By Nancy Thorner & Ed Ingold -
Chicago police have arrested two gang members on February 12 and charged them with the murder of young Hadiya Pendelton, who marched in a parade at President Obama's inauguration. She was standing under a shelter from the rain when a man opened fire with a handgun, killing her and wounding another.
The mayor, Rahm Emanual, was quick to blame the easy availability of guns, and the President was quick to chime in on that theme. The mayor admonished city agencies to divest themselves of investments in companies making firearms, and encouraged Bank of America and other financial institutions to do the same. After all, it's the greed of gun companies driving the mayhem on Chicago streets. Or is it?
Both men had been stopped traveling together on several occasions leading up to the deadly night, according to "contact cards" filed by the policemen. However, the policemen were not aware that Ward was under probation, hence subject to search without a warrant, and probably in violation of his parole by associating with a known gang member. Yet mayor Emanual has the audacity to blame gun companies and millions of law-abiding gun owners for the mistakes of his own police department and the depravity of Chicago gang members.
Up until the murder of 15-year-old Hadiya, ABC, CBS, CNN, CNBC, NBC and President Obama had given liCenter attention to Chicago's horrific gun violence statistics, yet Chicago probably has the toughest gun laws in the country. Last year 446 school-age children were shot. So far in 2013 sixty-two school age children were shot in the leftist utopia of Chicago run by Rahm Emanuel that has also produced President Obama, Jesse Jackson, Louis Farrakhan, etc.
The story was definitely a news-worthy one. Whether the disinterest in covering the daily shootings in Chicago could have been related to the minority status of most of kids shot and killed, or to a mainstream media whose adulation for President Obama mandates that Chicago not be shown in way which would blemish his image or cast doubt on his narrative. It is inappropriate to note that that gun violence is inflicting such a terrible scar on Chicago's image when Emanual is working to portray Chicago as a beautiful, global capital with a diverse economy and robust culture. If there is a problem, someone else is to blame!
As it was, both national and international reporters flocked to Chicago to survey the situation. A news anchor from Britain's Channel told viewers this week while standing on a South Side street: "In Chicago more civilians are killed from gun violence than American soldiers on the battlefields of Afghanistan. The same reporter introduced his special report about guns in America by saying that in Chicago "the gun in the law." http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-biz-0215-city-image-20130215,0,739187.story
The Chicago Tribune, curious to learn what young African-American men most likely to be hit by the gunfire in neighborhoods like Roseland, Englewood, and Lawndale had to say about President Obama's priority stop in Chicago to promote his national and anti-violence agenda, a Tribune reporter received an earful when violence was explained through a different lens from the usual cry about those evil guns.
On Wednesday night, February 13th, at a meeting was held at the Salvation Army's Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center in West Pullman Tribune, reporter Damleen Glanton was told by young men, most of them high school age who had steered clear of gangs, that Obama's proposals to strengthen gun laws would have little effect on the illegal guns on the streets. "Someone will just give you a gun if they've just killed someone because they want to get rid of it. . . When you have a gun, it makes you feel like a man because of the power of that gun."
As far as the effect of President Obama's visit one young man said:
"They're not going to give up their guns. They're not going to even listen to Obama. Some of them don't have a father in their lives, so why would they listen to the president, a man who's not in their lives either?"
Yet another young man, about the allure of guns, "It's about revenge, reputation and territory. That's the city of Chicago." http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-met-obama-visit-0215-20130215,0,5468132.story
President Barack Obama returned to Chicago on Friday, February 15, to address the gun violence at the Hyde Park Academy on the South Side, suggesting that tougher gun laws, community involvement and improving urban economic conditions can help. At the same the president pointed out that gun control won't stop every crime, that government can't solve every problem, and that the community has to be involved. The part about community involvement has a good ring to it that sounds reasonable and agreeable, but good-sounding rhetoric goes only so far. http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-obama-chicago-violence-20130215,0,2219119.story
Rahm Emanual might heed part of President Obama's warning: Mr. Mayor, when you point a finger at responsible gun owners, you have four fingers pointing at the real source of your problems. Get your own house in order, or get out of the way!