"America Doesnít Have a Gun Problem, It Has a Gang Problem
December 31, 2012 By Daniel Greenfield Comments (177)
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Chicagoís murder numbers have hit that magic 500. Baltimoreís murder toll has passed 200. In Philly, itís up to 324, the highest since 2007. In Detroit, itís approaching 400, another record. In New Orleans, itís almost at 200. New York City is down to 414 from 508. In Los Angeles, itís over 500. In St. Louis itís 113 and 130 in Oakland. Itís 121 in Memphis and 76 in Birmingham.
Washington, D.C., home of the boys and girls who can solve it all, is nearing its own big 100.
Those 12 cities alone account for nearly 3,200 dead and nearly a quarter of all murders in the United States. And we havenít even visited sunny Atlanta or chilly Cleveland.
These cities are the heartland of Americaís real gun culture. It isnít the bitter gun-and-bible clingers in McCain and Romney territory who are racking up a more horrifying annual kill rate than Al Qaeda; itís Obamaís own voting base.
Chicago, where Obama delivered his victory speech, has homicide numbers that match all of Japan and are higher than Spain, Poland and pre-war Syria. If Chicago gets any worse, it will find itself passing the number of murders for the entire country of Canada.
Chicagoís murder rate of 15.65 per 100,000 people looks nothing like the American 4.2 rate, the Midwestern 4.5 or the Illinoisí 5.6 rates, but it does look like the murder rates in failed countries like Rwanda, Sierra Leone and Zimbabwe. To achieve Chicagoís murder rate, African countries usually have to experience a bloody genocidal civil war or decades of tyranny.
But Chicago isnít even all that unique. Or the worst case scenario. That would be New Orleans which at an incredible 72.8 murder rate is ten times higher than the national average. If New Orleans were a country, it would have the 2nd highest murder rate in the world, beating out El Salvador.
Louisiana went red for Romney 58 to 40, but Orleans Parish went blue for Obama 80 to 17.
St. Louis has a murder rate just a little lower than Belize. Baltimore has a worse murder rate than South Africa and Detroit has a worse murder rate than Colombia. Obama won both St. Louis and Baltimore by comfortable margins. He won Detroitís Wayne County 73 to 26.
Homicide rates like these show that something is broken, but it isnít broken among the Romney voters rushing to stock up on assault rifles every time Obama begins threatening their right to buy them; itís broken among Obamaís base.
Any serious conversation about gun violence and gun culture has to begin at home; in Chicago, in Baltimore, in New York City, in Los Angeles and in Washington, D.C.
Voting for Obama does not make people innately homicidal. Just look at Seattle which is agonizing over its 26 murders. Thatís about the same number of murders as East St. Louis which has only 27,000 people to Seattleís 620,000.
So what is happening in Chicago to drive it to the gates of hell ahead of Zimbabwe and Rwanda?
A breakdown of the Chicago killing fields shows that 83% of those murdered in Chicago last year had criminal records. In Philly, itís 75%. In Milwaukee itís 77% percent. In New Orleans, itís 64%. In Baltimore, itís 91%. Many were felons who had served time. And as many as 80% of the homicides were gang related.
Chicagoís problem isnít guns; itís gangs. Gun control efforts in Chicago or any other major city are doomed because gangs represent organized crime networks which stretch down to Mexico, and trying to cut off their gun supply will be as effective as trying to cut off their drug supply.(Cont'd)