As the month of October ended, it has gone on record as being the second bloodiest month in 2016. With a total of 78 homicides, the city once again proved that anti-gun laws simply don’t work. They never have and they never will. For the first time in more than a decade, Chicago surpassed 600 homicides in a single year, and they still have 2 months to go.
The city last saw this rate of murders in 2003, and that was for a 12 month period. Homicides and non-fatal shootings have skyrocketed in 2016, with 605 homicides and more than 3,600 shooting victims through the end of October. October saw Chicagoans kill 78 of their fellow city dwellers and another 427 became shooting victims. This year only August had more homicides, when 90 people were killed. That was the bloodiest month in the city in 20 years. Officials say that if nothing changes, the city is on pace for 726 homicides in 2016, a number not seen since the late 1990s.
Chicago police have been under extreme pressure to get the murder rate under control, but a spokesperson said the majority of the increase in violence this year has happened in just five districts. All of them on the predominately black South Side and West Side. Police Supt. Eddie Johnson said his officers were not outmanned in those areas but that they just couldn’t be everywhere at once.
But in a sign that times might be changing, the city’s police superintendent put the blame not on gun owners, but rather on the criminals and courts that are failing the city. He told reporters the state needs stricter sentencing laws for repeat gun offenders. “It’s our repeat gun offenders that are driving all this violence, and until we get tough on sentencing gunmen – holding them accountable – we’re going to keep seeing this cycle keep continuing,” he said.
To help fight the increase in crime, the Emanuel administration already was planning to hire 970 new police officers over the next two years, in addition to filling existing vacancies in the ranks. Based on sophisticated computer data and analysis, more officers will be deployed on foot and bike patrols in high-crime areas; and repeat offenders will be targeted as part of a block-by-block public safety strategy.
Maybe next year things will be better. After all anything can happen. Hell, the Cubs are in the world series, that in itself could be a sign from God that better things are on the way.
The Chicago Tribune contributed to this report.
©2016 R. L. Grimes, All Rights Reserved.