Chicago, Gangs, and Guns – Part II
In Part 1 I ran down the basics of IL Chicago gun laws and stated that they have nothing to do with the record number of shootings the city has seen this year. Here in Part II I’ll explain why I came to that conclusion, as well as attempt to shed some light on the problem. Some will not agree with my viewpoint, and I may even lose friends over it – so be it.
Who and Where
There are two points that need to be understood before we can move forward:
1 – The majority of the murders taking place in Chicago are occurring, for the most part, in three, maybe four areas, with the majority on the South and West sides.
Chicago likes to split areas up and name them, like ‘Bucktown’, ‘Lincoln Park’, ‘Little Village’, ‘Gold Cost’, ‘Brick of the Yards’, etc… On a map the “neighborhoods” with the highest murder rates are clustered together, thus my use of the word “areas.”
Most of the city goes about its day never hearing a shot fired.
2 – The majority of the murders in Chicago are committed by a small number of, usually, repeat offenders, and they are gang-related, black on black crimes. Yes, there are murders that happen outside that demographic, and there are certainly Latino gangs in the city engaged in nefarious behavior, but an undeniable fact is that the largest amount of homicides are attributed to young black males killing young black males where they live.
Those young black males live in the Chatham, Chicago Lawn, Austin, Auburn Gresham, Englewood, Humbolt Park, New City, South Shore, West Englewood, Roseland (and a few other) sections. Click here if you want a breakdown of murders by neighborhood.
Some of those neighborhoods border others and cause “spillage” of crime, as there aren’t any solid lines defining “go/no go” zones.
Race has everything to do with this issue, and many will claim I have no business voicing any opinion since I’m white (well, I’m mostly white, anyway.) Of course, most Americans of all racial backgrounds have a mixing somewhere in their past, and, if you go back far enough, we all came from the same place and DNA. But that fact will be lost on the Farrakhan-followers and Christian Identity-types, as well as La Raza promoters, Social Justice Warriors, Black Lives Matter protestors, members of Rage Against the Machine, Michelle Obama, and Marxist university professors promoting white guilt.
With that in mind, as well as the caveat that I do not claim to be a “historian” nor an “expert” on this subject, I’ll do my best to answer the “why is this happening?” question.
Centuries in the Making
We’ll be starting a ways back in American history, which will not be a pleasant journey for most.
America has a number of blights (more like giant goiters) on its record when it comes to equality. There is no denying the US government destroyed the Indian nations, allowed slavery, and at one time treated Irish, Italian and Chinese immigrants as second-class citizens. One might say racism was institutionalized, but that doesn’t mean all Americans supported it, nor does it mean Americans were acting any different than any other nation or race has in history. What no one ever likes to admit is that if you go back far enough in any person’s genealogy, their ancestors were not only slaves, but slave owners. That goes for every race on the planet. Slavery is a human sin, not just an American sin, or a “white” sin. If you don’t think people of every race are capable of racism, you’re naive, at best, and pushing an evil agenda, at worst. Slavery is still practiced in Africa in some Muslim nations, and the history of the Barbary Pirates is worth looking into if one is interested in the subject.
However, in America, the brunt of slavery was inflicted on blacks. The majority (not all) slaves in America were black, and the majority of slave owners (not all) were white. The majority of human beings brought to America as slaves were black, and even those that didn’t own them (which was the vast majority of citizens), and those who abhorred slavery, had little interest in black people being considered as equals. To make it clear, few who were against slavery had any desire for black men to marry their daughters – and after the Civil War every city in the North did not turn into a multi-cultural panacea – blacks lived where blacks lived, and whites lived where whites lived, and few – white or black – had any problem with that.
But, one important fact is that through the 1950’s, even in the poorest black homes, the nuclear family existed. Black men were fathers to their children, which presented black children a chance to have it better than their parents did. Yes, education and wealth were a struggle that far exceeded the required efforts of many white children, but the foundations for betterment were there. Because of that the number of black doctors, pilots, engineers, teachers, writers, and business owners, etc., began to grow, and flourish.
