It was another bloody weekend in Chicago, with at least 40 people shot, including 11 who were killed, and possibly the most notorious slaying was of a man named Londre Sylvester, a local rapper known as “KTS Dre,” who was brutally gunned down shortly after being bailed out of the Cook County Jail Saturday evening.
According to Fox News, Sylvester suffered possibly as many as 64 bullet wounds in the bloody attack. He was pronounced dead at Mount Sinai Hospital about a half-hour following the shooting. Two women who were with Sylvester were slightly wounded, and authorities reportedly believe this was a targeted attack.
The Chicago Tribune quote a police report explaining Sylvester was wearing an electronic monitor “as a condition of his bail.” He and one of the women were reportedly walking toward “an awaiting vehicle when several unknown (suspects) exited two separate vehicles and all began to shoot in Sylvester’s direction, striking him numerous times.” Ironically, Sylvester reportedly had “KTS” tattooed on his neck. Fox News said “KTS” stands for “Kill To Survive.”
Several published reports said Sylvester was arrested in April 2020 “on charges of being a felon in possession of a weapon.” He was accused in June of violating conditions of his release, and on July 1, a judge set bail at $50,000 and Sylvester on Friday reportedly posted the required 10 percent—$5,000—in order to be released.
The website Heyjackass.com on Monday said July so far had produced 45 gun-related homicides and 200 people have been shot and wounded. The website listed 377 firearms-related homicides for the year Monday morning, and another 1,808 people had been shot and wounded.
In response to violence in Chicago and several other major cities, the Biden-Harris administration “has sent strike forces to Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., to help take down gun networks.” Presumably, that is a reference to gun traffickers allegedly responsible for many of the firearms that turn up at crime scenes or are involved in criminal acts.
It should be noted that all of those cities have very strict gun control laws.
While the gun prohibition lobby might try blaming the surge in violence to the spike in gun sales over the past year, The Guardian is reporting that “some of America’s leading gun violence researchers have concluded that what might seem like an obvious cause-and-effect – a surge in gun buying leads to a surge in gun violence – is not supported by the data.”
The study abstract offered these conclusions: “Nationwide, firearm purchasing and firearm violence increased substantially during the first months of the coronavirus pandemic. At the state level, the magnitude of the increase in purchasing was not associated with the magnitude of the increase in firearm violence. Increases in purchasing may have contributed to additional firearm injuries from domestic violence in April and May. Results suggest much of the rise in firearm violence during our study period was attributable to other factors, indicating a need for additional research.”
There may be no easy explanation for the sharp increase in violence over the past year, The Guardian indicated. The story quoted lead study author Julia Schleimer, who suggested a need to look at “other factors, like job loss, economic change, the closure of schools and community organizations…and civil unrest.”
The Guardian story also said “There is a large body of research demonstrating the correlation between gun access and increased risk of gun injury,” according to Schleimer.