There are three things the worst of the recent mass shootings had in common.
- The shooters weren’t right in the head.
- They were firing AR-15 type assault-style rifles.
- Virtually all the victims were white.
We’ve seen the faces of these innocents. Oh man, how it hurts.
But what of the young faces of the 270 school-aged children shot to death in Chicago during the past six years?
They are part of an epidemic of violence in tougher black and Latino neighborhoods in the city where President Obama started in politics.
Seventy-five percent of the victims are minorities. Many hit by stray gunfire.
No, we don’t know their faces.
They weren’t shot by deranged freaks firing scary looking guns.
The vast majority were cut down by pistol fire; forty kids a year in just one city.
Where was the President Obama’s emotional pledge to stop to violence during those years? Where was the bold push for gun control, the executive orders?
He’s being called out on it.
The rapper Shyne called for the president to declare a state of emergency, for him to make a stand in gritty Chi-town like he did in upscale Newtown.
Recently Shyne tweeted: “@barackobama I forgot you weren’t an impoverished inner city kid! You grew up in Kansas & Hawaii! You only play the ghetto card come election time!”
But the President is also being praised for his bold, common-sense approach to gun control by a wide variety of groups.
But is it really common sense to focus on assault style rifles and high-capacity magazines when they are used in a tiny percentage of murders?
Take 2011, very typical in terms of types of violence, according to FBI uniform crime statistics. (http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2011/crime-in-the-u.s.-2011/tables/expanded-homicide-data-table-8)
There were 12,664 homicides. Half of them, 6,220, were committed with handguns, like in the Windy City.
That year there were 323 slayings done with rifles – all rifles, by the way, not just assault style rifles.
That’s less than half the number of people who were beaten to death with hands and feet that year than were killed with rifles.
Since the President Obama’s reaction to Sandy Hook, the gun rights camp is stirring the pot, saying the President is out to take our guns.
But his executive orders focused mainly on improving background checks and mental health issues. His push for another so-called assault weapons ban will face heavy opposition.
But it’s enough to set off a buying frenzy. One gun seller told me he could sell a tractor-trailer load of AR-15s in a week, if he could get them.
You know, the last time we had an assault weapons ban, those types of weapons and magazines were sold in record numbers. Just the talk of another ban has sales firing like never before.
Meanwhile, more innocent children are dying because the root causes of violence aren’t being addressed.