Weekend Chicago Mass Shootings Get Scant National Attention
Weekend mass shootings in El Paso, TX and Dayton, OH dominated news reports while other local gun violence got little attention, notably in Chicago.
Its inner city communities become virtual shooting galleries in mild weather, especially on weekends — most often drawing scant national attention.
The last two weekends were notably violent. On Friday night July 26 to Sunday the 28th, gun violence killed eight, wounding 40 others. On the previous weekend, shootings killed three, wounding over three dozen others.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s pledge to curb inner city gun violence accomplished nothing because there aren’t enough city cops to patrol everywhere. Nor are they eager to go where they’re in the line of fire.
Over the latest Friday night through Sunday period, gun violence in Chicago killed five wounding 42 others.
The city’s southwest side Mount Sinai Hospital temporarily stopped taking trauma patients on Sunday because it was overwhelmed by gun violence victims.
Chicago homicides are averaging more than one a day, 290 reported this year through August 4, according to the Chicago Sun Times, providing a database of everyone killed by date with details of each incident.
Over a dozen other US cities have a higher per capita homicide rate than Chicago, but more shootings are reported in the city annually than elsewhere in the country.
In 2018, 561 murders were reported, mostly from gun violence. Total shootings numbered 2,948, an average of 8 daily, summer the most violent time of year.
Following last weekend’s mass shootings, police superintendent Eddie Johnson announced the deployment of more cops on city streets to try curbing violence — an impossible task based on Chicago’s history.
According to Chicago Crime Commission data, city gun violence in recent years way exceeds the homicide rate per 100,000 residents in the city than during the 1920 – 1930 Al Capone era.
Around 100,000 Americans nationwide are gun violence victims annually today. The 1968 Gun Control Act, 1993 Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, 1994 Assault Weapons Ban, and other federal gun control legislation achieved little to curb violence from these weapons.
In 1982, a Senate Judiciary Committee report claimed “the second amendment to our Constitution was intended as an individual right of the American citizen to keep and carry arms in a peaceful manner, for the protection of himself, his family, and his freedoms.”
The US Constitution’s 2nd Amendment is misinterpreted and abused, the gun lobby bearing much of the blame.
In District of Columbia v. Heller (2008), an amicus curiae submitted by 15 prominent academics and writers concluded as follows:
“Historians are often asked what the founders would think about various aspects of contemporary life. Such questions can be tricky to answer.”
“But as historians of the revolutionary era, we are confident at least of this: that the authors of the Second Amendment would be flabbergasted to learn that in endorsing the republican principle of a well-regulated militia, they were also precluding restrictions on such potentially dangerous property as firearms, which governments had always regulated when there was ‘real danger of public injury from individuals.’ ”
Gun ownership in the US is as easy as getting a driver’s license. The framers had no such intention in mind.
In 1982, Chicago banned firearms not already registered with city police, forbidding the purchase of new ones.
In 2010, the ban ended after the Supreme Court struck it down in a 5-4 ruling. In 2012, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago struck down the state’s ban on carrying concealed firearms as unconstitutional.
In 2013, Illinois lawmakers granted state residents the right to carry concealed weapons. In Chicago, anyone aged-21 or older can get a state-issued concealed carry license.
Gun licensing laws reduce homicides and suicides with these weapons. Federal law doesn’t require licensing of gun owners or purchasers, a state and local prerogative.
It does bar firearm ownership by convicted felons, fugitives, illicit drug abusers, the mentally ill, individuals under restraining orders for domestic violence, undocumented aliens, and dishonorably discharged military personnel.
According to law enforcement experts, almost anyone wanting to own a firearm in the US, including semi-automatic weapons used in mass shootings, can easily get one or more.
California is the only state with a database of individuals prohibited from owning firearms because of a felony conviction or other reasons.
Tough gun ownership laws enforced at the federal, state, and local levels would go a long way to reduce shootings.
The National Rifle Association (NRA) exploits the misinterpretation of the 2nd Amendment to proliferate gun sales with minimal restrictions on their sale and possession.
It reinterpreted 2nd Amendment language, stating: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
The NRA changed the narrative to the right of individuals to bear arms, reinterpreting what the 2nd Amendment is all about — making America a gun-toting nation, more firearms in the country than people.
Buying politicians like toothpaste facilitates widespread ownership and possession of these weapons — gun control more a slogan than reality.
The 2nd Amendment’s reinterpretation is all about profit-making.
In retirement, former Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Burger said the Constitution’s 2nd Amendment “has been the subject of one of the greatest pieces of fraud—I repeat the word ‘fraud’—on the American public by special interest groups that I have ever seen in my lifetime.”
It affirms the right of states to maintain a militia, not the right of individuals to freely own assault weapons and other firearms.
While the right of self-defense is a valid issue, the principle is abused by the NRA for maximum sales and profits.
Most congressional members go along because they’re bought and paid for by corporate interests, serving them, not the public welfare.
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”