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The weekend of August 22 and 23 was another violence-filled Saturday and Sunday in Chicago, with 66 people shot and five of those people killed. The previous weekend also saw 64 people shot—seven of them fatally.
According to NBC Chicago, 2020 has seen a sharp increase in Chicago violence. “From Jan. 1 through the end of July, there were 440 homicides in Chicago and 2,240 people shot, including many of those who were killed, according to statistics released Saturday by the police department.”
This compared to the 1,480 shootings and 290 homicides in the first seven months of 2019—which, of course, is also horrendous.
In the middle of all this chaos and death are citizens caught between gang warfare and a bureaucracy intent on disarming law-abiding citizens.
Meanwhile, with this level of violent crime, one might assume that arrests for these murders and shootings would be equally record-setting, but that isn’t so. In a recent FOX News opinion piece, John Lott, president of the Crime Prevention Research Center, noted: “Chicago and Illinois politicians are well known for always blaming the ‘gun problem’ for their high crime rates. But there is a much more obvious explanation. In 2019, Chicago police recorded 486 murders, but only made 109 arrests—an arrest rate of just 22%. In the last few years, the nationwide rate has remained at over 70%.”
Lott’s conclusion: “When you don’t catch criminals, the obvious result is more crime.”
Lott also detailed several changes Chicago politicians have made that have worked to weaken the Chicago Police Department. As NRA-ILA noted, Chicago Mayor Carrie Lightfoot lays the blame for her city’s ever-escalating violence on guns, and wants the federal government to enact even more stringent gun-control laws.
This follows the general pattern, also reported by NRA-ILA, as politicians like Mayor Lightfoot ignore “the mountains of evidence that exposes the abject failure of gun control” and reject “the fact that criminals already violate myriad laws at the local, state and federal level in furtherance of their illicit activities, and insist that the only way to prevent criminals from committing crimes with firearms is to add more laws.”
But if firearm purchase trends mean anything, it would seem that millions of Illinois citizens reject Mayor Lightfoot’s “logic” and are looking to the Second Amendment for protection.
The Center Square, for example, recently reported that, “Illinois topped the list of all states for firearm background checks so far this year and is already on pace to blow last year’s numbers out of the water. And reports persist of people waiting beyond the three-day waiting period to pick up the guns they’ve purchased. There are also more than 143,000 Firearm Owner Identification, or FOID card, applicants still waiting for their cards to be processed by Illinois State Police.”
Plus, the Illinois State Police recently reported that they had 5,300 pending firearm transfers in their system.
Illinois State Rep. Brad Halbrook (R-Shelbyville) also told The Center Square that his office is “flooded with frustrated calls from constituents upset their Second Amendment rights are being infringed upon….”
“I got an email from a gun shop owner just a few days ago,” Halbrook said, “there was eight or 10 transactions on there that were 10 days-plus old. That doesn’t really help in times like this. They think that they are intentionally being throttled back on those kinds of things.”
Perhaps Mayor Lightfoot thinks more firearm purchases in the state of Illinois are resulting in more shootings and murders in her city. But that childish logic ignores the fact that these are legal purchases made by law-abiding citizens. Also, firearms trace data from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) clearly shows that guns recovered at crime scenes are almost always stolen or otherwise illegally obtained firearms, not the many guns now being legally purchased by citizens who are attempting to stay safe in a dangerous city.