This scene, from 2016, is being repeated all too often in Chicago. (YouTube, Vice News)
Chicago has logged more than 500 homicides as of last weekend, and that’s apparently “good” news in a city that hit the same milestone a few weeks earlier last year.
According to the Chicago Tribune, homicides in the Windy City are “down about 7 percent from this time last year.” However, nobody is breaking out party favors, even though the lower murder number coincides with a decline of more than 11 percent in the number of shooting incidents in which people were wounded.
Still, the violence is staggering. So far this year Chicago thugs have killed more people than in some entire states. And there are still three full months to go before the year ends.
The newspaper reported that as of last weekend, at least 2,718 people had been wounded in the city. That’s down from the 3,066 who had been struck by gunfire at this time last year.
Over last weekend, according to WGN-TV, more than 30 people were shot and 11 others were killed.
Chicago is enveloped by Cook County, which adopted a so-called “gun violence tax” a few years ago. Creating of that tax was supposed to have had an impact on gun-related violence, but not the way things are turning out. The number of murders has crept upward. Last year more than 700 people were slain in the city.
The only other place where a “gun violence tax” has been adopted is Seattle. According to Seattle Police data, as of Sept. 6 there had been 14 slayings in the city, the same number as last year at that time. There were 268 shots fired reports as opposed to 247 at the same time in 2016.
Seattle had logged 42 shootings and 8 gun-related homicides last year while this year, there were 50 shootings and 9 gun-related slayings, the charts show.
There is no small irony in the fact that the new interim mayor in Seattle is soon-to-retire Councilman Tim Burgess, the architect of the city’s gun tax.
Now, the Seattle tally doesn’t include Tuesday’s fatal shooting in West Seattle, but considering the numbers, the Jet City appears to be on a typical track of ending the year with somewhere in the neighborhood of 19-20 slayings. For a city the size of Seattle (compared to Milwaukee, Baltimore or Washington, D.C.), that’s remarkable, and it belies claims by the gun prohibition lobby that there is an “epidemic of gun violence” underway in the Evergreen State.
That’s especially significant when one considers that there are about 590,000 active concealed pistol licenses in the state, and more than 101,000 of those are held in King County, where Seattle is located. Apparently all the rhetoric about more guns in private hands resulting in more violence doesn’t stack up.
In Chicago, authorities are struggling to reduce the mayhem. It doesn’t help that the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting Thursday that the son of the Chicago Housing Authority’s chief executive officer has been arrested in connection with a weekend killing in Indianapolis, in neighboring Indiana. The newspaper said Eugene Jones, 18, “is accused of fatally shooting 18-year-old Deante Williams about 6:30 p.m. Sunday.” The teen reportedly turned himself in Tuesday.