It was another deadly weekend in Chicago, with at least 13 homicides and more than 50 people injured across the city as gang violence continues to spiral out of control. The Chicago Sun-Times reports that this previous weekend actually saw a slight decline in the number of shootings compared to the 4th of July weekend, but shootings are still nearly double what they were this time last year.

At least one of the city’s shootings involved an armed citizen, who shot back after the passenger in his car was shot and wounded early Friday morning. From CWB Chicago:

Citing preliminary information, CPD said a 22-year-old man was driving a 21-year-old woman eastbound in the 100 block of West Superior when two white sedans boxed them in around 2:55 a.m. Friday. An armed man got out of one of the sedans and began shooting at the victims’ car, striking the woman in her leg and arm, police said.

A 23-year-old man was then shot in the leg when the woman’s driver — a concealed carry holder — returned fire, according to police.

The concealed carry holder then drove away with his passenger, but the two sedans reportedly chased them and caused their vehicle to crash into a building on the 100 block of West Huron moments later.

An ambulance transported the woman to Northwestern Memorial Hospital. The injured man walked into Lurie Children’s Hospital for treatment. He was subsequently transferred to Northwestern.

According to CWB Chicago, the River North neighborhood where the shooting occurred has been especially hard hit by rising violent crime. In 2019, there were a total of ten people shot in the neighborhood, but already this year eleven people have been injured or killed in the community, and we still have several months to go before the crime rate typically begins to drop in the fall.

St. Louis, Missouri is also seeing a surge in shootings, including five separate shootings in a nine-hour period on Friday evening. The city’s latest homicide, however, looks to be a justifiable use of force on the part of an armed citizen.

A man was shot and killed after exchanging gunfire with a person he was trying to rob Sunday night.

The shooting happened at about 9:49 p.m. on the 800 block of Cole Street, near the border of Downtown and the Columbus Square neighborhood.

The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department said a suspect armed with a pistol tried to hold-up a victim who also had a gun. The two exchanged fire and the suspect was shot and killed.

It sounds like the intended victim in this case managed to avoid injury while defending their life, and while few details have been released, based on the initial reporting this sounds like a clear-cut case of self-defense.

Armed citizens alone can’t turn the tide of rising violence in St. Louis and Chicago, but the right to keep and bear arms does provide individuals the ability to protect themselves if they find themselves a target, and the presence of a gun in the hands of these would-be victims in Chicago and St. Louis saved at least three innocent lives this weekend. As bad as things might be in these cities, they’d be even worse if law-abiding citizens had no means, or no right, to protect themselves.