Gun-Crazed Society Allows For 45 People Shot In Chicago Easter Weekend–6 Were Children

The stunning and shameful headlines that scream for action from Chicago sit alongside another gun related story that is making news today.

Sales are booming for silencers, the cylindrical devices used to muffle gunfire.  The civilian market for silencers soared 37% in 2013, when the total number shot up to nearly a half a million.  Silencers are so popular that there’s a nine-month wait to have a registration approved by the ATF.

The reason I put these two stories together is to underscore where we are in this nation in 2014.  We are soaked in gun violence and seem unable or more importantly unwilling to address the issue in a rational way.

Gun owners rushed to buy assault rifles after the Newtown massacre, fearing that a weapons ban would be enacted.  Those gun owners are now–get this–customizing their guns with a wide array of accessories such as silencers, flashlights, laser scopes, stocks, pistol grips and rail systems for attaching even more accessories.

No one can honestly say this is not a sickness that needs to be met head-on with some tough responses from the rest of society who are tired of always picking up the pieces from out-of-control gun-crazed people.

Clearly there is a problem in this nation with too many guns, the ease with which weapons and ammunition can be obtained, along with a culture that seems to love violence from video games to Hollywood movies.  But when the accounts for what happened this weekend in Chicago are read it goes without saying that our current laws are not working.

Not even close to working.

On Easter weekend, 45 people were shot in the city, six of them children.

Five youngsters under the age of 15—four girls and a boy—were shot in a playground where they had gone after Easter services at a nearby church.

Witnesses agree that a car pulled up and one of the occupants asked the youngsters if they were in a gang. There is some dispute about whether the youngsters even got a chance to say no before the people in the car started shooting.

The most seriously wounded, 11-year-old Tymisha Washington, was listed in critical condition with multiple gunshot wounds. She is expected to survive.

 Facebook argument had apparently sparked a completely unrelated shooting at the start of the weekend. Best friends Jordan Means, 16, and Anthony Bankhead, 18, got into the online spat with a man in his 30s. The man is said to have followed his final post by appearing in the flesh and shooting the two teens to death.

Two other men were fatally shot later in the weekend as they sat in a car that was also occupied by two kids, ages 3 and 7. The children were physically unharmed but no doubt will join those who are as mentally scarred by living in Chicago as were some combat veterans who returned from the war in Iraq.

And this bloody Easter weekend was preceded by a weekend in which 37 people were shot, four of them fatally. FBI Director James Comey happened to be in Chicago the following Monday, and he ascribed much of the violence to the gang culture so deeply ingrained in the city. But Comey had little to say about what Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy recognizes as the core problem.

“Until we do something about guns, don’t expect things to change overnight,” McCarthy said at a press conference that same day.

McCarthy noted that Chicago cops have seized 1,500 illegal guns so far this year, but the people caught with the weapons are all too often back on the street all too soon.

“It’s like running on a hamster wheel,” McCarthy said of the effort to grapple with the problem. “We’re drinking from a fire hose, seizing these guns, and people are back out on the street. They’re not learning that carrying a firearm is going to have a serious impact on their lives.”

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