As the nation was gripped by the George Zimmerman trial, over 50 people were shot in Chicago…many of them as young and black as the much publicized Trayvon Martin.

With shootings seemingly so rampant, Chicago area parents are worried about the safety of their children.  This is especially true, as almost 50 elementary schools in the city have been closed due to declining enrollment.  Moms and dads are concerned about the children walking to school in strange, new areas that include gang territories.

Taking a page out of the progressive handbook, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his team opted for a classic solution to their constituents’ very reasonable concerns:  They threw money at it and created a new program with a catchy title.

At the center of that effort will be hundreds of community members making $10 an hour to watch children walk to and from school, build a rapport with them and report trouble. The $11.4 million program aims to literally provide what its name suggests: “Safe Passage.”

How is this working out? About as well as you’d expect from any progressive program:

The eyes of the city were on Chicago Public Schools “Safe Passage” routes Monday morning as a 28-year-old man was shot along one of the routes and a 14-year-old boy was shot to death near another one, the day before school starts.

The 14-year-old boy was shot and killed within a block of a welcoming elementary school, Melody Stem School , 3937 W. Wilcox. It’s at least the third fatal shooting along or near a Safe Passage route since mid-August.

About 12:20 a.m. Sunday, the boy, Lavander Hearnes, was standing outside in the 4000 block of West Wilcox Street with several other people when he was shot, authorities said.

It’s too bad that the good people of Chicago can’t get their politicians to realize its not about gun control — it’s about gang control.