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Chicago: Murder On The Rise

Chicago: Murder On The Rise

If you want a perfect example of how politicians’ dereliction of duty costs innocent lives—and how politicians avoid blame by scapegoating your Second Amendment rights—just look at Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton’s own hometown of Chicago. 

Chicago today is a nightmarish hellhole of violent crime and victimization—the “Murder Capital” of the United States. Just look at the figures.

In 2012, Chicago was the only U.S. city to rack up more than 500 homicides—more Americans than were killed in Afghanistan that year. In fact, Spike Lee is currently working on a film about the violence titled, appropriately, “Chiraq.”

This year, in Chicago alone:

  • 82 people were shot, 15 of them fatally, over Independence Day weekend.
  • Eight people were shot to death Sept. 2, the deadliest 24 hours in more than a decade.
  • 52 people were shot, eight of them fatally, over Labor Day weekend.
  • More than 2,000 people had been shot, and 326 murdered, as of early September.

Yet instead of using existing laws to stop evildoers and protect innocent people, Chicago’s political class ignores the laws, frees dangerous predators again and again—and then uses the bloodshed that results to demand new laws to disarm more victims. 

If anything is a crime, that’s a crime.

From President Obama on down to state and local officials, every one of the Windy City’s political leaders already has all the tools needed to control violent criminals.

Yet they utterly refuse to use those tools.

And what do the politicians have to say for themselves about their own dereliction of duty? They blame you and your Second Amendment-protected rights! 

We Don’t Enforce The Laws We Have, But We Need More!

In one breath, Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy admits that of the nearly 700 people arrested for gun possession in the first three months of 2015, 75 percent of them were back on the streets by June. “Criminals are not being held accountable,” he says.“I don’t think that anybody should be able to own guns.” –Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez

Yet then McCarthy pushes more anti-gun laws, claiming, “Gun possessors are potential murderers,” and “More guns, more shootings!”

“We seize more guns than any city in the country, every single year,” McCarthy said. But the police superintendent shouldn’t brag. Because taking guns off the streets doesn’t make any difference when violent, armed criminals are bounced back to the streets without being punished. And that’s exactly what’s happening.

Last November, the Chicago Sun-Times reported that “Cook County judges aren’t throwing the book at people convicted of gun crimes.” From January 2006 through August 2013, more than 13,000 cases that included gun violations were thrown out of court or dismissed in the county that contains Chicago. In fact, from illegal firearm possession to illegal sale of a firearm to a felon, more felony cases involving guns were thrown out of court there than any other kind of case

So what does Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez have to say for herself? “We strongly believe we need to strengthen our gun laws,” her spokeswoman told the Chicago Sun-Times. “I don’t think that anybody should be able to own guns,” Alvarez has said.

The federal government isn’t doing its job of enforcing federal gun laws in Chicago, either.

Despite the FBI warning that the Mexican drug cartels “partner with more than 100,000 documented street gang members in Chicago” alone, U.S. Attorney Zachary Fardon, whose district includes Chicago, said, “We are not going to arrest our way out of the gang problem in Chicago.” Indeed, if you look at the statistics, it appears he’s not even trying.

In 2014 in Chicago, more than 2,500 people were shot—nearly 400 of them fatally—and police seized more than 6,252 guns. Yet out of those 6,252 guns seized, Fardon’s office—with 160 federal prosecutors and an annual budget of $35 million—saw fit to pursue just 62 weapons prosecutions. In other words, for every 100 guns police seized, federal prosecutors made just one weapons prosecution. That’s 1 percent! 

Even Rahm Emanuel—mayor of Chicago, Obama’s former chief of staff and Bill Clinton’s “point man” on gun control—agrees. As he told the Chicago Sun-Times, “We took 400 guns off the street in our combined areas where we worked together [with federal agents]. They prosecuted four of the 400 at the federal level. I am giving you the facts.” Again—just 1 percent!

Is Chicago’s Lawlessness Coming To A Town Near You?

These facts point to a larger, indefensible overall trend: According to Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, a non-partisan analysis of federal law enforcement statistics, out of 90 federal judicial districts in the United States, Chicago in recent years has ranked near the bottom in terms of gun prosecutions. In 2014, it ranked 82nd out of 90 districts.

And Chicago isn’t the only place where federal gun law enforcement is lacking. Nationwide, between 2004 and 2011, federal gun prosecutions dropped by roughly 40 percent. If Obama truly wanted to save lives, he wouldn’t have allowed federal gun prosecutions to decline to the lowest level in a decade.“Only about 1 percent of the guns seized by Chicago police led to federal prosecutions.”

“For Chicago’s leaders to demand more anti-gun laws when they refuse to enforce existing laws against armed, violent criminals is the worst kind of hypocrisy and the most dangerous kind of public policy malfeasance,” said NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre.

“Chicago is erupting in a firestorm of violence,” LaPierre continued. “Yet instead of fighting the flames before the whole city is consumed, its leaders in effect debate whether global warming makes fires more likely. It’s absurd!”

That’s a fitting analogy. Because by refusing to enforce the laws on the books—which are proven to lock criminals up before they can commit their next killing—and instead demanding new anti-gun laws that will only disarm good people, the leaders of the Windy City are, in effect, trying to fight fire with a lot of hot air. They’re making it worse.

