Tags: chicago | murder | rate | january

Chicago Suffers Deadliest January in 11 Years

Wednesday, 30 Jan 2013 12:22 PM

By Jim Meyers

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The murder toll in Chicago for January now stands at 42, making it the most deadly start to the year in more than a decade — and the month isn’t over yet.

The last time there were that many January murders in Chicago — where President Barack Obama once worked as a community organizer and his former chief of staff Rahm Emanuel is now mayor — was in 2002, when 45 Chicagoans were murdered, CBS News reported.

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The murder rate in the Windy City is the highest in the nation, even though Chicago has strict gun control laws that make legally owning a handgun virtually impossible.

In the past decade, more people have been killed in Chicago than have died in the entire American military campaign in Afghanistan.

From January 2003 to Dec. 31, 2012, 4,797 people were murdered in Chicago, including 516 last year. Since Operation Enduring Freedom began in Afghanistan in October 2001, 2,166 have died there. The Chicago total is also larger than the 4,422 Americans killed in Operation Iraqi Freedom, which lasted from March 2003 to December 2011.

The true human tragedy of the murder spree in Chicago came into focus on Tuesday, when a 15-year-old honor student who participated in President Obama’s inaugural events was fatally shot in a public park.

Hadiya Pendleton was with a group of about a dozen teens taking cover from rain in the park after school when a gunman approached and opened fire. Pendleton was shot in the back and died at a hospital, while another teen was also shot and was in serious condition on Tuesday night, the New York Daily News reported.

Police believe another teen was the target, not Pendleton, who was a member of her school’s marching band that traveled to Washington, D.C., for the inauguration.

Another tragedy unfolded over the weekend when Ronnie Chambers, 34, was shot in the head while sitting in his car. He was the last remaining son of a woman whose other three children had died earlier as a result of gun violence.

Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy tried to put a positive spin on the recent killing spree, pointing out to reporters that as of Friday afternoon, the murder rate was down nearly 30 percent for the month compared to last year. That was before a wave of new killings over the weekend.

The murder wave in Chicago points to the futility of strict gun control laws when bad elements usually obtain their weapons illegally, according to Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

Of the 3,371 people who were shot to death in Chicago from 2003 to 2011, figures from the Chicago Police Department show that 98 percent of the murder weapons were handguns.

A gun rights group charges that Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel “has some blood on his hands” for his efforts to prevent Chicagoans from legally owning handguns.

According to the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, Emanuel and the City Council have been putting up legal blockades to keep residents from obtaining a gun, leaving law-abiding citizens defenseless.

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The group’s chairman, Alan Gottlieb, told CNS News that laws in Chicago make it “next to impossible” to be a gun owner in the city, “so nobody has a way to protect themselves from the bad guys who obviously don’t care about the gun laws.”

Gingrich spoke of the futility of strict gun control laws in an interview with Newsmax TV on Tuesday.

“Chicago has very strict gun control laws and the worst murder rate in the country,” he said. “How many of those guns were illegal?

“There was no effort on the left to talk about it because they’re embarrassed by it. It’s the president’s home city. The mayor is the president’s former chief of staff. Nobody wanted to go and touch it. They still don’t want to look at it.”

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