The ongoing violence in Chicago and Baltimore – two cities with strict gun laws and devoted opposition to change – underscores the failure of gun controls designed to prevent such slaughter by keeping guns out of the “wrong hands.”
According to the Chicago Tribune, “The number of homicides in Chicago this year is nearing 200 after the last weekend in April recorded 23 people shot, four of them fatally, according to police.”
Likewise in Baltimore, according to global news service RT, “For the first time in nearly 20 years, the city of Baltimore, Maryland, has experienced more than 100 murders before the end of April. After five people were killed last weekend, the total number of homicides in 2017 ticked up to 108, according to the Baltimore Sun. The last time the city experienced more murders by this point was 1993.”
The Baltimore Sun added more urgency: “Through the first four months of 2017, Baltimore has experienced its highest murder rate in recorded history — and now federal officials are sending in some help.” The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has deployed a “gun-tracing van” to “try to quickly solve gun crimes.”
So far this year, 108 people have been murdered in Baltimore, the newspaper said.
Mayor Catherine Pugh admitted that “things are out of control,” but quickly added the traditional anti-gun caveat that “there are too many guns on the streets.”
That may not be accurate. There appear to be too many guns in the wrong hands, which is what Maryland’s tough gun control laws were supposed to prevent. Law-abiding citizens find it nearly impossible to get a carry permit. Thugs simply don’t bother with the red tape. They carry despite the laws.
In Chicago, where officials have had to accept the fact that Illinois now has a concealed carry statute albeit reluctantly, the body count is on pace to match last year’s carnage, and eight months remain in the year, including what could be a long, hot summer. The Chicago Sun-Times continues to publish its Homicide Watch with its daily updates of the mayhem. As of Monday, there had been at least 193 slayings, the Chicago Tribune reported, and more than 1,000 people have been shot since January 1. That number is behind the 1,129 people who had been shot by the same time last year.
Chicago police are starting to get it right. The newspaper quoted a department statement that talked about “violence driven by illegally obtained guns.” Windy City killers and shooters don’t wander into gun stores in the suburbs to fill out federal 4473 forms or submit to background checks.
Fox News reported Monday about the use of NIBIN, a technology now used by Chicago police to identify and link recovered guns to crimes. It reported that a gun used in the February slaying of 21-year-old Tenisha Mallet, mother of a 4-year-old daughter, was involved in another fatal shooting in March 2016 and “in four other separate shootings across the city.”
The individual from who police recovered that Glock 9mm pistol may have a lot of explaining to do. Not much else is being said about the gun, or the person who had it, and whether that individual legally possessed it.
All of this adds up to massive gun control failure, while honest citizens find it difficult if not impossible to exercise their self-defense rights.