From: Matt Rosenberg
The late black poet, songwriter and conductor Gil Scott-Heron wrote in his 1981 song “Gun,” that “everybody’s got a gun, everybody’s got a 45. And the philosophy seems to be, at least as close as I can see, when everybody drops theirs, I I’ll give up mine. “Since mid-2020, gun sales in the United States and applications for gun owner’s permits and concealed carry licenses have increased. Because we’re in the middle of The Great Unraveling.
This is why angry and twisted young men embark on mass killings. Like the young shooters who take Chicago down a greased track, they left their worst instincts, resentments and hatreds in bulk. They were also abandoned by their parents to their own pathologies, brought up without care and without love. Without encouragement, resilience, perseverance and dignity.
It’s not new. And no law has yet stemmed or will stem the tide of mass shootings – which federal entities define as 4 or more killed in the same incident and location, while many news outlets and The Gun Violence Archive set the line at 4 or more wounded.
Chicago has been awash in mass shootings since at least 2019. The city has already had 10 this year and it’s not even summer yet. That’s up from 33 in 2019, 53 in 2020 and 60 last year. Usually it’s black people from south or west Chicago who get killed, so the national media isn’t interested. Move the location near the Magnificent Mile, and it quickly changes. But despite the attention paid to mass shootings locally and nationally, they do not account for most firearm homicides that do occur.
In Chicago, from 2016 to 2021, 126 people have been killed in broader mass shootings. That’s 3% of the 4,070 murders in Chicago in those same years. Nationally, mass shootings – again, broadly defined – in 2020 accounted for 611 or 3% of the 19,384 gun deaths in the United States. Numbers take him home: mass shootings are good for angry headlines over gun laws, but the much bigger problem is day-to-day homicides — often urban, black-on-black homicides.
This is certainly the case in Chicago. Four out of five murders in Chicago from 2017 to 2020 were black people. That’s according to race breakdowns buried deep in annual police reports. The authors are also predominantly black. From 1991 to 2011, black people made up more than 70% of known murderers in all but one of those years, according to the CPD report “Chicago Murder Analysis” (p. 38).
Chicagoland judges are determined to erode the margins of public safety by failing to enforce the gun laws we already have. In our latest mass shooting this month in Chicago, near the once glamorous downtown shopping district, two people were killed and nine injured. CWB Chicago reported that the suspect now charged with two counts of murder was on $200 bond for felony unlawful use of a weapon and for more than five months he had eluded a warrant for his arrest for failing to appear in court.
It seems remarkable that this guy could not be arrested within five months of the issuance of the arrest warrant and that he was ignored. But that didn’t happen.
At the same time, our crime wave continues. Through Week 21 of 2022 in Chicago and relative to the same period in the 2019 Pre-Unraveling Baseline Year, police crime data show that motor vehicle thefts increased by 45%, thefts by 23% and robberies by 10%. Murders increased by 26% compared to 2019 and shootings by 36%. At least criminal sexual assaults only increased by 1%. Yet there had been 780 up to week 21.
There is a great recklessness shown by the scale of the crimes committed without and with firearms.
Arrest rate don’t help. In Chicago, they are 1 in 10 for motor vehicle theft, for robbery, and for robbery. They are two out of ten for rapes; and less than one in ten for burglaries.
The snitches have stitches. It’s exercise. And the drilling won’t stop unless absentee dads change their tune.
Meanwhile, teenagers beat up a bus driver for sport. They invade the streets and cause fights in the streets. They repeatedly assault and assault passengers on the city’s iconic “El” trains.
This past holiday season, gangs of organized criminals in broad daylight and amid throngs of other shoppers routinely looted goods from the shelves of Chicago’s high-end boutiques and beauty supply stores, only to then sell them online.
They are part of organized criminal enterprises. Like too many of our politicians. Including, according to federal prosecutors, some of the pivots.
Do you understand the drift? This is moral rot. It is societal decadence. Gun abuse is a symptom of this. There is no practical legal remedy. No technocratic solution without bloodshed.
As a society, we struggle. With speech codes, with censorship, with the new high art of being mortally offended. Glued to our laptops at the speed of light, as we focus on our tribes, we leap straight into the abyss.
Now, in the wake of recent mass shootings and ongoing urban mayhem, even more newbies will be buying guns legally. Yet only an infinitesimal percentage of legally owned firearms will ever be used in criminal acts. And the criminals with weapons so often illegal? Obviously they don’t care about gun laws. Never, never will.
We have to bring everything back to the source. The problem is not the hardware. It is the operating system. The code has been corrupted.
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