Skooter reports 01/05/13
Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy knew that any night can explode into gunfire in the Austin neighborhood on Chicago’s West Side.
McCarthy went on patrol there on New Year’s Eve, with one of his officers, as he infrequently does, and during a routine traffic stop he seized an illegal gun from a car.
In Chicago’s South Side and West Side, it was just one example in a sea of weapons, oftenly you would find the serial numbers are filed off clean. There were 506 homicides last year that hit the city, and this year, killings are once again piling up at a rate faster than one a day.
McCarthy said that he had eight cops shot in the last year and a half that he had been here. Somebody’s got to do something about it, he said, besides putting ourselves in harm’s way.
Chicago Mayorand McCarthy are in the same path in their push for new gun laws and the state lawmakers strongly backed them up in Springfield. The Public Health Committee of the state Senate speedily approved bills that would ban the sale of semi-automatic weapons and high-capacity magazines during the lame-duck session.
Sparked by the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., the legislation is stepping up quickly in time to keeping with the stated philosophy of Emanuel that we should use times of crisis to drum up people and demand change.
Emanuel said that as somebody who stood by President Clinton’s side to make sure we had a ban on assault weapons, he do not want to see more weapons on the street.
However, McCarthy admitted targeting at assault weapons fail to see the mark when dealing with Chicago’s gang violence. Generally, the weapon used is a handgun and hardly is it purchased through legal channels. What they want is to target straw purchasing, which means when legal gun buyers will purchase a weapon and then let it loose in the illegal market, McCarthy said. He explained that buying ten 9 millimeters, then you walk out the door and you give them freely to whoever you want. There is no accountability. Then after a year, we recover your gun in a shooting. Then you say, you lost it and that’s the end of it. He said there’s nothing we can do about it.
McCarhty is advocating for a law that puts the burden back on the gun owner to report if a weapon is lost, stolen or sold. While Mayor Emanuel’s approach is to have a database of gun offenders, very similar to those established for sex offenders.
However, Don Moran, president of the Illinois State Rifle Association, thinks otherwise that new laws will not make any difference in the violence. The illegal guns are already out there, he said. The people buying and shooting them with reckless dispose of won’t even know that the gun laws exist, let alone respect them, he said.
Illinois politicians, Moran thinks are only pushing gun laws to open up a debate and disrupt from the enormous fiscal problems in Illinois.
This is what he said that the bigger the problems they have to solve, and the harder the media would take a look at those things, the harder they want you to look at something else.
Yet the gun laws are upped quickly through the Illinois legislature, the lame duck session ends Wednesday. What McCarthy worries about is that the sentiment supporting the new laws will die down while the opposition has time to grow.
He feared that it’s already slowing, and nothing is going to come of it, just like nothing came of Columbine or Virginia Tech.