On Monday, July 7, Chicago was roiled by the toll of violence that occurred over the long Independence Day holiday when it was reported that the weekend saw 82 shootings with 14 deaths – 8 of those deaths from shootings involving police.
Breitbart reported that the violence was high on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday morning, but when Thursday, the final hours of Sunday, and the first few hours of Monday morning were added to the accounting, the rate of violence proved to be even more appalling.
On Monday morning, July 7, the Chicago Tribune shocked the city with the list of weekend violence reporting that between Thursday, as the holiday weekend began, to the early hours of Monday morning, Chicago experienced 82 shootings with 14 killed.
In one case a citizen with a brand new concealed carry permit went toe-to-toe with up to three shooters and came out standing. After the smoke cleared one of the assailants was lying dead on the street.
Authorities also reported that eight of the deaths were a result of altercations with police.
Even as the city has gotten used to up to three deaths and often up to 20 shootings every weekend, the Independence Day weekend violence was so shocking that Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel called a hasty press conference with mothers of past victims to excoriate “national gun laws” and warn that the fault doesn’t lie only with the Chicago Police Department.
At the press conference, Emanuel blamed the increased violence on “weak” gun laws.
“Gun laws, though, are the weak link,” the Mayor insisted. He went on in a garbled way to blame surrounding areas and other states for what is going on in Chicago: “And what I mean by that, the gun laws, without comprehensive background checks, without straw purchases, our police department will continue to be fighting against what happened in Cook County, southern Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin. And the difference between… New York and LA, the difference there, is the gun laws in the surrounding areas that impact what happens on their streets.”
Still, many are focusing on the failures of the Chicago Police to address the rising death toll. Emanuel also objected to that characterization.
“Now, a lot of people will say, ‘where were the police, what are the police doing?’ And that’s a fair question, but not the only question,” Emanuel said. “Where are the parents, where is the community, where are the gun laws, where are the national leaders, so we do not have the guns of Indiana, Wisconsin, and Cook County and downstate Illinois flowing into the city?”
However, Chicago is one of the few places in the country experiencing this heavy toll of violence. Blaming other states and other communities does not completely explain why only Chicago has such a problem with gang shootings.
It is a convenient excuse to blame surrounding states and counties for Chicago’s violence, but there seems to be far more than loose gun laws in surrounding areas driving the violence in Chicago.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.