John Kass at The Chicago Tribune hits a grand slam in his most recent column, ‘Have Chicago politicians gone ‘fetal’?”. What makes Kass’ piece so notable is that one could substitute just about any major metropolitan urban area for Chicago and Kass’ premise would still hold true. Baltimore, New Orleans, Oakland, Kansas City, Philadelphia, Atlanta, St. Louis, Detroit…the list goes on. Democrats in those cities consistently blame guns as political cover for their inaction to put bad people with evil in their hearts (and illegally-possessed guns in their hands) behind bars.
How bad is the bloody violence in Chicago, where more than 700 people have been murdered so far this year and thousands have been shot in the street gang wars?
The gangs keep shooting, the survivors mourn, police morale is down, anti-police sentiment is up and the mayor says some cops have gone fetal.
And the politicians do nothing in the bloody city.
But there is no penalty for Democratic politicians who sit back in the Democratic city and do nothing to compel tougher sentences for gun crimes to keep the most aggressive shooters off the streets.
If anything, it makes people even more dependent on the government for relief. At least it does among those with the big city mentality.
Some say this a gun issue. But that’s a con job. There are many guns in the suburbs, yet suburbanites aren’t slaughtering each other.
That’s for sure. In 2013, Plano, Texas had a murder rate of 0.4/100,000 – or about 1/136th the murder rate of Detroit. Unlike Detroit, just about every home in Plano, Texas has a virtual arsenal of legally owned firearms. But they aren’t killing one another.
This is a street-gangs-with-guns problem, on the South and West sides of Chicago. And calling it anything else is a distraction to give cover to the politicians.
If there is a downside, it is only for the dead and the maimed and their families.
And there is a downside for police, too. Because if something goes wrong, the cop is the headline.
Yet what of the politicians who do nothing? They really have nothing to lose. And they’re doing just fine.
Kass points out that the Chicago Police Superintendent is trying to get legislation passed to enhance the penalties for using guns in violent crimes. Never mind that Illinois has such an enhancement already…it’s seldom used and quickly bargained away during plea negotiations even when it is sought.
[Chicago Police Superintendent] Johnson was at the City Club to continue his push for a state law that would increase sentences for gun crimes. One intriguing feature: If a judge wants to shower the guilty shooter with mercy at sentencing, that judge must put those reasons in writing.
But the Illinois Black Caucus in Springfield didn’t like it. Judges weren’t too crazy about it either. So nothing has been done.
In Chicago, there is no political advantage in Democrats calling out the lawmakers who do nothing.
Democrat Mayor Rahm Emanuel can’t call out the Legislative Black Caucus. He’s still trying to rehabilitate his political image with black voters after the Laquan McDonald fiasco. Democratic political boss Mike Madigan won’t, because he needs caucus members to keep his majority hold on Illinois and its Legislature.
So the slaughter in Chicago continues.
Indeed it does.
As of today, Chicago’s 2016 body count stands at:
Shot & Killed: 672
Shot & Wounded: 3,486
Total Shot: 4,158
Total Homicides: 749
And we’ve got three-plus weeks (and two major holidays – Christmas and New Year’s Eve) to go in the year. And nothing says Merry Christmas like shooting at your neighbors in America’s largest open-air shooting gallery as the city slides toward 800 homicides.