Recent events in one of Chicago’s more violent neighborhoods show that while the handgun ban is still the law (for now), it is ineffective at disarming criminals:
As reported, seven people were shot within 15 minutes of each other in the Englewood and West Englewood neighborhoods. At around 11:45 p.m. on Saturday night, multiple people were standing on the 5700 block of South Union Avenue when a gunman opened fire. 26 year old Marchello Henderson, of the 10000 block of South Wabash Avenue, was hit and pronounced dead at 3 AM from his gunshot wounds. Two other individuals, including a minor, suffered non-life-threatening injuries and were listed in good condition at local hospitals. About 15 minutes later, a gunman shot four men on the 6400 block of South Sangamon Street. Two of the victims were listed in critical condition at Stroger hospital, with the remaining two victims listed in stable condition at St. Bernard hospital.
It is also worth noting that this is not an isolated situation. Time and time again, criminals in Chicago ignore the handgun ban, causing Chicago to hold the title of “murder capitol” or the United States. By any measure, the handgun ban just doesn’t stop criminals.
What the handgun ban does seem to do is ensure that Chicago’s law abiding citizens are defenseless. Whether we’re talking about high profile attacks upon innocent people like the North Side rapist and the killing of Jenifer Hudson’s family, or lower profile home invasions, the situation is the same: A violent criminal who is not deterred by our laws against murder/rape/home invasion is certainly not deterred by the relatively minor punishment imposed upon those who violate the handgun ban. As a result, the criminal is still armed. On the other hand, the law abiding victims don’t want to go to jail, even for a day, and don’t want the stigma of a criminal conviction. As a result, they are unarmed. The criminal then has a monopoly on force when attacking that victim, with tragic results.
The solution to this problem is rather simple: abolish such pointless gun restrictions. Doing so would allow the law abiding people of Chicago to defend themselves, just as people across the country do every day. Sadly, people like Mayor Daley, Jessie Jackson and Rev. Pfleger seem more interested in blaming guns for the actions of criminals than reevaluating Chicago’s pointless gun policies.