The headlines say it all: 60 shot over the weekend here in Chicago this 4th of July weekend. It is horrifying to me as a Chicagoan that these shootings are going on. Generally speaking the vast majority of Chicagoans are insulated against the violence. It is overall a safe city, not even ranked in the top 20 for violent cities according to FBI data.
However, the fact that most of the city is safe from this violence does not make it better or acceptable and it does not mean that innocents are not being murdered -- there are many innocent victims -- babies, children, teens, Moms, Dads, caught in the crossfire of this senseless gang violence. We will not forget those innocents in this struggle to gain control of our streets. And we have to act on behalf of these innocent lives that are lost.
These gang shootings are escalating. The neighborhoods where the shootings take place are the areas with a high gang populations, mainly the south side and especially the Englewood area.
We do have a serious problem here in Chicago and it is illegal guns being supplied to these gang members. LOTS of guns and very little being done about the trafficking of these guns to the wrong people.
I think the question on most of our minds is where are the guns coming from? It is always very convenient to ignore this very important fact. The Mayor and Police Superintendent McCarthy have spoken about the sources of the illegal guns but the media has chosen to ignore their research and facts. I don't think it will surprise anyone to find out the following:
*60 percent of illegal guns that go to Chicago gangs to murder are coming from states that have lax gun laws, in other words the red states that surround us, mainly Indiana, Wisconsin, and Mississippi.
From the report:
The study found almost 60 percent of the guns used to commit a crime in Chicago between 2009 and 2013 were first purchased in states like Indiana, Wisconsin and Mississippi which do not require background checks for gun sales at guns shows or on the internet.
* 20 percent of the illegal guns seized on the street can be traced to four shops -- three of which are in Cook County. Chuck's Gun shop in Riverdale being the one supplying most guns that are found in Chicago Shootings. The accusation is not that this shop is illegally providing guns, but that a large amount of guns are being sold to a straw man. But at the end of the day this is not where most of the guns are coming from.
So, what can we do about these places that are obviously being supplied to gang members? Obviously the trafficking needs to stop, without guns these gang members cannot shoot as much as they are. While we can't control the red states around us that don't even provide a background check to purchasers, we can crack down on the trafficking and those who are aiding the gangs in getting the guns. McCarthy himself said there are too many guns and not enough being done about it.
While it is easy for some to mock our strict gun laws as "failing" in fact it is red-state lax laws that cost so many their lives here in Chicago. When you are surrounded by states that don't even provide a background check to gun buyers, that creates opportunity for abuse. Enough is enough. It is time to get a hold of what is happening on our streets and those who are abusing them.