Imagine a fire department where the fire chief spends so much time on the job getting drunk and posting to Facebook that he never quite gets around to filling his fire trucks with fuel or water. Then, when Chicago burns to the ground, and his fire trucks never leave the station, he cries to the press that he doesn’t have enough fire trucks to protect the city! 

In effect, that’s exactly what the political class is doing in Chicago.

Here’s the upshot:

  • Chicago isn’t enforcing its gun laws against violent criminals. 
  • Cook County isn’t enforcing its gun laws against violent criminals. 
  • The federal government isn’t enforcing its gun laws against violent criminals in Chicago.

As a direct result, armed, dangerous criminals receive little punishment, violent crime is skyrocketing in Chicago, and its political leaders are demanding new gun bans that will disarm only those who need protection the most.

That’s like disbanding the fire department—and then seeking to take away the fire extinguishers that families need to protect their homes!

Chicago Is The Poster Child For Catch-And-Release “Justice”

The cost of Chicago’s “let-’em-loose” travesty of criminal “justice” can be counted in innocent lives lost. Just look at the case of Devonshay Lofton, a 16-year-old Chicago boy who was a beloved member of the Jesse White Tumbling Team for five years. Jesse White, who founded the team, described Lofton to the Chicago Sun-Times as “a nice young man” and “a gentleman in every way.” 

Lofton was on the street with several friends when, police say, 19-year-old Quinton Evans rode up to the group on a bicycle and opened fire. Lofton was shot in the chest and died. 

Evans, who had been found “delinquent” as a juvenile three times for robbery in 2008 and 2009, and delinquent for an aggravated battery case in 2008, was also discharged from parole in Jan. 2014 after a 2012 weapons conviction. 

Like Evans, most gun law violators in Chicago serve a light sentence, at most. The found last year that most people convicted of illegal gun possession in Chicago get the minimum state-imposed sentence of one year. (The maximum is three years.) 

Just like Quinton Evans, Michael Ward, 18, was on probation for a weapons conviction when, in 2013, police say he shot Hadiya Pendleton in the back and killed her. At the time of Pendleton’s murder, Ward had been arrested three times recently for break-ins and trespassing—arrests that should have put him back behind bars for violating his probation. But since nobody reported that violation, Ward was free to kill a 15-year-old girl in a city park. 

Lofton and Pendleton are just two of the victims of Chicago’s political elites, who unleash thugs like Ward and Evans again and again and again. Worse, when those violent criminals kill innocent people, those same political elites try to divert attention away from their own dereliction of duty by blaming your Second Amendment-protected freedom and seeking to deny your God-given right to defend yourself.

That’s not just dishonest. It’s dangerous. It’s destructive of our freedom and our safety. And before you shrug it off because you don’t live in Chicago—or because you think what happens in Chicago doesn’t affect you—put yourself in the shoes of someone who was forced to live in that nightmare of helplessness: Otis McDonald. 

All We’ve Fought For Could Be Lost In Next Year’s Elections

The son of Louisiana sharecroppers, McDonald moved to Chicago in 1952 after serving in the Army. Over the years, he watched as his neighborhood was taken over by gangs and drug dealers. The home he shared with his wife was broken into five times. He saw children he’d known since they were toddlers running down his alley, shooting at cars. The political class refused to control the criminals—and yet they also refused to let good people like McDonald own guns in their homes to protect themselves, through a handgun ban that took effect in 1982.“We’re fighting to defend your right to protect yourself and your family when the authorities can’t or won’t.” –Wayne LaPierre

So with the help of the NRA, McDonald sued the city of Chicago. And in a landmark case that went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court—McDonald v. City of Chicago—McDonald helped reclaim Second Amendment rights for law-abiding Chicago residents.

McDonald died last year. And the sad and frightening fact is that Chicagoans—and all Americans—could be forced to return to a world where the evil run rampant and the lawful are disarmed and defenseless if the likes of Hillary Clinton—or for that matter Joe Biden or Martin O’Malley—win the White House next November.

“It’s all on the line in next year’s elections,” said LaPierre. “From the U.S. Supreme Court, to the armies of the Washington bureaucracy, all the hard-fought victories we’ve won over the past 25 years could be lost if an anti-gunner wins the presidency.”

“And that means more than just your right to keep and bear arms,” said NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris W. Cox. “If any of these soft-on-crime, hard-on-freedom ideologues wins the White House, the Supreme Court could be controlled by an anti-gun majority, and the Second Amendment could literally be written right out of the U.S. Constitution.” 

Yet it can be stopped, and here’s how. Get informed. Get involved. Get the word out. And get on board—by upgrading your NRA membership and getting everyone you know to join the only group big enough and strong enough to fight back for our Second Amendment-protected rights and win.

“We’re fighting to demand enforcement of the laws on the books to control violent criminals,” said LaPierre. “We’re fighting to defend your right to protect yourself and your family when the authorities can’t or won’t. And as the most important elections in a generation approach, we need your help now more than ever. Your freedom and your safety could depend on it.”

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