Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, scrambling to appear in control amid what amounts to a bloodbath in her city’s streets, has blamed the rising body count on “the federal government’s failure to conduct background checks, a measure the state of Illinois has already implemented,” according to the Washington Free Beacon.
It’s a familiar fallback, according to Second Amendment activists; blame guns rather than perpetrators.
NEWS BULLETIN: The Second Amendment Foundation and Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms have announced that this year’s 35th annual Gun Rights Policy Conference will be a virtual online event only.
Alan Gottlieb, SAF founder and executive vice president, issued a statement explaining, “We will definitely miss the face-to-face personal contact with so many friends and activists. By switching to an online virtual event for the 2020 conference, we will reach a far broader audience.”
He anticipates the actual event and future visits will reach “at least 300,000 gun owners and rights activists.”
“Having to go virtual for this year’s event may be a blessing in disguise,” he said.
The conference was scheduled in Orlando the weekend of Sept. 18-20. This year’s theme is “Elect Freedom.”
“This decision was made after carefully analyzing and considering all of the circumstances. Given the current COVID-19 environment and constraints on travel, as well as the inability of our reserved hotel to accommodate us, we will make this year’s ‘virtual’ GRPC the important and memorable event of 2020. Together we will all make the Second Amendment great again.”
“We will provide updates on confirmed speakers and the multi-media platforms where activists can join us Sept. 19 and 20,” Gottlieb said.
As reported by WTTW News, this past weekend saw 11 homicides and more than 60 people shot and wounded.
Over the July Fourth holiday weekend, the Chicago Sun-Times reported 79 people wounded, and 15 people killed.
Quoted by the Free Beacon, Lightfoot appeared on MSNBC, telling anchor Stephanie Ruhle, “We have got to make sure that we do a better job of taking guns out of the hands of criminals…You’ve heard me say this before: We have to have a federal policy on background checks and making sure that dangerous people are not able to go across the border to states like Indiana and get military-grade weapons in quantities and then bring them back to the streets and shoot people up.”
But there is a “federal policy on background checks.” Every retail firearms sale requires a check. However, criminals and drive-by shooters typically cannot own or possess firearms due to criminal histories, so they use guns illegally obtained from other sources, such as theft, acquaintances or family members. Illinois has a so-called “universal background check” requirement, but that still does not keep guns out of the hands of criminals.
And the firearms to which she referred are not, according to experts, “military-grade weapons.” They are, in some cases, semiautomatic look-alike versions of firearms used by the military.
Chicago has seen an uptick in gun-related violence this year in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic panic. As noted by the Free Beacon, nine youngsters under age 18 were killed between June 20 and July 5. There have been a few more since.
WTTV said Police Superintendent David Brown is “planning to expand a new community policing initiative… to help grow relationships between police and residents.”
Over the years, Chicago has logged homicide numbers that dwarf the total annual murders in some entire states.
The Chicago Tribune’s homicide tracker reported as of July 11, the city had recorded 373 slayings, which is nearly 100 more than the 276 reported at the same time in 2019. Back in 2018, there had been 288 killings, while in 2017 at this time there were 365. The dip over the past two years might be an anomaly, although the Tribune numbers go back to 2013, when there had been 217 murders by this time, and 212 deaths in 2014.