Chicago Reeling after Weekend Gun Violence
Chicago is reeling after a sudden escalation in deadly violence over the Fourth of July weekend. The biggest fireworks were from the guns of gangbangers going off.
Scores of people were shot and more than a dozen people killed.
While the ongoing bloodshed is threatening the political ambitions of Chicago's mayor, the residents don't really care about that. They just want the shooting to stop.
"We've got to come together to stop this. This is too much," said Annette, whose family member was killed in the melee.
From last Thursday through Monday morning, Chicago saw 82 people shot and 14 killed, leaving its mayor scrambling to regain control of America's third largest city.
"We're one city with one future and with one point: put the guns down," Mayor Rahm Emanuel said.
Around midnight Monday, 44-year-old Tonya Gunn was shot to death while barbecuing in a park with her daughter.
"And then the ambulance came and they took her," one witness said. "And they shot her in front of her daughter."
City officials are trying to console themselves that fewer Chicagoans have died in gun violence this year, even though the number of shootings is way up.
"Ladies and gentlemen, it's Groundhog Day here in Chicago. I come here every week, we slowed it down because you [journalists] all stopped showing up, quite frankly, because I think you got tired of hearing it," Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said.
The fact is that Chicago already has some of the toughest gun laws in the nation, but McCarthy, frustrated that the killings continue, said the problem is weak gun laws.
"Everybody asks me what's different about New York and Chicago. I can tell you very simply: proliferation of firearms," he said.
Despite the Windy City's tough gun sales and possession ordinances, officials think Illinois needs even stiffer penalties for people who violate gun laws.