This article comes to us from CNN with the dramatic headline:
Blame weak gun laws for holiday violence, Chicago’s top cop says
(CNN) — Chicago’s police superintendent lashed out at what he called lax state and federal gun laws after a violent Fourth of July weekend that saw more than 60 people shot and nine killed in a city already known for frequent shootings.
“There’s a greater sanction for the gang members to lose that firearm from their gang than there is to go to jail” for illegal gun possession, Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said after reciting the criminal histories of several of the suspects in this weekend’s violence.
Among the suspects: a man wanted in connection with a murder who has 21 prior arrests.
The incidents include eight times in which police fired guns at suspects or were fired on, McCarthy told reporters. In two of those incidents, police shot and killed the suspects, both of whom were 16.
McCarthy said the violence unraveled a string of successes by police in suppressing gun violence this year. The city saw 24 shooting incidents on Sunday alone, he said, although three of them may have been self-inflicted.
In 2013, 12 people died and 75 were injured during the four-day Independence Day holiday, according to CNN affiliate WLS.
The holiday shootings follow a week in which Chicago had 52 shooting incidents, according to Police Department statistics. This year, as of June 29, Chicago police had recorded 880 shooting incidents, an average of nearly five a day.
McCarthy said Monday, “It’s Groundhog Day here in Chicago.”
McCarthy said police will continue a summer program to flood high-violence areas with police, but he said that without stronger gun laws, police will continue to face an uphill battle. “These offenders need to be held fully accountable for violent behavior to prevent them from ending up back on the street too soon,” he said, adding, “There’s too many guns coming in and too little punishment going out.”
If it’s true that tougher gun laws could result in less gun crimes, then the expected future CNN headline could read:
“Gang members befuddled by new gun laws, seek legal weapons to kill each other with”
One more time – Who obeys laws? That’s right, law abiding people. Who is killing people with guns in Chicago? Yes, criminals. There is a fatal disconnect in the thinking that hundreds of years after the invention of firearms, a man-made law restricting them can correct criminal thinking and behavior. The firearm is an available means to commit a crime and there are enough guns in America presently, to last criminals another 200 years. Even with martial law and door to door gun confiscation, the criminals will be the last ones armed… or maybe the preppers, but either way the point is – a law will not solve this problem.
Also disturbing is the Chicago Police Superintendent’s insinuation that tougher punishment could help this problem. America’s obsession with prisons has run its course; so much so, that citizens will tolerate higher crime rather than building more prisons. A community has to have enough police resources in order to prevent crimes, or apprehend the offenders, long before a prosecution can occur. The members of the Chicago PD need more officers, not more laws.
In 2012 the Chicago PD employed roughly 12,000 officers (FBI Uniform Crime Report, table 78) but that number has been going down for many years due to budget cuts. It’s scary that the cities that need more police officers are the ones seeing reductions. If Chicago isn’t careful, it will become the next Detroit.
If a city can’t afford police officers, they certainly cannot afford prisons.
Finally, in a city that has topped 500 murders annually, now they are celebrating better times, when the murder rate is “going down” to under 500. What an incredibly sad celebration for the 400 plus victims and their families each year.