Welcome to Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Wild, Wild West show in Chicago, where bullets fly thicker than fleas around a stray dog.
Yesterday, the city saw a spasm of violence rare even for Chicago; 14 people were shot in 15 hours, including 6 dead.
As is his wont, Rahmbo blamed the “poor values” of gangbangers and wants tougher penalties for gun crimes.
The first of those shootings occurred Monday evening when a family on its way back from an outing was gunned down in the Back of the Yards neighborhood, leaving a pregnant mother and a grandmother dead and three others – including an 11-month-old boy – wounded, police said.
The second multiple shooting occurred about five hours later when two men and the mother of a 4-year-old were killed and two other people were wounded near a playground in the Fuller Park neighborhood on the South Side, according to police. A sister said the woman was killed coming to the aid of a relative.
The burst of violence follows two straight weekends when more than 50 people were shot in Chicago. That’s the first time that has happened on back-to-back weekends over the four years the Tribune has been tracking shootings. In August, more than 40 were shot on four consecutive weekends.
So far this year, at least 2,300 people have been shot in Chicago, about 400 more than during the same period last year, according to a Tribune analysis. Through Sunday, homicides have risen to 359, up 21 percent from 296 a year earlier, according to preliminary data from Chicago police.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Tuesday addressed the shooting in Back of the Yards, saying he was angry and “enough is enough.”
As he often does, Emanuel railed against the poor values of gangbangers. “Wherever you live, you should be able to get out of your car and go to your home,” said Emanuel, who attended the opening of a renovated Red Line CTA station at Clark and Division streets.
The mayor then returned to his oft-repeated themes of making all Chicago neighborhoods equally safe and calling for tougher penalties for crimes involving guns.
“You can say this happened in the neighborhood of the Back of the Yards, but everybody (who) woke up this morning, or heard it last night, felt a pain of anguish, and it’s time that our criminal justice system and the laws as it relates to access to guns and the penalties for using ’em reflect the values of the people of the city of Chicago,” Emanuel said.
More illegal guns have been confiscated in Chicago this year than in New York and Los Angeles combined. This would seem to point to a policing problem, except it’s more complicated than that.
Chicago is a major distribution node for the Sinaloa drug cartel; 80% of the drugs in the city flow from that one gang. The key, then, would seem to be to smash the conduit of illegal drugs and guns and bust up the networks that supply most of the Midwest with drugs – a task easier said than done. The bulk of Chicago’s violence problem lies outside the city limits and actually originates in Mexico.
But the Obama administration has no desire to get caught up in Mexico’s war with the cartels, so no special enforcement methods are currently being considered. Clearly, in order to attack Chicago’s gun violence, it’s going to take a joint U.S.-Mexico-Chicago PD effort to break the back of Sinaloa and reduce the flow of guns and drugs into the city.