Monday morning it appeared the City of Chicago was close to hitting—if it hadn’t already—700 homicides for the year, with five weeks remaining in 2020, according to data from the Chicago Sun-Times, and the Windy City is not alone in the rise of metropolitan mayhem.
Two thousand miles west, the City of Los Angeles hit a murderous milestone over the weekend, as the Los Angeles Times reported the city has racked up 300 slayings so far this year. It was a figure the city hadn’t logged since 2009, the newspaper said.
A thousand miles north, Seattle is also reporting more murders this year than for any of the past six, according to Seattle Police Department data. So far, as of Monday morning, there have been 41 slayings in the Jet City, up from 28 killings last year, and 32 for all of 2018, and the year is not over. Seattle, for its size and population, traditionally has a remarkably low number of murders, but it is located in a county with the highest number of legally-armed citizens in the state, even though the Seattle Police has used the COVID-19 shutdown to suspend accepting concealed pistol license applications since mid-March.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, last Thursday the number of homicide victims had reached 694. Over the weekend, six more people were reportedly killed and 46 others were wounded in shootings occurring across the city. If those figures are accurate—the newspaper keeps a running tally of murders—the city has hit a threshold.
In Los Angeles, according to Fox News, there were four killings over the weekend that bumped the city above the 300 mark. How many more will be added to the death toll won’t be known until Jan 2. But Fox said the city’s 32 percent increase in shootings “comes as other major cities also grapple with similar rises in crime during the coronavirus pandemic.”
Los Angeles and Seattle offer a dilemma for gun control advocates. Both are the largest cities in their respective states, and they have seen the adoption of stricter gun control laws in recent years that proponents argued would reduce gun-related violence. The exact opposite has been the case.
Seattle is a prime example of pushing an agenda that has the opposite effect than intended. In 2014, the Seattle-based gun prohibition lobbying group, Alliance for Gun Responsibility, mounted a successful $10 million-plus gun control initiative campaign requiring so-called “universal background checks” to keep guns out of the wrong hands. The following year, the Seattle City Council hastily adopted a gun and ammunition tax—also billed as a scheme to reduce gun-related violence—assessing $25 for each gun sale and 5 cents for each round of centerfire ammunition sold in the city.
This tax was patterned after a similar tax in Cook County, Ill., which encompasses Chicago. It appears the tax hasn’t helped in either jurisdiction.
Two years ago, the same billionaire-backed gun prohibition group in Seattle pushed through another multi-million-dollar financed gun control measure, aimed at keeping so-called “semiautomatic assault rifles” out of the hands of young adults.
Meanwhile, Seattle police officers are departing at an alarming rate. According to MyNorthwest.com, so far this year the city has lost 144 officers, and the left-leaning city council is trying to cut the department budget 17 percent.
In what may be a statement that can apply to any large city, MyNorthwest.com observed the effort to cut police officers and trim the budget, “continues to put Seattle on a downward spiral toward even higher crime.”