Don’t Chicagoans know the city has strict gun laws?
Posted on July 6, 2015 by Tribune News Service View diagnosis
TNS/Police run with their guns drawn toward the sound of gunshots coming from a crowd of people a block from the scene they were investigating where four people were shot, during the early morning hours Sunday.
TNS/Police run with their guns drawn toward the sound of gunshots coming from a crowd of people a block from the scene they were investigating where four people were shot, during the early morning hours Sunday.

CHICAGO (TNS) — Shootings over the Fourth of July weekend in Chicago left 10 people dead and 55 others wounded, a toll lower than last year but one marked by an intense stretch of gun violence over eight hours on one of the nights.

Among those killed was 7-year-old Amari Brown, shot in the chest as he watched fireworks near his father’s home late Saturday night. Police say they believe the attack was aimed at the father, whom they described as a ranking gang member.

Also gunned down was 17-year-old Vonzell Banks, who was shot as he played basketball Friday at a park named for Hadiya Pendleton, a high school student fatally shot in 2013 near President Barack Obama’s Chicago home.

The wounded included a 16-year-old boy and a 15-year-old girl shot shortly after midnight Sunday as they walked in the Old Town neighborhood, and a 19-year-old man shot around 10 p.m. Saturday as two groups fought near Chicago’s Navy Pier after a fireworks display there.

The violence peaked from dusk Saturday until dawn Sunday, when 30 people were shot across Chicago — nearly half the total for the entire weekend, measured from 3 p.m. Thursday until just before dawn Monday.

Last Fourth of July, 82 people were shot, 16 of them fatally, over 84 hours. Five of those shot were wounded by police. There were no police-involved shootings this year.

The shootings this Fourth of July were primarily scattered across the South and West sides.

Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said the weekend outbreak in violence shows the number of officers working the streets isn’t as critical in preventing shootings as having effective gun laws that put gun offenders behind bars for a long time. McCarthy has long contended that Illinois’ sentencing laws for gun crimes are too lenient.

“If you think that putting more cops on the street would make a difference, then take a look at the fact that we put a third more manpower on the street for this weekend,” McCarthy said. “What’s the result? We’re getting more guns. Well, that’s great. It’s not stopping the violence.

“And it’s not going to stop the violence until criminals are held accountable and something is done to stem the flow of these guns into our city.”

–Peter Nickeas
Chicago Tribune

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