July 9, 2013 by Chris Kite
The Fourth of July weekend in Chicago made headlines around the country, if not the world. And not in a good way. 72 people shot, 12 dead. It sounds like war zone reporting. Sadly, it isn’t. But more people have been killed by guns in America so far this year than US soldiers killed during the entire war in Iraq!
The gun rights crowd loves to point at Chicago and other big cities as evidence that gun control doesn’t work. In fact, many say that if the city didn’t have such strict gun controls, it would not have so many gun crimes.
But that crowd chooses to ignore several very significant facts.
First, most of the violence is gang related. Most of those that are shot DO have guns, and are in fact, engaged in day to day warfare against rival gang members. The rest of the people tend to be innocent bystanders. I don’t know about you, but I’m thinking a 5 year old and a 72 year old that are not intentionally targeted aren’t going to do much to defend themselves. They suffer the horrible fate of being in the wrong place at the very worst time. Sadly, it is a huge risk for those trying to live good honest lives in the worst neighborhoods in the city. Those stuck in a cycle of poverty with little hope for escape. Those that are victims of a US Government that has focused more on insuring gun manufacturers can sell as many guns as possible instead of focusing on fixing our economy, our education system, and giving those with less a chance for more.
Second, despite the gun laws in Chicago (and, Illinois), within a few short minutes, these folks can be in Indiana, and within a few hours can be in several other nearby states. As we all know, guns are plentiful in those states. And thanks to the NRA, anyone can walk into most gun shows and purchase guns. All someone needs is cash. No ID, no background check. Just cold hard cash. The NRA wants it this way because it helps gun manufacturers sell more guns and ammunition and thus increased their profits.
This is a very sad statement on life in an America that chooses to put a broad meaning around the Second Amendment such that anyone with the money to purchase a gun can do so. Without a background check.
72 people shot in a long weekend in Chicago is crazy. Refusing to change the gun laws across the country to reduce the ease with which gang members can purchase guns is even crazier!