COVID-19 Isn't Slowing Down Chicago's Violent Criminals

As we deal with a pandemic and so many of us being told to shelter in place, many of us are desperate to get back to something resembling “normal.” Sure, a ton of folks are working from home and binge-watching stuff on Netflix in an effort to make the best of a bad situation, but a lot of us would do anything just to feel normal again.

Hell, I rarely leave the house and I’m jonesing for a night out. I can only imagine what it’s like for more sociable sorts.

One group of people who aren’t letting COVID-19 change their lives? Chicago’s violent criminals, apparently.

The coronavirus pandemic is not only straining resources in Chicago hospitals but also on the streets. Despite the stay-at-home order, police responded to 19 shootings Tuesday night, six of which were homicides.

Overall crime was down in the last week, but robberies and shootings were up. The Chicago Police Department superintendent said the violence is draining the department’s resources that should be used to fight against COVID-19.

“Yesterday was a horrific night,” said [Institute for Nonviolence Chicago executive director Teny] Gross. “The violence is not going down as much as it should.”

Six people were killed in shootings across the city. That follows a trend from last week.

According to data analyzed by the CBS2 Investigators, shootings were up 42% from the same week last year, from 28 shootings to 40.

So, what gives?

Well, for one thing, a lot of criminals aren’t staying at home. This shouldn’t be surprising. As I’ve noted a thousand times at least, criminals don’t obey the law. They don’t obey gun laws and they’re not going to obey a stay at home order. They’re just not.

Instead, they’re going to do what they always do.

Couple that with a certain degree of violence stemming from people being forced into tight confines with absolutely no escape and that creates another recipe for violence. Between the two, an increase in violent crime doesn’t sound that far fetched, really.

Yet there’s an important lesson here. If these same criminals will violate an order that’s meant to keep them from catching a potentially deadly disease, then just what in the hell do you think new gun control laws will actually accomplish? What?

The people who drive violent crime are often the same people who think they’re bulletproof. They also tend to be the ones who find out the hard way that they’re not. Considering how many people they tend to hurt before that happens, though, I don’t have a lot of sympathy.

Honestly, expect to see this trend continue throughout the lockdown and probably after it’s over. After all, violent crime and economic downturns sure sound like a perfect match. With millions of people not working, that’s precisely what we’re staring down the barrel of, so this isn’t over. Not by a longshot.

Instead, expect to see worse. I’d love to be wrong, but you and I probably both know that I”m not. Watch and wait for Chicago to get even worse.