Granted, due to the regressive racism of the Southern states, and the political winds in the North, the post-Civil War era of America was not doing any favors for its black inhabitants. Regardless, there was still forward movement of blacks towards economic and educational equality, which eventually set the stage for the Civil Rights movement of the 1960’s (100-years after the Civil War.)
The New Deal
At the same moment in the 60’s when educated black activists began marching en mas, President Lyndon Johnson (D), by accident of fate, I’m sure, introduced his Great Society. A series of welfare, education, equality, and economic bills that, according to him would:
“..build a Great Society. It is a Society where no child will go unfed, and no youngster will go unschooled.”
What he failed to mention was that he was a racist bastard who saw the inevitable and used the situation to buy the black vote to maintain control. Johnson biographers Robert Caro and Robert Dallek have documented Johnson’s racism – some excuse it, calling Johnson a “man of the times”, but in my opinion he knew exactly what he was doing and why. Either way, the results speak for themselves.
During the 60’s there were four separate Civil Rights Acts passed, along with bunch of other Great Society laws. Many were good, some were weak, and others were rotten to the core. Two of the worst were the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 and the Food Stamp Act of 1964 – both passed when Johnson declared a “War on Poverty!” And, as many of us have tried to point out through the years, when government declares war on a problem, we get more of the problem.
In the short term much of it seemed to work – in the long term, the programs were apocalyptically destructive for black families. The most devastating consequence of the expanded welfare legislation was that it was now more beneficial for a woman to have a baby out of wedlock than if she were married. No husband = bigger check. More kids = bigger check.
The most devastating consequence of the New Deal legislation as a whole was to convince the black population of America that Democrats actually care about them, have their best interest at heart, and that government programs make their lives better.
Regardless of anyone’s thoughts on racism, “Christian duty”, history, or politics, it is an absolute fact that the system in place encourages broken homes and fatherless children. It’s now infecting its 4th generation of victims – and disproportionately effecting black families. Why do I say disproportionately when there are a lesser percentage of blacks on welfare than whites? Because there are more black people on welfare per capita when you factor in their total percentage of population.
On a Federal level welfare has certainly been destructive enough – but, Chicago? Chicago has its own special, hybrid, turbo-charged brand of corruption and tyrannical control disguised as public service.
The next thing I’m going to say will probably piss off 90% of the city, and 100% of its politicians, and I don’t care. Chicago is by far the most corrupt, pay-to-play, cesspool of a city in this nation. It is controlled by the Democratic Party “machine” which uses union thugs and fascists to enforce their will and line their pockets. They will not hesitate to steal from anyone to keep their pensions fat, and they could care less about who they destroy in their wake. Today Rahm and his minions are using poor, black citizens as players in a live action game of Russian roulette.
There’s a reason The Democratic Party Golden Boy, Barack Obama, cut his teeth as a “community organizer” in Chicago, and it wasn’t so he could become better acquainted with the Bill of Rights. When the likes of Bill Ayers has a faculty job at the Chicago campus of U of I, and the city embraces him, you know you’ve entered a unique ring of Hell.
Chicago has been run by criminal Democrats for EIGHTY FIVE years, and for EIGHTY FIVE years the black population of Chicago has suffered the consequences – In more recent history, specifically at the hands of black Aldermen and State Legislators.
Every major metropolitan city in the US has a “black neighborhood”, and most are not pleasant places to live. Chicago, however, has set a new standard for the destruction of human lives.
Are there good people in Chicago politics trying to make a real difference? Yes. But they are too few in number to change reality.
The Black Youth of Chicago
A few years back I attended a Gang Violence symposium hosted by the Union League of Chicago. The Union League is one of the oldest exclusive social clubs in the city, and I doubt I’ll ever be able to afford to join. But, I was invited as a guest so I took advantage of the opportunity.
Among the speakers on the dais were a black female attorney who worked for the IL State’s Attorney’s Office specializing in prosecuting violent gang members under the age of 18, a retired FBI Agent who worked Chicago gang crimes, a minister who operated an outreach center for black youth in one of the worst neighborhoods in the city, and a public health official.
