Violence on Chicago's south and west side claimed the life of one victim and wounded at least 10 others (an earlier headline had the number of wounded at 13).
For a few hours on Saturday night, the south side of Chicago resembled the streets of Baghdad with a hail of bullets gunning down at least 6 people in several incidents:
The one fatality occurred at 10:40 p.m. Saturday in the Englewood neighborhood, one of five shootings that occurred within 30 minutes Saturday night on the South Side. A man identified as Kent Richardson, 55, was fatally shot in the 6200 block of South Laflin Avenue, according to the Cook County medical examiner's office and police. He lived in the 1500 block of West 77th Street. He was pronounced dead at 12:43 a.m. at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn.
The string of South Side shootings began at 10:39 p.m. in the Back of the Yards neighborhood when two males were shot near the intersection of West 47th and South Ada streets, according to police News Affairs Officer Ron Gaines. They were taken to John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County. Their ages and conditions were not immediately known.
At 10:50 p.m. in the Back of the Yards neighborhood, a male suffered a gunshot wound to his abdomen near the intersection of West 44th Street and South Marshfield Avenue. He was listed in stable conditon at John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County.
Finally at 11:01 p.m. in the Back of the Yards neighborhood, a 24-year-old man was shot in the adbomen in the 4400 block of South Honore Street. He was listed in serious conditon at Mount Sinai Hospital.
Another South Side shooting occurred hours later, at 1:40 a.m. in the South Shore neighborhood. A 45-year-old man was driving when he suffered a gunshot wound to his shoulder near the intersection of East 76th Street and South Coles Avenue, according to police News Affairs Officer Ron Gaines.
On the west side, one incident resulted in 5 casualties.
The city's recently hired police superintendent Garry McCarthy blames the violence on "government sponsored racism - or, the lack of gun control - which to his mind, is the same thing.
"So here's what I want to tell you. See, let's see if we can make a connection here. Slavery. Segregation. Black codes. Jim Crow. What did they all have in common? Anybody getting' scared? Government sponsored racism. I told you I wasn't afraid [of race]. I told you I wasn't afraid.
"Now I want you to connect one more dot on that chain of the African American history in this country, and tell me if I'm crazy: Federal gun laws that facilitate the flow of illegal firearms into our urban centers across this country, that are killing our black and brown children."
Actually, McCarthy is right - for the wrong reasons. As Howard Nemerov has pointed out on numerous occassions, gun control laws have historically been used to deny African Americans the right to bear arms to protect themselves. Black homicide rates in cities with the strictest gun control - like Chicago - prove his point.