Parents use to sing this song to put their precious babies to sleep: "Rock-a-bye baby on a tree top; when the wind blows the cradle will rock; when the bow breaks the cradle will fall; and down will come baby, cradle and all." When you think about the lyrics to this nursery song, you can easily view them metaphorically as lyrics representing disaster. After all, the baby falls. In the violent movie New Jack City, one of the characters would say: "Rock-a-bye baby!" right before boldly shooting and murdering her victim. (New Jack City) Well, on March 11, 2013, a gunman boldly inflicted a rock-a-bye on baby girl, Jonylah Watkins.
Another victim of gun violence has lost her life. Jonylah Watkins was not a gang member. She was not a threat to another. She was a six month old baby who depended on adults to care for her. Unfortunately, she was violently shot multiple times while in the care of her father, who also received multiple gun shot wounds. According to abc7 news and the Chicago Sun-Times, the incident occurred as Jonylah's father, Jonathan Watkins, changed her diaper in his minivan. The Chicago Police Department reports an extensive criminal background and gang affiliation, which may have been the basis of the shooting due to retaliation.
On Tuesday, March 12, 2013, Jonylah Watkins lost her fight for life at Comer Children's Hospital around 5:30 a.m. She is one of the youngest victims of gun violence in Chicago. The five bullets reportedly hit a main organ, Jonylah's bowels, arm pit, and legs. She reportedly may have needed her legs amputated had she lived. So, the question remains: How much longer will the streets of Chicago wreak of senseless violence? How many more children will be sent to an eternal rock-a-bye sleep? On February 9, 2013, the city of Chicago said good bye to Hadiya Pendleton, who lost her life to gun violence. Now, six month old Jonylah Watkins will never experience crawling, standing, walking and running. She will never again see the light of day nor light up the world with her precious smile. Rest in peace Jonylah Watkins. Hopefully your death will break the code of silence.