I first met Ronald Holt about a year ago. He had recently lost his young son Blair, to a wave of violence that was tearing through the streets of Chicago's southside. Blair Holt was an innocent bystander caught in a gang-related shooting on a city bus. He was killed while pulling a classmate out of harm's way. His death became a rallying point for neighborhoods demanding tighter gun laws, more economic opportunity for young people and better parenting.
Ronald Holt was one of the people leading the charge. Instead of becoming consumed by grief, he turned it into a weapon. He lobbied the state legislature hoping to restrict gun sales and he has since attended hundreds of public rallies and memorials. I returned to Chicago to find Holt at one of these rallies and I learned he has a new enemy...despair. The past year has produced very few victories.
Holt tells me he finds strength by talking to his departed son and imagines the teen encouraging him to keep going. He needs the pep talk often. So far this school year 24 students from Chicago Public Schools have been killed. That is a rate even faster than what we saw last year.
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