Following a weekend that saw more people shot in Chicago than have been killed in Seattle so far for the entire year, one gets a sense that people who think the Jet City is getting more dangerous should spend a couple of days in the Windy City.
During last week’s debate on domestic issues, Barack Obama admitted that he would like to renew the ban on so-called “assault weapons,” but almost in the same breath he blamed much of the violence on “cheap handguns.” Many in the firearms community took that as a hint that if Obama is re-elected, he will take the gloves off on guns, except, perhaps, for those sent south of the border on his watch, and under the nose of his attorney general.
Seattle Police spokesman Mark Jamieson told Examiner Monday that for the year so far, the city has seen 24 homicides. Sgt. Cindi West with the King County Sheriff’s Office said there have been 11 more in the county, including those in the cities within the county that are contracted for police services with the sheriff’s department. That’s 35 for the year. One of those was in North Bend, and it was in justifiable self-defense.
Back in Chicago, the president’s adopted home town, there have been more than 400 homicides, a 24 percent spike over last year, and there are still two months remaining in 2012. A poll by the Huffington Post has more than 71 percent of the respondents saying that Chicago’s crime-fighting strategies under former Obama chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, now the city’s mayor, are not working.
Of the shooting victims in Chicago over the weekend, five died. That’s a lighter count than some weekends in the Windy City, and the same kind of thing is a rare event in Seattle. Only once this year, and perhaps in recent memory going back to the Capitol Hill slayings in March 2006, have five people been slain in one short period. This year, the Café Racer shooting left four dead at the University District coffee shop and another victim downtown before gunman Ian Stawicki took his own life in West Seattle. Still, that case was an anomaly by Seattle standards.
It should be noted that despite Chicago’s gun ban being essentially nullified two years ago by the Bellevue-based Second Amendment Foundation’s lawsuit in McDonald v. City of Chicago, the city continues to enforce one of the most Draconian gun ordinances on the American landscape. While it is still incredibly difficult for city residents to legally obtain handguns for home protection, the law has not prevented Chicago street thugs from ramping up the violence.
Conversely, in Seattle and King County, citizens benefit from state preemption and there are a lot more legal firearms in circulation. Thousands of citizens are licensed to carry concealed handguns.
The president hints that he may want to go after “cheap handguns.” For many Chicagoans, and people elsewhere in the country suffering through the economic stagnation, all they can afford for personal protection is an inexpensive pistol.
There is no easy solution to Chicago’s problem, and it isn’t the proposed gun and bullet tax being promoted by Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. Making it more difficult and expensive for law-abiding citizens to defend themselves only gives criminals more latitude and less to worry about.
PLEASE SUBSCRIBE by clicking the link above.
PLEASE FORWARD the link to this column to friends and forums.
Second Amendment Foundation
Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms
Follow on Twitter: