FBI statistics show Chicago, with one-third the population, passing New York City in the number of murders in 2012.
In new statistics released Monday, the Federal Bureau of Investigation reported 500 murders in Chicago in 2012, up sharply from the 431 in 2011. New York reported 419 murders last year, compared with 515 in 2011. Others put Chicago’s total as high as 532, but the fact is the carnage now leads the nation with more people murdered in the Windy City in the first two weeks of September than were murdered at the Washington Navy Yard. Through Wednesday, Chicago had suffered 21 homicides in September.
On Tuesday, Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy, an avid gun-control advocate and opponent of Illinois’ concealed carry law, held another of what has become a series of press conferences displaying guns seized by Chicago cops — some 5,095 in the first 37 weeks of 2013 — along with a lecture on crime and gun control. But he inadvertently found common ground with Second Amendment defenders when he noted that while guns are being seized, the gun criminals are often allowed to go free.
“We seize nine guns for every one that the NYPD seizes,” McCarthy said. “That’s not success that we’re talking about,” he added. “We’re talking about the fact that they shouldn’t be here in the first place and when we arrest those people — they don’t go to jail.”
McCarthy had a specific case in mind, that of Chicago teenager Hadiya Pendleton. The 15-year-old Pendleton was gunned down in Chicago’s Kenwood neighborhood, a few blocks from the high school she attended and a few days after she performed with her high school band at Obama’s inauguration. The park where she was killed is less than a mile from the president’s home in Kenwood.
“The alleged killer of Hadiya Pendleton should have been incarcerated for illegal possession of a firearm when he killed her,” McCarthy noted, and he was right. Michael Ward received probation in January 2012 for aggravated unlawful use of a weapon. He was still on probation for the felony gun possession offense when he allegedly shot Hadiya to death on Jan. 29.
Is there a solution to the issues that plague Chicago? Or will Chicago officials just wait around for everyone to kill each other and start anew?