The day after 20 people were shot over a span of 16 hours, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel urged residents to participate in his “Put The Guns Down” initiative last Friday. To support the effort, residents were encouraged to take part in citywide events that included barbecues, neighborhood clean-ups, prayer groups and youth sporting activities.
The mayor’s goal was to go a full 24 hours without any “gun violence”—more specifically, without any criminals shooting anybody. The mayor’s problem was that in his gun-controlled city, most of the citizens with guns are criminals. Thus, the sadly unsurprising holiday weekend tally totaled 69 people shot over 76 hours. That brings the yearly toll to 1,476 shooting victims—a pace well ahead of last year’s that ended with 2,988 victims.
In truth, Mayor Emanuel, Chicago doesn’t need any more gimmicky initiatives. What it does need is a leader who will fight for tougher prosecution and sentencing … and who will ultimately save lives.