Chicago Police Chief Garry McCarthy can blame guns for his city status as the murder capital of the United States until the cows come home, but the rest of the world knows that that guns aren’t Chicago’s problem.

Gangs are the problem:

Bryon Champ, 21, and Kewane Gatewood, 20, both of Chicago, were charged with three counts each of attempted murder and aggravated battery with a firearm, said spokeswoman Sally Daly

A statement issued late Monday by Chicago police said both suspects “played significant roles” in the shooting but neither was believed to be the shooter.

“These charges are just the beginning, and this investigation remains ongoing at this time,” Superintendent Garry McCarthy was quoted as saying.

A law enforcement source said Champ and Gatewood allegedly helped transport the weapon used in the shooting to the scene.

Another source said Thursday’s shooting was in retaliation after one of the suspects had been grazed earlier in a gang conflict in Back of the Yards.

Police identified Champ as a convicted felon and a documented street gang member. He was convicted of unlawful use of a weapon by a felon in July 2012 and was sentenced to boot camp at the Cook County Department of Corrections.

The last we checked, firearms are inanimate objects, incapable of loading, aiming, or firing themselves. Perhaps someone should share that fact with the Chicago Police Department.

Update: Not only does Chicago have a gang problem, it has a court sentencing problem:

Champ had been convicted of unlawful use of a weapon by a felon in July 2012 and was sentenced to boot camp at the Cook County Department of Corrections. McCarthy said the mass shooting likely would not have occurred had he gotten jail time instead.

Tags: Chicago