First watch the video Eliana posted of David Axelrod blaming “surrounding areas” for Chicago’s gun problems and then read this 2012 Chicago Sun-Times piece that investigated where Chicago gets its guns.
Spoiler alert: the guns are local:
You might think the Deep South is the biggest source of the firearms in the hands of Chicago’s criminals.
Maybe you heard about the less-restrictive gun laws in the South or the high-profile cases the feds have brought against gun traffickers moving weapons from Mississippi and other states to Chicago — the Dixie pipeline.
But the truth is most guns recovered in crimes here were originally bought in Illinois.
More specifically, in Cook County.
And the No. 1 supplier of those weapons is just a short drive from Chicago, Chuck’s Gun Store in south suburban Riverdale.
From 2008 to March 2012, the police successfully traced the ownership of 1,375 guns recovered in crimes in Chicago within a year of their purchase.
Of those guns, 268 were bought at Chuck’s — nearly one in five.
That statistic comes from a groundbreaking study by University of Chicago Crime Lab researchers, done at the request of the Chicago Police Department, which is grappling with an extra-violent 2012 that has seen a 28 percent spike in the city’s homicide total compared to this time last year.
In their study, U. of C. researchers combed through gun-trace data to determine the weapons most likely bought by straw purchasers.
Those are people without criminal records who buy guns for felons — often at a hefty markup.
Fifty-eight percent of those recovered guns were bought in Illinois. About 19 percent were purchased in Indiana, 3 percent in Wisconsin — and less than 2 percent in Mississippi.
Cook County was the source of 45 percent of the guns over that period, according to the crime lab’s study.
You can read the rest of the Sun-Times piece here.
And a few weeks ago, former NYPD commissioner William Bratton gave his opinion in the Wall Street Journal weekend interview on what’s wrong in Chicago. Much to Mr. Axelrod’s chagrin, Bratton thinks that Chicago’s problems are Chicago in nature and it’s better policing/prosecution that’s the answer:
But the gun reform that truly gets Mr. Bratton fired up is one you don’t hear much about these days. It is what he calls “certainty of punishment,” or stricter gun-crime sentences.
“People are out on the streets who should be in jail. Jail is appropriate for anyone who uses a gun in the commission of an act of violence. Some cities have a deplorable lack of attention to this issue,” he says, citing Philadelphia.
In Chicago, where the murder rate rose 16% last year, “to try to put someone in jail for gun-related activity you really have to go the extra mile,” he says. “If there’s one crime for which there has to be a certainty of punishment, it is gun violence.” He ticks off other places where help is needed: “Oakland, Chicago, D.C., Baltimore—all have gangs whose members have no capacity for caring about life and respect for life. Someone like that? Put ‘em in jail. Get ‘em off the streets. Keep people safe.”
Bratton is also an unapologetic supporter and preacher on the importance of “stop, question, and frisk” to lower gun deaths:
“Stop-and-frisk is not something that you can stop. It is an absolutely basic tool of American policing,” Mr. Bratton says. “It would be like asking a doctor to give an examination to you without using his stethoscope.” Critics, he complains, “always leave out the middle term—stop, question and frisk. About 60 to 70 percent of the stops don’t result in a frisk in New York.” As for Judge Shira Scheindlin’s recent ruling, he predicts a reversal “when it goes to the Supreme Court.”
This isn’t some revolutionary new police concept. You question people, you arrest them if they’re committing a crime, and, if they’re in possession of a gun during said crime, you have a mandatory-minimum sentence that puts them in jail for a reasonable amount of time. Catch-and-release of those with illegal guns in Chicago must end.
Axelrod can continue his distractions, but Team Obama isn’t going to get anywhere on reducing gun violence if they can’t, at the very least, be honest about what’s wrong in the city most of them call home. Nor will they get anywhere if they continue to ignore the proven police policies that Dems constantly rail against.
I mean, if it just saves one child, shouldn’t Chicago listen to William Bratton?