The State’s Attorney
For the first part of her life she lived in Cabrini Green, one of the most notoriously violent public housing projects government ever produced. When she was 8, her mother lied her way into a basement apartment they couldn’t afford, just to get her daughter into a better school district. Mom then spent every waking hour making sure her daughter would not end up like she did. Somehow – and if I believed in miracles I would call it one – she made it to law school.
However, her job was now to prosecute the young men who had no such force in their life. What she was now confronted with daily were 10-17 year-old boys whose lives were over before they ever got started, and it was her job to put them away.
The daily grind of wasted lives was obviously wearing on her.
The FBI Agent
Political correctness takes many forms. It’s not just using the right term to describe any given group, it’s also a way to navigate around the truth when speaking such might upset someone’s apple cart.
Our Federal Agent did a masterful job of not saying what he was really thinking, which was:
A – This War on Drugs is a DISASTER. It’s accomplished nothing but to destroy lives and grow government.
B – The Chicago PD and the Feds should never have arrested the heads of the major gangs in the late 90’s.
The stories he related to the attendees were all heartbreaking, but one thing really stood out to me: He stated that the best results he’d had with any of the youth he worked with came from loading them in a van, and driving to a farm one hour outside the city so they could pet a horse.
Not a single one of the kids he worked with had ever been further than 8-blocks away from their homes, and none of them thought they would ever live to see their 21st birthday. The simple act of petting a horse completely changed their view of the world. In their minds, death on the street was now not the only option, there actually might be a bigger world out there.
The Public Health Administrator
A number of interesting points were made during his presentation, but the most important was this: The “P” in PTSD can stand for post, or persistent.
He noted that treating combat veterans, or rape victims is a much easier task that treating a 12-year-old who is living a continual cycle of violence and abuse.
- Consider this – you’re an adult soldier who has seen hundreds of dismembered and shot human beings, some even children, and perhaps those dead are the result of your actions. Maybe you lost friends in combat in the most violent manner. But, one day that all ended, and your return home, though not without problems, is completely removed from that environment. You’re confronting memories, not ongoing events.
- In contrast, imagine you’re 16 years-old. You were born into an environment of drug and alcohol abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, fighting, yelling, gang crime, and the daily murders of neighbors and family. Your mother was no more than a teenager when you came into this world, and your father can’t be bothered to teach you anything other than to perpetuate violence. You eat garbage food, you live in filth, what little education you receive is awful, and you spend your time not reading books, but playing video games – The majority of which are violent.
So, I ask you, who has Post Traumatic Stress, and who has Persistent Traumatic Stress? …and which one do you think is easier to treat?
For the non-psychopath, violence is a learned behavior. It’s mathematically impossible for a few neighborhoods in Chicago to produce the vast majority of psychopaths in the nation, but it’s a fact the environment is creating an abnormal amount of sociopaths. You’re looking at kids with 18-years of straight combat and no R&R.
Let’s just call them what they really are: Government Schools. An honest term that tells all you need to know about the quality of the product.
In Chicago it’s all about pensions, pay, and the Union. The head of the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) gets two company cars and an overseas travel budget…ya know, in case he or she needs to go look at schools in Somalia for some ideas towards district improvements. Granted, the latest CPS head claims he’s working for free, but his staff sure isn’t.
CPS is really no different than the way Chicago Streets and Sanitation, or any other Chicago political industry is run – nepotism, pay-to-play, bribes, kick-backs, and political appointments as payback for campaign contributions and other favors. The whole affair is driven by administrators, teachers, unions and contractors fighting over how many tax dollars will wind up in their pockets.
In other words, the last thing on anyone’s agenda is teaching a kid.
But, to give the proverbial devil his due…
No matter how much money you spend per child, no matter how many brand new computers a school has, no matter how good the teachers are, the behavioral patterns of most humans are set before they step into 1st grade. You cannot replace parents and home with teachers and school. When kids have zero respect for authority, no work ethic, and no fear of retribution for their actions, you’re not going to be graduating engineers – in fact, you’ll be lucky to graduate anyone at all.
