A weekend shooting in Chicago left 13 people wounded when at least two men opened fire on partygoers who were leaving a home on the city’s south side. The media coverage of the incident reveals some big flaws in the criminal justice system, as well as an anti-gun bias within the media itself.
Here’s how Vox described the shooting.
Early Sunday morning, a Chicago house party held to memorialize a member of the community who died from gun violence last spring was interrupted by two gunmen who opened fire in and around the house, wounding 13 people, 4 of whom are in critical condition.
Reuters described a similar scene.
Thirteen people were wounded in a shooting at a party on Chicago’s south side intended to honor the victim of an earlier shooting, police said.
Police took two people into custody for questioning on Sunday, and one of them was charged with unlawful use of a weapon by a felon.
As it turns out, the “victim” who was being honored at the party where gunshots rang out wasn’t really a victim at all. 22-year old Lonell Irvin was shot and killed in April of this year after he tried to carjack a 41-year old man. Irvin’s intended victim was a legally carrying a concealed firearm, and shot and killed Irvin in self-defense. As Fox32 in Chicago reported at the time:
Police say the man was driving a BMW in the downtown area when his vehicle was rear-ended. When the driver got out, he was confronted by Irvin who pulled out a gun, announced a carjacking and demanded the man’s keys.
When Irvin pushed the man into the BMW, the man grabbed his weapon and shot the carjacker in the head.
Why did so many media outlets downplay or ignore the fact that Irvin was killed while committing a violent crime? Were they afraid that knowledge would make the shootings of 13 other people somehow less important? Did they want to make it seem like Irvin himself was a victim in order to make him appear more sympathetic? Or did they just not care enough to report the facts?
Two men have been taken into custody for this weekend’s shooting at the memorial for Irvin, and at least one of them is a convicted felon who wasn’t allowed to legally possess a firearm.
Authorities say that they have arrested 37-year-old Marciano White of Chicago and charged him with one felony count of unlawful use of weapon by a felon.
Just after 12:30 a.m. Sunday, authorities responded to a ShotSpotter alert in the 5700 block of South May. When they arrived on scene, they spotted White trying to flee the location, clutching a bag across his body.
When officers tried to stop him, he attempted to flee, but was apprehended.
Officers discovered a firearm on White’s person during their investigation and took him into custody.
As WGN-TV in Chicago reported back in October, getting arrested for having a gun in Chicago isn’t as serious an offense as you might think it would be, given the amount of violence on city streets.
WGN Investigates reviewed data on every felony gun case from two of the city’s most historically violent weekends: Memorial Day and Labor Day. Here’s what we found:
- A total of 118 adults were charged with felony weapons offenses.
- 87 percent were released on bond. The most anyone had to pay to get out of jail before trial was $5,000.
- 72 percent were released the same they day they were arrested, or the very next day.
- 30 percent walked out of jail without paying any money — they received I-Bonds.
“This is not what me or the public wants,” Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart said. “The reality of it is though that gun offenders need to be treated differently than other people. In the city of Chicago with all our gun issues I think we should all agree on that.”
If Chicagoans are going to get serious about the violent crime plaguing their city, then they have to face facts. Career criminals are being released back onto the streets with a slap on the wrist in many cases. Violent criminals are memorialized as victims of gun violence by an anti-gun media that hates to acknowledge legal gun owners acting in self-defense. Politicians push for even more gun control laws aimed at those legal gun owners instead of hammering repeat violent offenders in the criminal justice system. It’s a vicious and stupid cycle that doesn’t make anyone safer, but it seems to be the Chicago way.