5 killed, 13 wounded in Chicago shootings, including 4 dead in rifle attack the headline at chicagotribune.com proclaims. Keep in mind that the Windy City recently saw its 500th firearms-related homicides for the 2017 calendar year. The vast majority of these deaths — and the 2,248 Chicagoans wounded by gunfire — were victims of handgun rounds. But the fact that ANY of these deaths or injuries involved a rifle has caught the media’s attention . . .
Some Chicago gangs turning to rifles for added firepower, police say another headline at the Trib reveals. That article starts as you’d expect: with anecdotal urgency, and a child’s perspective. Well, teenager . .
The first time 14-year-old Brisa Ramirez remembers hearing rifle fire was when a man was shot dead on a Sunday afternoon outside a Catholic church around the corner from her home in Back of the Yards.
She raises her voice to imitate the sharp, metallic bursts. Ta. Ta. Ta. Ta. Ta. It was a foreign sound even in this neighborhood accustomed to gunfire.
“It wasn’t like a normal (shooting). … It was like something more terrible,” Brisa says. “A noise that you can’t really explain.”
The paper proceeds to explain why rifles in the hands of murderous gang bangers are way worse than handguns.
Police have seized at least three rifles and have recovered rifle casings at dozens of crime scenes. There is also surveillance video showing rifles being used, according to investigators.
Police aren’t sure why the gangs have suddenly added rifles to their arsenal, except for the obvious speculation that they are deadlier.
A bullet from a semi-automatic rifle can travel as fast as 3,200 feet per second, twice the speed from a handgun. That means wounds are more disabling, experts say.
Rifle bullets can tear through cars and other obstacles, including standard-issue bulletproof vests worn by Chicago police. Special “rifle plates” that can stop those rounds are issued to SWAT teams, and some officers on regular duty also buy them.
Gangs have fired rifles outside elementary schools and churches, a day care center, in alleys and on residential streets, mostly during the afternoon and evening hours when streets are often crowded.
Does this sound like someone’s laying the groundwork for an “assault rifle” ban to you? While the political climate for any such legislation on the federal level is not conductive to AWB 2.0, the national scene could swing left quickly, as it’s done many times before.
Just remember: the antis never, ever give up. Just as Americans who cherish their natural, civil and Constitutional right to keep and bear arms will never give up their semi-automatic rifles. Oh wait . . .