20 people were shot Friday and early Saturday, one of them fatally. Three other juveniles were wounded in attacks in the city, including a 12-year-old girl.
The shootings come as the department adds 600 officers to patrol the streets this weekend in the districts most affected by gun violence following the city’s most violent weekend in more than two years.
At least 74 people were shot last weekend between 3 p.m. Friday and 6 a.m. Monday, 12 of them fatally, Chicago Tribune reports.
Most recently, a 21-year-old man was critically injured while riding a bicycle in the Morgan Park neighborhood on the Far South Side, police said.
At least 10 people were wounded in a series of shootings within 24 hours Saturday in Chicago.
The last shooting Saturday left a woman wounded in the Little Village neighborhood on the Southwest Side. About 11 p.m., the 26-year-old was walking outside with family in the 2300 block of South Marshall Boulevard when someone fired shots and struck her in the leg.
Chicago has a reputation for strict gun laws, and gun rights advocates often point to it as proof that gun regulation doesn’t reduce violence. Chicago’s Police Department, overwhelmed, can respond only to the most serious problems, leaving citizens to feel responsible for their own security.
Chicago gang violence and narcotics lead the way in the number of shootings and people can try and ignore the epidemic and sweep it under the rug but the truth is, it is out of control and nobody seems to have a solution to the shootings in Chicago.
Chicago police flood neighborhoods and scramble to make arrests. They hope to gain a tactical advantage to prevent another horrendous spasm of violence. Mayor Rahm Emanuel and police Superintendent Eddie Johnson plead with neighbors to come forward with information. However, people are simply too afraid to give any information to police because they know what these gangs will do in retaliation.
FOX News reports that Emanuel’s challengers in his campaign for re-election have blamed him for an understaffed police force and a lack of investment in Chicago’s economically downtrodden neighborhoods. In turn, Emanuel encouraged people in neighborhoods where gun violence is most prevalent to “speak up.”
The violence has also raised questions, however, about the impact of gun laws. The city does not have the toughest gun laws in the country, as some have claimed. But Illinois is ranked eighth among states with the strongest gun laws by the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.
Chris “Badger” Thomas is a Veteran who served our country as an Army Combat Medic.