Are there good teachers in the Chicago Public School System? Absolutely. In fact, the teachers themselves are probably the least of the issue – but even good teachers aren’t enough. The reality is that most of the good teachers don’t want to work at a school in Engelwood…so they don’t. And it’s not hard to figure out why.
The majority of children entering school in black neighborhoods have no foundation in discipline or learning, and that’s because their parents are losers of epic proportions – Which was caused by their parents being losers of vast proportions, because their parents were losers of standard proportions, because their parents bought into a loser mindset 50-years ago by grabbing at the Democratic carrot on a stick. This is a multi-generational cluster that shaves off 5 IQ points every 15-years.
We’ve got serious problems when a 2-year-old baby is killed in gangland crossfire and the news in Chicago is interviewing the THIRTY TWO year old GRANDMOTHER. This comes down to parents.
The word culture gets thrown around as if once a behavior is labeled such it immediately deserves respect. Well, what passes as “culture” in most of the world amounts to little more than tyranny. Clitoral circumcision is standard for baby girls in Thailand – It’s also a barbaric, evil, ridiculous practice spurred on by an even more ridiculous evil, barbaric religion. “But, it’s their culture!”, yell the apologists. Yeah – actually, it’s mutilation.
So, where am I going with this?
Frank, are you suggesting Rap is causing shootings in Chicago!?
No. I’m suggesting Gangsta (even the name exudes moron) Rap is contributing to the stupidity that infects those who commit the majority of violent crimes in Chicago.
Look, folks – I’m not saying music causes people to do anything anymore than reading Catcher in the Ryedoes. It’s just words, it’s just beats – and people always have a choice in how they process information. The problem lies in one’s ability to make good choices. Good choices are most often made by properly educated people who were raised in caring environments by those who taught them critical thinking.
What I’m talking about with gangster rap is 4-year-old boys with no fathers and absentee mothers, being exposed to this daily:
…it ain’t helpin’.
This is a culture that CELEBRATES ignorance. In fact, ask a random 16 year-old from Chatham to read this article – hell, read it to him – and see if he doesn’t become angry at you. Not because he disagrees with the content, but because he doesn’t understand what you’re saying. To him, many of the words I’m using in this treatise (there’s one, now!) are insults simply because he doesn’t know their meaning. Intelligence is grounds for a beating.
Most who don’t live in Chicago probably don’t know this, but you have to be 21 to buy cigarettes within city limits. It’s a rather new rule, but what it’s contributing to is an existing situation that allows gang members to make more selling single cigarettes smuggled in from outside Cook County than drugs. Cook County already had its own tax tacked on to cigarette sales, and that started the whole mess years ago. But, with the Chicago age restriction in place, it’s officially gone to seed.
Once again government tries to regulate a drug and it creates crime. Who’d-a-thunk-it?
Yes, kids are shooting kids over cigarette sales turf. They’d live longer if government just let them smoke.
Speaking of drugs…
The Drug War
Personally, I detest recreational drug use. When I’ve been around people engaging in it, I found them to be, at the very least, undependable. At worst, they were committing slow suicide, leaving a wake of destruction in their path.
But, just because I choose not to use drugs, or be around those who do, does not mean I have any right to tell another person how they may, or may not, self-medicate.
The assumption that any of us have that right has led to 1-million non-violent “drug offenders” being incarcerated. If nothing else, as a taxpayer, it pisses me off that I’m funding those prison stays. In the bigger picture, it’s destroying lives, families, and the Bill of Rights. [Good breakdown by the Bookings Institute here.]
Drug use is a medical, spiritual, psychological, and/or social problem – it is not a CRIMINAL problem. By making it a criminal problem all we’ve done is increase crime, grow government, ruin more lives, and waste tax dollars.
Combined sales of weed, cocaine, meth and heroin total around 108-billion dollars a year in the US. That’s not including prescription drug resale. The funny thing is that someone has to be laundering the majority of that money, and when was the last time you heard about your local banker being sent to federal prison for the same?
