An anti-gun activist priest in Chicago who once encouraged people attending a 2007 gun control rally to “snuff” the owner of a suburban gun shop may have unintentionally cracked the proverbial code when he told a reporter—following continued lethal violence in the city—that someone willing to commit murder isn’t deterred by “stay-at-home” orders.
The same logic applies to criminals using guns to commit homicides, say Second Amendment advocates—gun control laws don’t stop them because those laws are routinely ignored—although that may have escaped Father Michael Pfleger, pastor of St. Sabina’s Church.
Pfleger’s parish is somewhat in the middle of what could easily be called Chicago’s war zone. According to AFP and Yahoo News, he’s spent more than 30 years in this environment. So, despite what the firearms community believes is a misguided attitude about guns, he’s had plenty of time to absorb the apparent violent nature of Windy City life…and death.
The report said Pfleger “believes the pandemic has magnified every social problem that contributes to gun violence. But he also fears America’s biggest problem — racial and economic inequality — will be ignored once the virus recedes.”
According to AFP News, during April, Chicago police said the Windy City produced 56 homicides, only five fewer than during April 2019. And as May has started unfolding, the pattern shows no interruption in the mayhem, with four slayings and 46 other people shot and wounded, the report said.
Last year, Chicago chalked up 492 homicides, according to WLS, which was down from the 567 murders in 2018.
But with last month’s slayings down only a fraction from the same month last year, and the warm weather months still ahead, the city’s murder numbers could rebound faster than the economy if business opens back up and people get back to work. And, if they don’t get back to work and remain shut in, that may also exacerbate the situation.
According to AFP, the City of New York saw only 31 murders in April, despite having nearly three times the population as Chicago, and Los Angeles reported only 18 murders over a four-week period beginning in late March when the shut-down was announced.
Back on New Year’s Day, WLS News reported that interim Police Superintendent Charlie Beck cheered the police department for “taking 10,800 guns off the streets in 2019.”
What April’s murder count confirms is that when dealing with the criminal element, they will continue to obtain firearms, while tougher gun control laws only seem to make it more difficult for law-abiding citizens to have the tools to fight back.