As 2020 bows out the Chicago Tribune, looking at a body count exceeding 765 murder victims, reported the Windy City had “endured a level of violence in 2020 that reversed recent progress, with homicides increasing by more than 50%, according to official statistics.”
Chicago is not alone in its level of mayhem. Newsday quoted New York Police Commissioner Dermot Shea’s report to the press that 2020 has been a year “in which homicides have risen 41% over 2019 and shootings climbed nearly 100% to levels not seen since the early days of the Bloomberg administration.”
Other cities have been plagued by upticks in violence. Philadelphia had racked up 494 slayings as of Wednesday, according to WPVI News. Baltimore logged 334 murders as of Thursday morning, according to Patch News. Washington, D.C. is adding at least 198 corpses to the grim toll, according to the DCList.
Is it any wonder, then, that so many people have been buying firearms this year? An estimated 7.5 million of those sales were to first-time buyers; people who never before owned a gun and may not have ever wanted to.
As reported by the Chicago Sun-Times, taking a final look around the country, “In New York City, homicides have soared 39% since last year. In Los Angeles, 30%. In St. Louis, 35%. The list goes on, adding up to a 34% increase in murders nationwide since last year, data from the National Commission on COVID-19 and Criminal Justice shows.”
The carnage is likely to launch a new round of gun control efforts as the gun prohibition lobby moves to exploit the situation. Invariably, the claim will be that each new restriction will keep guns out of the wrong hands.
However, two news reports—one out of Albany, NY and the other from Riley County, Kansas—underscore why gun control laws will never accomplish what they claim.
The Albany Times Union is reporting a Christmas burglary at the home of a Green County Sheriff’s deputy. The suspect made off with two “service weapons” and a shotgun, two bullet-proof vests, ammunition and other gear.
Out in Kansas, a burglar broke into a home to steal two shotguns, a Smith & Wesson 9mm pistol, Ruger .357 Magnum revolver, an AR15 rifle, A Remington Model 742 rifle, a Ruger P95 pistol, a Glock .40-caliber pistol, a Bond Arms derringer, Springfield .45-caliber pistol and a knife, plus ammunition.
Neither of these thefts involved background checks or waiting periods.
What’s the uptick in violence all about? There are lots of theories floating around, including the impact that the COVID-19 shutdown has had on the lives of millions of Americans. The economy was roaring along fine early in the year, with low unemployment, a healthy Dow-Jones and then the virus hit. Businesses closed, putting America out of work. Lives were upended, people lost their homes, schools closed and people started dying.
It may take months or even years of research to sort it all out. But one fact clearly emerging from the chaos is that all the gun control laws didn’t work. Laws that had been adopted with promises of reduced violent crime failed.
The reaction from anti-gunners is to push even more laws while common-sense gun owners will observe that doing the same thing over and over, and expecting a different result is not a sign of progress but the definition of insanity.