This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, April 6, 2016:
The spike in gun violence in Chicago has drawn the attention of pro-gun advocates, some of whom are blaming it on Second Amendment infringements by the city. Tim Brown of Freedom Outpost said the massive increase in people shot and killed or wounded by gunfire is “the product of infringement upon the Second Amendment and restrictive gun measures that leaves guns in the hands of criminals [but] law-abiding citizens as defenseless victims.”
He got part of it right. Chicago is among U.S. cities with the greatest infringements of Second Amendment rights. Roseanne Ander, the founder and executive director of the University of Chicago’s Crime Lab, agreed with Brown, saying that “Our regulations are actually similar to those of other major cities … [such] as New York and Los Angeles … [both of those] cities have pretty restrictive gun laws.”
Brown failed to mention that those laws have been in effect for some time now, but the spike in gun violence in Chicago is very recent. Is something else to blame?
Most of the shootings involve gang members who inhabit Chicago’s South and West sides. As Chicago’s new interim Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson told the Chicago Tribune: “We know who is committing these crimes. It’s a small segment of the population. We have these individuals targeted. One of the things we have to do is ensure we hold those individuals accountable when they commit these crimes.”
So if the police know who they are and where they are, why aren’t they doing something about it? Call it the ACLU/Laquan McDonald “effect,” working in tandem to keep police officers from venturing into those areas. The problem is that the combination of new ACLU paperwork and poor morale following the shooting by a Chicago police officer of Laquan McDonald 16 times while he was walking away has greatly reduced the enforcement of the laws designed to reduce that violence. The Tribune, following interviews with a number of Chicago police officers, said that they are now “much less aggressive on the street out of fear that doing even basic police work would get them into trouble. [As a result] criminals were taking advantage of their passive approach.”
The numbers certainly lend credence to such a conclusion. In January CPD officers made 6,818 arrests compared to almost 10,000 a year earlier, while the number of “street stops” also plummeted, from 61,330 in January 2015 to just 9,044 in January 2016.
Add to that the increased paperwork mandated by the department following an agreement struck with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and a new state law, and law enforcement is spending more time doing paperwork and less time patrolling those high crime areas.
Johnson said he didn’t think low morale was the problem, just the new paperwork requirements were causing his officers to be “confused,” which would be cleared up by more training. He said: “We’re seeing a steady uptick in the investigatory stops, so we’re slowly but surely getting back. I don’t think we’ll ever hit the numbers we had before. But that’s the whole point of it. We just have to make sure we stop the right people at the right times for the right reasons.”
This appears to be a blatant admission that law enforcement in those high crime areas will never go back to the level before the ACLU intervened and the shooting of Laquan McDonald, which translates into: gun violence will continue at very high levels; just not as high as they once were.
That’s small comfort for the honest, hard-working, law-abiding citizens chafing under Chicago’s stringent gun laws. They will remain unarmed while caught in the crossfire of the endless gang violence committed by criminals who could care less about those laws.
Freedom Outpost: Gun-Controlled Chicago’s Gun Violence Has Nearly Doubled in Past Year
Chicago Tribune: Chicago off to deadliest start in nearly two decades