There are no gun shops in Chicago, so they say, but murders are on pace to hit 730 for 2013. Guns are usually the weapons that the killers choose to use.
Two teenage boys were murdered over the weekend, and guns were the weapons used by the killers. One victim, 14-year-old Rey Dorantes, was reportedly shot while sitting on the front porch of his home. Fifteen-year-old Victor Vega was reportedly walking with another male when they were approached by an armed man who opened fire, killing Vega. In separate incidents, four other people were wounded via gunfire, and all but one of them were under the age of 17. There have been 21 homicides in Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Chicago since the start of 2013. At least 15 of the victims were shot to death, and more than half were under the age of 30. It’s not known yet whether either boy’s murder was gang related, but Chicago police believe that the majority of murders committed within the city are the result of gang wars and gang violence.
According to a story published in March 2012, Chicago’s gang-related statistics are alarming:
Chicago is home to the largest gang population in the country, Fox Chicago reported in January. The Chicago Crime Commission reports 73 active gangs with 68,000 to 150,000 gang members in the city.
Territory issues are bound to happen with such large numbers of gangs chasing after the same profit. Uptown’s Wilson and Broadway cross section exemplifies this competition
“You look at the [Latin] Kings that tried to move into the area here,” said Pat Gordon, supervisor of the Uptown neighborhood branch of ONE/CeaseFire. “It didn’t come to fruition because there were too many gangs already in the area.”
Gordon said that the intersection is a war zone between the Black P. Stones on the West and the Vice Lords on the East – two gangs that take the profitability of that corner very seriously.
The unusual alliance between the Stones and another Chicago super gang would incite tension with the Kings, who are a cousin gang of the Stones under the Peoples Nation, according to Gordon.
ONE/CeaseFire intervened before conflict escalated. The Kings returned to their turf on Lawrence and Ashland.
“Just like a business, if you can’t bring in a profit to make ends meet at the end of the day, then it’s going to fall through,” he continued.
The primary business that the gangs engage in is illegal drug trafficking. Most illegal drugs are shipped into the U.S. from outside the country, with numerous paths crossing the border from Mexico. Mexico has seen far more than its share of gang-related violence over the past few years, with an estimated 60,000 killed in the drug cartel wars there in the past few years. That number is almost surely too low, because it does not take into account many killings that have taken place on the north side of the U.S.-Mexico border. There is strong evidence that at least some law enforcement on the U.S. side downplay cartel violence in their jurisdictions in order to make their crime statistics look better, so they can get re-elected, and keep federal crime grant money flowing their way.
The United States Department of Justice began designating U.S. cities that followed certain immigration-related policies “sanctuary cities” back in the 1980s. Chicago has been a “sanctuary city” since that designation was created. “Sanctuary cities” allow law enforcement to look the other way when immigration status might come up in the course of an investigation. To put things maybe a little too simply, illegal aliens know that once they reach a sanctuary city like Chicago they are for all intents and purposes home free from questions about their immigration status. The Latin Kings, MS-13 and other gangsters can recruit and import foot soldiers south of the border and rest assured that once in Rahm Emanuel’s Chicago, the police will not query whether they are in the country legally or not. They are free to kill.
I’m not suggesting that all of Chicago’s current wave of violence is related to its sanctuary city policies. I am suggesting that some of it is, because that’s obvious. I am also suggesting that before the likes of Jesse Jackson demand “compromise” from law-abiding Americans who own guns, they should take a hard, honest look at the long-term effects of policies that they support. Sanctuary city policies exacerbate lawlessness from the border to thousands of points north. Do away with those policies and others that make our citizens and legal aliens less safe, before even thinking about cracking down on responsible Americans and their right to self-defense.