Very restrictive gun-licensing laws, no gun stores, no tolerance of armed private citizens in public, no assault rifles, no high-capacity magazines, and no shooting ranges: Chicago is a gun hater’s utopia. It’s also the city where 44 homicides and 160 shootings were recorded in January alone. The Windy City is a portrait of the hypocrisy of gun control.
The New York Times published a piece on Tuesday outlining the massive crime problem currently gripping the city and leading to the shooting deaths of so many of its residents. The newspaper mostly blamed the proliferation of Chicago gun violence on the city’s restrictive gun laws being negated by the more gun friendly laws on the books for the State of Illinois.
From the article:
Lately, the police say they are discovering far more guns on the streets of Chicago than in the nation’s two more populous cities, Los Angeles and New York. They seized 7,400 guns here in crimes or unpermitted uses last year (compared with 3,285 in New York City), and have confiscated 574 guns just since Jan. 1 — 124 of them last week alone.
More than a quarter of the firearms seized on the streets here by the Chicago Police Department over the past five years were bought just outside city limits in Cook County suburbs, according to an analysis by the University of Chicago Crime Lab. Others came from stores around Illinois and from other states, like Indiana, less than an hour’s drive away…
The tone of the article appears to suggest that tightening gun laws in every city, county and State throughout the Nation would end the suffering in Chicago, but it never examines the idea that strict gun laws — which haven’t helped Chicago — likely won’t deter the criminal element in any other part of the country either.
Pulitzer Prize winner Mark Konkol recently published a piece in My Chicago that allows the reader to draw a more realistic conclusion about what lies beneath Chicago’s gun — or, rather, killing — problem.
From Konkol’s piece:
Last year, gunmen who shot and wounded someone got away without criminal charges 94 percent of the time, according to a DNAinfo.com Chicago analysis of police data.
That’s even worse than 2011, when 91.5 percent of shooters escaped charges, according to the data.
Chicago’s top cop said the “no-snitch” code of silence on the street is the biggest contributor in his department’s struggle to charge shooters.
Chicago is a city under siege, rampant with gang violence and full of criminals who abide by their own code of conduct in a battle over turf, drugs and money. The police are powerless to end the killing and Chicago’s political class has done its best to make owning a gun as inconvenient as possible. The result: Law-abiding citizens in the city must get a Chicago firearms permit, which requires firearms training, a background check and firearm owner’s identification card issued upon completing a background review for felonies and mental illness.
As the law currently stands, those steps allow for only the purchase or possession of the weapon. A recent review by the Chicago Tribune found that only about 1 out of every 234 people in Illinois (most of them cops) were authorized to carry a concealed firearm in the State. In Chicago the number of law abiding concealed carriers is far lower.
Vice President Joe Biden, Senator Dianne Feinstein and the Nation’s other anti-gun lawmakers should take gun-violence victim Gabriel Gifford’s advice from the Senate hearing on Wednesday: Be bold, be courageous. I suggest they sit down with the heads of America’s top gangs and ask them to politely hand over their guns. The political leaders could organize a beer summit in Chicago’s Englewood area; heck, they should bring the former community organizer along, too. It’s going to take some diplomacy, because somehow it seems doubtful that the gangs have been encouraging members to drop off firepower at local gun buybacks. While they’re at it, perhaps Biden, Pelosi and Barack Obama could convince gang leaders to turn over their crack, smack and coke as well. How the hell are those drugs making it into the City of Chicago, anyhow? They are, of course, illegal in all 50 States.
Maybe The New York Times knows.