Thursday, September 1, 2016

Murder in Chicago is out of control. 90 dead in August.

The family of Nykea Aldrige morns her death after she was shot and killed by a stray bullet. WSJ/Getty.

Chicago is dealing with an epidemic of murders this year, which is already approaching the number of dead in 2015. Wall Street Journal. Last year 493 people were murdered in Chicago while 480 have been killed so far this year. 91% of those killed in Chicago were victims of gun violence. 90 were killed in August alone. Police are calling for tougher penalties for gun crimes and for getting illegal guns off of the street. Nationally, homicide is up 15% in 51 large cities, but half of that increase is due to Chicago and the deadly terror attack at the Pulse nightclub in Florida. 

My Comment:
The crime in Chicago is completely out of control. Chicago doesn't seem like the Midwestern city it once was. Now it is a war zone. 90 murders in one month is not acceptable anywhere in America and something really needs to be done to stop the slaughter. I am guessing there are places in Syria that are safer right now. To be fair those cities are probably the ones the war hasn't touched, but I really do think that the worst city in America isn't as good as the best in Syria. 

Unfortunately, nobody seems to be taking the problem seriously. Donald Trump, to his credit, has mentioned the slaughter, but has been lite on the details of how to fix the problem. To my knowledge, Hillary Clinton hasn't mentioned it at all. And groups like Black Lives Matter care more about the deaths of criminals at the hands of cops then the violence in Chicago. 

There have been some suggestions that I doubt will do much. The Chicago police idea of getting illegal guns off the streets is a start. The vast majority of these guns are either stolen or purchased illegally, so cracking down on people doing the theft or straw buying could help. Trying to confiscate all of the guns in Chicago seems like a Sisyphean task though. 

Increasing penalties for violent crimes could be a help long term, but in my mind it is closing the doors after the cows have already escaped the barn and knocked over a lantern setting the whole thing ablaze. It might help in a decade or so, but in the short term, it won't do much of anything. Having these laws in place in around the turn of the millennium might have done something to keep these repeat offenders off the street. Don't get me wrong, increasing sentences for violent crime would help things, it would just take a long time to take effect. 

What won't help is more gun control. I noticed how all the articles about this subject, even the conservative Wall Street Journal, tried to frame this as a gun issue. It's not, it's a crime issue, a drug issue and a race issue. Chicago already has draconian and unconstitutional gun laws and the violence is still there. All these gun laws do is make it harder for the law abiding to purchase guns to defend themselves. It's clear to me that the city of Chicago needs more legal guns and fewer illegal ones. Put the guns into the hands of good guys and out of the hands of bad guys. 

Of course, what is driving this violence is gang warfare and the drug trade. Gangs are both trying to eliminate the competition and are also caught up in the cycle of revenge. In order to stop the violence you have to solve both of the problems. And even though the war on drugs is a complete failure it's probably the easier problem to solve. Legalizing drugs won't exactly end the violence completely, but it is a possible that it will cut the violence down since the gangs would lose their main source of income. There is more than one way to cut into the profits of these dealers though. For one thing, cops could crack down and crack down hard on anyone buying or selling drugs. 

Both options are politically impossible though. Legalization is pretty much dead in this country and comes with some huge downsides. And cracking down on crime just isn't going to happen. Doing so is considered racist and if you do it, it would only be a matter of time before Black Lives Matter and the other usual suspects would be complaining about "police brutality". 

It's clear to me that the amount of violence in Chicago is way worse then all the incidents of police violence in this country put together by several orders of magnitude. But if you even mention the largely black on black violence in Chicago you get called a racist. BLM was never about protecting black lives, because if it was they would be in Chicago every single day until the violence there subsides. 

I live in Wisconsin and I have been to Chicago several times. I would like to go back there again someday, but not when the violence is so bad. Even though I would probably only go to the touristy parts downtown, I still wouldn't feel all that comfortable in much of the city. And it worries me that some of that crime is going to make it up here to Wisconsin. Milwaukee is already a mess and it worries that the violence is spreading north... 

Unfortunately, I don't see any quick answers for Chicago There aren't any easy answers to violence and there never has been. We don't even really understand why it goes up and down. After the 90's violence trended down until very recently. Nobody seems to know why. The murder rate dropped for years and years but now it seems like it is spiking up again. Some reasons cited for the drop in violence was the change from leaded gasoline, looser gun laws, a better economy, better race relations or even high incarceration rates.

I'm not sure if all, some or even any of those answers are correct, but I do think I know at least part of the reason why crime is increasing now. Cops are nervous as hell right and are afraid to enforce the laws. Race relations are in the toilet and are getting worse all the time. The "Ferguson Effect" is real and obvious. Why would cops fight for their cities when they are going to be denounced as racist killers? I don't think it is the only reason, but it is a major factor for the increase of crime in Chicago and across the country.


  1. One reason I can come up with is the lack of leadership in Washington D.C. There are no strong leaders anywhere to be found. They either are bound up in re-election crap of care more about being Republican or Democrat than dealing with our country's decline. When the President sends ranking officials to a thug who was shot by police funeral and not to a white cops funerals,there's a clear message from Obama. Cops don't count. No leaders we can trust and rely on society falls apart. The next main cause is the media liars and their self-serving owners. The last thing they report is unbiased facts. 15 or 20 Americans with dark skin close a highway ramp in CA and it's major news. My ass! It's just a bunch of loser's who won't find a job. They don't deserve any attention but there they are on every news show.

    And quit using words like "Sisyphean"! What happened? You just buy a Thesaurus?

  2. Thanks for the comment! I agree with pretty much everything you said, except the part about not using big words. I like big words!