In the first 100 days of 2016, 857 people were victims of shootings in Chicago, according to the Chicago Tribune. There were 15 shootings on April 7 alone. The shootings are primarily just west and south of the city center.
The city is on pace to exceed the 2,988 shooting victims in 2015 as each month this year has exceeded the total number of shootings per month from the previous year. Every 2 hours and 48 minutes someone in the Windy City is shot.
On Feb. 15, Valerie Jarrett, Chicago resident and senior adviser to President Obama, appeared on the “Steve Harvey Show” to discuss President Obama’s executive orders regarding personally owned firearms. Jarrett pushed Chicago’s gun violence on Indiana, stating “right next door you have Indiana” with its loose gun laws. People are buying guns in Indiana and selling them in the “streets of Chicago out of the back of a truck.”
Obama, a strong supporter for gun control, is under fire on a national level for being too soft on convicted criminals who have committed a crime with a firearm. A March 31 letter from Republican Alabama Sen. [crscore]Richard Shelby[/crscore] to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch asserted that in the president’s recent release of criminals using executive clemency resulted in putting violent criminals back on the street. According to the letter, “33 were convicted of firearm-related offenses.”
Shelby noted that among recent sentence commutations:
- Seven convictions of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime;
- Four convictions of possession of a firearm by a felon; and
- Two convictions of use of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense.
While Obama and Jarrett call for more restrictions on law-abiding citizens as a measure to curb violence, especially in urban areas, they seem reluctant to prosecute gun crimes.
“Under the existing federal gun laws, he could take every felon with a gun, drug dealer with a gun and criminal gangbanger with a gun off the streets tomorrow and lock them up for five years or more,” the National Rifle Association’s executive vice president Wayne LaPierre said. “But he won’t do it, his Justice Department won’t do it, and the media never asks why. So convicted gangbangers carry illegal guns because they fear rival gangs more than they fear being prosecuted for a gun charge.”
Illinois was the last state to withhold concealed carry to its citizens. In February 2014, the state began issuing concealed carry permits to those who have passed a training course and background investigation, and paid the necessary fees.
At the current pace of one shooting every 2.8 hours, Chicago will have 3,136 shooting in 2016, a 5 percent increase over shootings in 2015. The projections are modest, considering that Chicago’s deadliest months occur in August, September and July, respectively, and this March saw nearly a 50 percent increase in shootings from the previous year.