…the wicked will still find ways to do their deeds.
One of the little noted jewels this last week was the record-level number of gun-related shootings in Chicago, Illinois – a city that has among the strictest anti-gun laws in the nation – over the 4th of July weekend. This startling fact flies in the face of the Progressive mantra that with more gun laws, society will somehow become safer and violent crime will vanish. Indeed the ink had not even dried before some in Chicago immediately stood before the press decrying current lax gun laws, and a need for increased government regulation. So if a strong anti-gun city like Chicago has so many laws against gun ownership, why the sudden spate of shootings? And are guns really to blame?
Depending on which 24-hour time period you examine, as many as 82 people were wounded and 16 killed in various shootings throughout Chicago between July 3rd and 5th. The shootings, spread across a North-South axis of the city, occurred predominantly in the south side, in low-income areas where lax police enforcement and economic disparity are the norm. Regions like Englewood, Roseland, Gresham, and West Phullman have all experienced a number of school closures and losses to manufacturing employment. Statistics show a majority of the shooting victims were also “young adult men” between the ages of 18 and 25. (Christian Science Monitor 2014) (Mark 2014) (Muskal 2014)
The sadly typical train of bobble-headed Leftists scrambled for the spotlight amid the chaos. Facing reelection concerns Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel released a statement calling for better policing, better education, stronger gun laws and described the spree as “simply unacceptable” saying,
The solution does not just include policing – although we’ll continue to look for ways to put more police where they’re needed. We also have to give our young people alternatives to the street, and as a community we need to demand more of ourselves and our neighbors. (Sweet 2014)
Police Superintendant Garry McCarthy told reporters the fault was in lax state gun and federal gun laws saying,
It’s Groundhog Day here in Chicago…There has to come a tipping point where this changes. The illogical nature of what’s happening here — that government can intercede and prevent this from happening is overwhelming. And I refuse to think otherwise in a great country like America that we can continue to allow this to happen — not just on a state, but on a federal level. (Pearson 2014)
But Chicago already has some of the strictest anti-gun laws in the nation. In June, the city council approved an ordinance that would place limits on gun store sales, require video-recoding of all sales, and limit purchases to one firearm a month. (Queally 2014) These measures were enacted to replace the all-out ban on all firearms within city limits that a Supreme Court Judge ruled unconstitutional on grounds of infringement of the 2nd Amendment. Still none of these measures have curbed the violence and while annually Chicago’s trend is declining (around 500 homicides yearly), the city remains one of the most violent in the nation. According to the Chicago Tribune, which keeps a tally of shooting victims, 1,129 have been shot so far this year alone. This in comparison to the 2,185 shooting victims in Chicago for all of 2013. (Christian Science Monitor 2014) (Muskal 2014)
Fact is the gun violence spike is an abnormality, and has less to do with firearms than city leaders would have the public believe. And while Progressives like Mayor Emanuel and Dick Durbin use it as a political stump to prop up their flimsy administration of a city rift with violent crime, the reality is that despite all of city leaders attempts to curb gun ownership it hasn’t so much as dented gun accessibility by criminals and those otherwise deemed incapable of ownership. And yet they cry for more restrictions, citing most guns used in these violent crimes are now purchased from outside the city’s regions and brought in using straw purchases.
But that logic ignores the reality that the primary reasons for the gun violence isn’t about ownership or access, but rather the demographics within the city (and society) itself. Poverty, low-income opportunities, lax law enforcement (indeed variable “No-Go” areas exist), almost zero-punishment/enforcement of illegally owned guns, organized/gang violence – all the indicators of a declining city with less annual revenue and opportunity that could change its current trajectory. And like Detroit, eventually there will be a tipping point where Chicago no longer has the resources or revenue necessary for self or federal-governance, and it will implode. So while the various news outlets were quick to push the spate of violence off the front burner, the undeniable fact remains that in a city with the strictest gun regulations, those efforts are totally failing their intended goal and only impacting legitimate gun owners and their 2nd Amendment freedoms. Whatever the answers are for places like Chicago, it won’t be increased anti-gun laws, but improvements to opportunities to everyone who is willing to work hard and value what it is they have.
Christian Science Monitor. Chicago gun violence: The numbers shock, but the reasons are familiar. July 7, 2014. http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2014/0707/Chicago-gun-violence-The-numbers-shock-but-the-reasons-are-familiar-video (accessed July 7, 2014).
Mark, David. More than 60 people shot in city with strict gun control laws. July 8, 2014. http://politix.topix.com/news/12910-more-than-60-people-shot-in-city-with-strict-gun-control-laws (accessed July 8, 2014).
Muskal, Michael. Death toll rises to 16 in Chicago’s bloody 4th of July weekend; 82 shot. July 7, 2014. http://www.latimes.com/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-chicago-shot-weekend-violence-20140707-story.html (accessed July 7, 2014).
Pearson, Michael. Blame weak gun laws for holiday violence, Chicago’s top cop says. July 7, 2014. http://www.cnn.com/2014/07/07/justice/chicago-shootings/ (accessed July 7, 2014).
Queally, James. Chicago unanimously passes strict gun sale laws; sales to be recorded. June 25, 2014. http://www.latimes.com/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-chicago-gun-ordinance-20140625-story.html (accessed July 7, 2014).
Sweet, Lynn. Durbin to Senate: After Chicago shootings, try again on gun curbs. July 8, 2014. http://politics.suntimes.com/article/washington/durbin-senate-after-chicago-shootings-try-again-gun-curbs/tue-07082014-210pm (accessed July 8, 2014).