By: Teresa Mull
The number of murders in Chicago has increased an astounding 139 percent, a new police report reveals.
The Chicago Sun-Times reports:
The 105 murders reported in July are a nearly 139% increase from the 44 reported in July 2019, according to police data released Saturday. The 406 shooting incidents last month were a 75% increase from the 232 reported in the same month-to-month comparison.
The Sun-Times reported 106 homicides across the city in July, bringing the total number of homicide cases this year to 430 as of Friday night.
Murders are up 51% from the same point last year, along with a 47% increase in shootings, police said.
Last month, 573 people were shot in the city — at least 58 of them juveniles, including a 9-year-old boy killed by gunfire Friday night as he played outside on the Near North Side, according to Sun-Times records.
These heartbreaking statistics come as Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot calls for more gun control in her ravaged city, despite Chicago already being one of the worst places in the nation for gun owners.
GPM’s José Niño reported previously that in a recent interview on MSNBC, the Chicago mayor called for the President to consider radical gun control as a “solution” to the violence plaguing Chicago:
“If the president was really committed to helping us deal with our violence, he would do some easy things.
"What he would push for is universal background checks, he would push for an assault weapons ban, he would push to make sure that people who are banned from getting on airplanes can’t get guns.”
To suggest that Chicago’s lack of gun control is behind this wave of violence doesn’t pass the laugh test. In Illinois, people must acquire a permit, which is issued following a background check, in order to purchase any kind of firearm. In addition, Cook County (Chicago’s county) has had an “assault weapons” ban for nearly a decade.
Similar to cities such as Baltimore, Chicago’s gun violence “epidemic” is largely the product of a vast wave of criminality. According to a 2017 Gun Trace Report, the majority of crime firearms used in Chicago were possessed by adults who did not originally purchase them.
The notion that universal background checks will somehow be a cure to gun violence is naïve at best, and at worst, dangerously pig-headed. Criminals won’t bother to fill out forms or go through bureaucratic hurdles just to acquire a firearm. They’ll tap into the criminal underworld, which is already awash with illegal firearms.
Teresa Mull (firstname.lastname@example.org) is editor of Gunpowder Magazine.