Happy New Year! Chicago Murder Tally Hits 500 for 2012
Yes, but at least they have very strict gun control laws in Chicago that keep weapons out of the hands of criminals. Oh, wait...
Chicago reached “a tragic number” today, according to Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy: Its homicide total for the year hit 500, the highest annual total since 2008.
The city's latest homicide occurred around 9 p.m. Thursday when Nathaniel T. Jackson, 40, an alleged gang member with a lengthy arrest record, was gunned down outside a store in the Austin neighborhood.
As of Thursday night, homicides were up 17 percent over last year in Chicago and shootings had increased by 11 percent, according to police statistics. Earlier this fall, Chicago already exceeded the number of homicides that occurred last year, but this is the first time the city has had 500 or more murders since the 512 in 2008.
Helluva job, Rhambo. Why not blame the high murder rate on global warming?
Largely contributing to the spike was the unusual number of homicides that occurred during the early part of the year, when the city experienced unseasonable warmth. In the first three months of the year, homicides ran about 60 percent ahead of the 2011 rate.
Apparently, there was some dissension at police headquarters over whether this latest victim was the 499th or 500th murdered Chicagoan. They finally decided that the poor unfortunate was #500.
Incredibly, the police took credit for a decrease in violent crime at the same press conference they announced the 500th murder victim:
McCarthy issued a statement declaring: “The city has seen its 500th homicide for 2012, a tragic number that is reflective of the gang violence and proliferation of illegal guns that have plagued some of our neighborhoods.”
While saying every homicide is unacceptable, he went on to laud the department’s overall crime reduction.
He also said that gang violence reduction strategies the department adopted this year have slowed the increase in violence.
The murder rate is up 17% but, hey! At least the gangs are killing each other more slowly.
With so many illegal guns on the streets of Chicago and law abiding citizens largely prevented from legally purchasing a firearm for protection from the barbarians, one wonders why the murder rate wasn't higher.
Mayor Emanuel proposed budget cuts last year of $190 million. He planned to close 3 police stations and hire 500 officers for the year - a number that barely kept up with retirements. The city did direct many officers who had been largely doing paperwork to get out and patrol high crime neighborhoods. This slowed the crime rate toward the end of the year, but hardly made much of a difference in the number of murders overall.
If strict gun control laws aren't working in Chicago -- and they aren't -- why would anyone think they could work nationwide?