Lightfoot's Chicago led the nation in holiday weekend shootings; marksmanship, not so much
Those pesky guns — that Lori Lightfoot blames for Chicago's extraordinary murder statistics — had a busy holiday weekend in the Windy City. The Chicago Tribune laments:
Nearly 90 people have been shot in Chicago since the beginning of the long Independence Day weekend, including two police officers; a 6-year-old girl and her mother; and a group of six people early Monday in the Washington Park neighborhood.
In all, at least 89 people have been struck by gunfire since Friday afternoon, 15 of whom died of their injuries, according to police.
Nationally, the shooting toll for the weekend was also high. CNN reports:
At least 150 people were killed by gun violence in more than 400 shootings across the country during the Fourth of July weekend as major cities nationwide confront a surge in violent crime, according to data compiled by the Gun Violence Archive.
There are a couple of simple calculations that reveal how much worse things are in Chicago than elsewhere, even though Mayor Lightfoot blames the availability of guns from Indiana for her city's shootings. Chicago's gun control laws are among the most restrictive in the nation.
Chicago's population of less than 2.7 million is less than one percent (0.82%) of the nation's population of 328 million. While the final statistics are not in for the nation, Chicago's 90 shootings are 22.5% of the nation's total.
However, when you consider the marksmanship — the percentage of shootings that are fatal — it is clear that Chicago's shooters are way below the national average. With 400 shootings and 150 fatalities nationally, Americans as a group killed 37.5% of their targets. Chicago's shooters killed only 16.9% of their targets, less than half of the national average.
My guess is that the discrepancy is based on the large number of drive-by and other multiple-victim shootings in Chicago. It's harder to be accurate when spraying bullets into people standing around on street corners or gathered for parties than for the murderer who targets an individual.
If Chicago's shooters ever improve their marksmanship to the national average, the city's death toll will be far worse.
For more statistics (and sarcasm) on Chicago's shootings, the go-to site is Heyjackass.com, which includes this helpful map of the city's shootings, showing how concentrated they are in a couple of gang-infested neighborhoods.
If this strikes you as unfair, don't worry. There is every sign that trouble is spreading throughout the city, as cwbchicago.com reports:
Prosecutors yesterday charged three adults with illegally carrying guns in the Loop during a "large group" incident on Sunday night and early Monday that CPD Supt. David Brown said resulted in at least 60 arrests. A fourth adult was charged with having a gun near Buckingham Fountain, too.
But one of the aldermen who represents the downtown area suggested that police found even more guns being carried by juveniles — and their court appearances are not open to the public.
"A disturbingly high number of those arrests involved a teenager with a gun," Ald. Brian Hopkins (2nd) told CBS2 on Monday. "We had guns in backpacks. Guns in pockets. A large number of firearms present."
"We are really lucky no one was murdered in the Loop," Hopkins said in the report.
Mayor Lightfoot's insistence that the availability of guns is the problem is only going to make the problems worse.
Hat tip: Peter von Buol.