Tag Archives: Crime

Chicago Police Maintain Overall Crime Drop in August – (Except for Murders)

Chicago Police Maintain Overall Crime Drop in August; Violent Crimes Down in 23 of City’s 25 Police Districts

Assistant Superintendent James B. Jackson discussed preliminary crime statistics for the month of August in a press conference today, announcing that total crime dropped by 4.5 percent Citywide, supported by an 11 percent decrease in violent crimes and more than 2 percent decline in property offenses. Nearly every category of index offenses tapered in the City’s 20th consecutive month of overall crime drops.

Murder was the only violent crime to show an uptick in August, which followed a drop in July that ended a four-month consecutive increase. A total of 313 murder victims raised the total by five victims compared to last year, resulting in a 1.6 percent increase. Assistant Superintendent Jackson pledged the committed efforts of Chicago Police to continuing strategic policing and the building of cooperative relationships with community members to reverse the marginal increase.

“Any number of homicides is going to be dissatisfying until we see the number at zero,” said Assistant Superintendent Jackson. “No singular approach can drive down crime, and so while we are pleased with successful strategies which have helped crime drop overall across the City, Chicago Police must have the community as partners in this plan,” he added.

Every other violent index offense dropped through the end of August, including criminal sexual assaults by more than 10 percent, robberies by more than 14 percent, and aggravated assaults by nearly 13 percent. Aggravated batteries dropped more than 6 percent. Jackson praised efforts of the Bureau of Patrol and Bureau of Investigative Services, whose strategic missions especially targeted public violence in August.

This included a series of Organized Crime Division missions and a separate, joint law enforcement agency initiative with Chicago Police officers from units in the Bureaus of Patrol and Investigative Services. Combined results yielded more than 170 arrests and $1.7 million in narcotics. Thirty weapons also were seized, contributing to the 5,679 weapons Chicago Police recovered through the end of August – more than 189 more than were seized last year during that time.

Property index offenses dropped in almost every category, with the exception of motor vehicle theft, which was up by about 21 percent. Arson showed the greatest drop at 14.5 percent, followed by theft at more than 7 percent, and burglary at 2 percent.

According to preliminary statistics through the end of August 2010:

Violent Index Crime is down 11 percent
Homicide – up 1.6 percent
Criminal Sexual Assault – down 10.1 percent
Robbery – down 14.1 percent
Aggravated Assault – down 12.9 percent
Aggravated Battery – down 6.1 percent

Property Index Crime is down 2.6 percent
Burglary – down 2 percent
Theft – down 7.1 percent
Motor Vehicle Theft – up 21.2 percent
Arson – down 14.5 percent

This So-Called “Gun Show Loophole”

Gun Show in Texas Photo by Michael mx5txPresident of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, Paul Helmke, wants you to believe that there is a giant oversight in the way sales of guns are handled at gun shows.

Sure, he puts up a well-crafted misdirection in his blog “Who Would Oppose Closing the Gun Show Loophole?” (reproduced at the Huffington Post). I chose to direct you to this version because the HuffPo’s uncensored comments were eye-opening for me.

I’m certainly against gun violence. I almost fell into Helmke’s trap. I mean, “Who Would Want to Be Misled”?

The first comment on Helmke’s smoke screen:

I am curious; what, specifically, is the “gun show loophole”. What specific extant federal legislation is inapplicable exclusively at “gun shows” but applicable in any other venue?

In short, nothing.

Mr. Helmke and other anti-gun orgs are engaging in gross misrepresentation of this fact. They target gun-shows because they know it will appeal emotionally to their target audience. If gun ban orgs like the Bradys engaged in truthful, rational debate, they would be trying to regulate a “private seller” loophole, and stop misrepresenting this issue as one exclusive to gun shows.

But then they would have to explain why, if closing this “loophole” is so important, they OPPOSE non-FFL (Federal Firearms License) access to NICS (National Instant Criminal Background Check System).

If you wanted to close a loophole why only target gun shows?

