This month, in Chicano History – Highlight:

July 24, 1973, 12-year old Santos Rodriguez, from Dallas,TX was shot was shot by police officer Darryl L. Cain in the head while sitting quietly handcuffed in the front seat of the squad car. Santos and his 13-year old brother had been TAKEN from their grandparent’s home by police – who claimed both brothers had burglarized a gas station. The unjustified murder of young Santos was termed “illegal and unjustified” by the Dallas police chief, and sparked massive protests by Dallas Chicanos, and Brown Berets alike. Although officer Cain was later convicted of murder, he received a measly five-year sentence. One year after the killing of young Santos, officer Cain was still free while appealing his sentence. No evidence or witnesses were ever found to place young Santos or his brother at the scene of the gas station burglary.

In this archived 1977 photo, Santos Rodriguez and others slain in police-involved shootings are remembered in a street march in Dallas.

Tragedy in Connecticut

It’s horrific that we find ourselves puzzled over these spree killers and the carnage they leave in their lashing out at society. Everyone scratches their head, benumbed by why or how someone could possibly commit such acts of terror.
Few fail to examine the circumstances and the socio-political climate that exists in America today. Racial tensions, being on the brink of class war, and a lack of resources for treatment of the mentally ill, or at the very least identifying those whose personalities have a propensity toward spree killing.
The media of course latching on to such stories with no answers, but the need to sell ad space and hype are also to blame. Their hyped up coverage likely motivates aspiring spree killers to follow in the footsteps of their predecessors.
And then there are the gun issues: and to that all that can be said is that so long as people are going to try to cry fowl over any regulatory measures regarding gun control, then gun violence is simply an intrinsic, inherent part of Americanism. We examine the issues with assault weapons; gun that hold excessive rounds, etc. it is said limits on these types of weapons would limit the violence. But one must realize, that it is distinctly the ones who are “gun nuts” are the ones who hold such adulation for such fire arms. They are more intrigued with owning an instrument of death, of human death, than the concept of guns being a viable tool for hunting wild game and helping to feed their families.
It is very tragic, and disturbing, the shootings that went on in Connecticut, but we all must start bringing serious conversations to the table, realistic conversations to the table on what the real circumstances are that breed this kind of behavior.