AP Photo/David Banks
Chicago is one of the deadliest cities in the United States and dominates the political landscape of Illinois, which means its politicians have an oversized impact on state law. As a result, the state continues to employ more and more gun control in what proponents claim is an effort to stem the tide of violence that has the Windy City in a stranglehold.
Well, it didn’t work.
Forty-two people were shot, seven fatally, over Memorial Day weekend in Chicago, despite new gun laws and extra officers patrolling the streets.
While the numbers were only slightly higher than the 39 shootings and seven deaths over the same weekend last year, the city had sought to lower gun incidents this year by deploying 1,200 additional police, as well as conducting early drug raids, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Several new gun control measures took effect Jan. 1, including expanded rules for revoking Firearms Owners’ Identification (FOID), ‘red flag’ gun confiscation procedures, and an extended rifle purchase waiting period of 72 hours, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
“I certainly knew that before, but to see it graphically depicted is quite shocking and says that we’ve got a long way to go as a city,” she added.
However, that “long way to go as a city” is never going to happen. Not without a serious change in attitude from Chicago officials and state-level politicians considering they still look at guns as the problem rather than a tool used by the problem.
The real issue is violent individuals and gangs that turn the city into a warzone. Without addressing this and undermining their very existence, you’re not likely to address the violence itself.
Chicago seems to be pathologically unable to do that. As a result, the murder rate continues to climb, and the average citizen is terrified.
The thing is, most of these victims are probably not average citizens. Much of the homicide rate in American cities come from gang-on-gang violence. They’re criminals killing other criminals.
Where the problem exists isn’t in who they target but in how indiscriminate they tend to be. Gang fights are notorious for costing the lives of innocent bystanders. It doesn’t help that these thugs can’t shoot in the first place. They spray bullets and figure that at least some of them hit their intended targets, and not nearly enough is being done to combat this.
The problem is that politicians need what they think will be immediate solutions. Going after gangs is difficult. The most effective way is to choke off the flow of recruits by introducing younger boys into alternatives to gang life that are appealing and effective. However, that takes time that politicians don’t have.
So, lawmakers push gun control. It doesn’t work, and I think they know it doesn’t work, but it sounds to the average Chicago voter like it will. Plus, when it fails, the lawmakers can always blame some other state for not having enough gun control, thus kicking responsibility to the failure into someone else’s yard.
However, these same gangs are also able to get drugs which are illegal everywhere, so I find the claim that they only get guns in Chicago because Indiana doesn’t have enough gun control ridiculous.
Until they recognize that, violence will continue to plague Chicago.