Superintendent Weis Testifies at Forum on Closing National Gun Show Loophole

Today Chicago Police Superintendent Jody P. Weis testified at the Forum on Closing the Gun Show Loophole, hosted by US Representative Mike Quigley (D-IL), to express the City of Chicago’s strong support closing the gun show loophole on a national level.
“It is imperative that we close the gun show loophole by enacting a federal ban on the ability of criminals to purchase guns at gun shows,” said Superintendent Weis in testimony delivered at the Dirksen Federal Building. “As a nation, we already require criminal background checks for people who purchase firearms from a federally licensed gun dealer. Simply stated, there is no good reason that someone who wants to purchase firearms at a gun show should not undergo the same important criminal background check as someone who makes the same purchase from a dealer.” This loophole currently allows unlicensed individuals to sell firearms at gun shows without conducting criminal background checks on buyers or without any record-keeping.

In Illinois, under Mayor Richard M. Daley’s leadership, the General Assembly has already passed legislation to close the state gun show loophole. However, because the vast majority of other states have not closed their loopholes, criminals can simply go outside of Illinois and buy guns at gun shows in neighboring states without a background check, and then bring them into Illinois.
“If we are serious about keeping guns out of the hands of criminals, we must work together to close this loophole,” said Weis.

To illustrate the importance of toughening the laws that govern access to firearms, Superintendent Weis cited several examples of weapons seized by Chicago Police that were traced back to gun shows, including:

  • One of the guns used in the June 2010 shooting death of Chicago Police Officer Thomas Wortham was traced back to a gun trafficker in Englewood. The guns he trafficked were obtained from straw purchases and gun show purchases in Mississippi.
  • In May 2010 Chicago Police apprehended another individual on Chicago Park District property,
    who was in possession of a .40 caliber semi-automatic pistol. That weapon was traced back to a gun show in Crown Point, Indiana.
  • An individual who served twenty-six years in prison for first degree murder was found in possession of seven firearms, purchased from gun shows. At the time of his arrest, he had both receipts and advertising from various gun shows in Indiana.
  • In March 2010, John Bedell, who was prohibited by law from possessing guns, shot two Pentagon police officers with a gun purchased from a private seller at a Las Vegas gun show.

In Chicago, most violent crime involves firearms and the firearm of choice among criminals is a handgun. In the overwhelming majority of these cases, these crimes are committed by people who obtained these firearms illegally, and due to their criminal backgrounds, they shouldn’t have been able to have a gun in the first place. Therefore, the Superintendent pledged that the City of Chicago would continue to do everything possible to keep our streets safe for our residents, for our visitors, and for our Police Officers. Those
efforts include:

  • Seizing thousands of illegal weapons each year
  • Collecting almost 23,000 illegal weapons due to the City’s gun turn-in program
  • Advocating for common sense gun laws in Springfield and in Washington D.C. to make
    Chicago neighborhoods safer
  • Working with the Illinois General Assembly to adopt House Joint Resolution 51 which created
    the Interstate Gun Trafficking Task Force within the Illinois State Police in October 2009.
  • Working with the Congress to enact reasonable federal gun laws such as HB 2324 “We need laws that protect the rights of law abiding residents to purchase guns but also make it more difficult for criminals to obtain guns,” commented Weis.

Gun-Free Zones Do Not Work; Concealed Carry Does

This is Texas by Mark Holloway

Here’s a slightly dated (but still very significant) well-researched and factual essay on the merits of concealed carry for reducing shooting deaths by F. Paul Valone of Guns, Politics, and Freedom.

Valone cites researchers John Lott of Yale and William Landes of the University of Chicago paper studying multiple victim public shootings. Their data of records from 1976-1995 found that in states where concealed carry was adopted shootings declined by 84%, deaths reduced by 90% and injuries from shootings down 82.5%.

What is it about concealed carry that has this effect? The researchers credit the threat of armed victims as the deterrent.

“[T]he only policy factor to have a consistently significant influence on multiple victim public shootings is the passage of concealed handgun laws.”

Source: ‘Gun-free’ zones fail; concealed carry works By F. Paul Valone.