The Drug War affects the low level dealers disproportionately to those making the real money controlling the trade and cleaning the cash. What does that mean? It means the 18 year-old peddling dope at 83rd & King Drive goes to jail and loses his right to vote, and the executives at Deutsche Bank go golfing…and cozy up to Hillary.
If you’re on the fence, start by reading The Big White Lie by Michael Levine.
Will any new gun restriction stop the violence in Chicago?
Well, if you believe it will then you’d have to explain why my friends, neighbors, and I, aren’t shooting each other. We all own and carry guns, but none of us are inclined to murder one another. (And, by-the-way, 50% of my neighbors for the past 10-years happened to be black)
If guns were outright banned tomorrow, it wouldn’t change a thing. There is a gun in the US for every man, woman, and child – that ship already sailed – there are guns and ammo for the next 20-generations of criminals.
How about stricter sentencing for gun crimes? Nope – waste of time. You expect a kid that has grown up knowing nothing but violence, sees the gang as his parent and family, and who assumes he will never see his 21st birthday, to be scared of jail?
And while we’re on the subject, they aren’t afraid of citizens with concealed carry licenses, either. I walk the earth armed, and I suggest those willing and able do the same. But I do it because I have a right to defend myself from violence, not because I think gangsters consider it motivation to seek gainful employment. Instead, they just regress further into mid-brain and attack in groups. They’re not “getting smarter”, just defaulting to a pack mentality.
Chicago Gang Leadership
In the 90’s there were a number of mass arrests of Chicago Street Gang leadership. What was once a top down operation that held control over the street soldiers found itself instantly fragmented. Over the past 20-years it’s degraded to the point that “a gang” can now constitute a single city block. Whether they want to be, or not, all residents are considered members.
That’s not to say there are still not larger gangs in Chicago, or that the P Stone Nation isn’t still a factor. It simply means that the former structure kept the violence down – now, it’s a free-for-all.
America has the best justice money can buy.
That’s not to say there is anywhere on Earth that has better system, because there’s not. America’s justice system just sucks less than any other. But, once your sleeve gets caught in it, you are only innocent until proven indigent.
If you want to go on a fun field trip, join a prison ministry group that visits Cook County Jail. You’ll meet lots of people who have been convicted of no crime, and the only reason they’re there is because they can’t afford bail. If they weren’t a criminal going in, they’ll be one coming out – that environment offers no mercy.
The system allows for those of means to “get away” with things poorer citizens never would. It also leaves the innocent with fewer resources unable to prove innocence – Expert witnesses and discovery cost money.
Don’t believe me, ask your lawyer how much it will cost you to fight a Murder One charge.
CPD is a department in turmoil. They’ve had 3 Chiefs in two years, and patrol officers have instituted a “work slowdown” due to the Black Lives Matter/press crucifixion any time an officer is involved in any violent event – regardless of facts. No one wants to be the next Youtube video. No one wants to be the next sacrificial lamb. So, gang members and criminals are simply not being confronted like they used to. Indicators and suspicious activity are ignored, resulting in “open season for crime.”
Sure, more shake downs, arrests, and mandatory sentencing would “help”, but even if the police were going at it 100% it still doesn’t change the root causes of this mess and only serves as a temporary fix to a long term problem.
What’s To Be Done?
I have my answers, which I’m sure won’t be implemented any time soon – But, in a word: LIBERTY
Liberty is the answer.
All people need government out of their daily lives. The only time government should interfere is when a citizen’s rights are being violated.
- Welfare – all forms, including corporate – Gone.
- The government needs to get out of the education business- a start would be to get the Federal government out by shutting down the Department of Education.
- Drugs need to be decriminalized.
- Judicial reform.
Those are the main things that could be legislated. What can’t be legislated is good parenting – for that I offer no solution. But a good example to set for the kids would be to stop voting Democrat.
And if you don’t want to hear it from me, ask Dr. Thomas Sowell.