of sense but here they are:
"Barber Shop"? Nawww This place is a hangout for young guys who don't give the impression that they think much about their hair. Lots of smoking out front, spinning rims, and dudes who are consumed with the relative degree of their flex. Feels out of place in this neighborhood and while I've never had the least problem with anybody walking past it, as I've done many many times, Im not at all surprised something like this happened there. It has always seemed like a front for something other than guys looking to touch up their fades.
Honestly I can't say that I feel badly for the person shot or the waste who killed him. Events may prove me wrong and make me look like an asshole but at this point the circumstances of the murder strongly suggest to me that this was an event involving people who have aggressively chosen to live a life that any reasonable person could conclude involved this kind of risk. When the stupid choices of your life finally catch up to you it really isn't my tragedy. I am sympathetic to the families left behind but again I'd guess that to one degree or another this has been enabled by people close to the participants.
But Im also thinking of how, just steps away from the murder scene is the entrance to Portage Park where my son has played football for years. Youth sports make an easy target. Overzealous coaches and parents are a reality and they can be a nightmarish experience for some kids. But in this case I think of the men and women who volunteer an enormous amount of time to provide positive examples and direction to kids who might otherwise not be aware of the choices they have. These are boys and girls often from single family homes that frequently don't have an overabundance of positive male role models in their lives and who are clearly starving for a man's attention and a sense of belonging. You can scoff all you like but I've seen kids grow and mature well beyond what they thought possible ,and this only happens because good people have chosen to put positive energy into the community.
Im not saying that if only the men involved in this incident had played football at Portage Park this wouldn't have happened, but I am saying that there was another potential life path availabe for these men just steps away from where both of their lives ended essentially and the people who work to make that potential available deserve a bigger thank you than they get. Lots of people will look at this and think the neighborhood has gotten more dangerous or they should perhaps move, ( more on that later ) but right now Im looking at this and thinking the neighborhood is lucky that people like Ebony and Dexter , Coach Flipper, Lupe, Omar, Charlie, and a host of other people feel moved to work towards making this kind of senselessness even less common than it is.