By Annie Sweeney, Jeremy Gorner and Joe Germuska
The bullets flew in neighborhoods from Roseland to Rogers Park, hitting victims ranging in age from 72 to just 1. The overwhelming majority of them were young men. The bullets nicked eyebrows and ankles. They also pierced whole communities, such as historic Woodlawn.
More than 300 people were shot in Chicago last month. At least 33 of them have died.
Some victims made headlines, like 13-year-old Robert Freeman Jr., who was fatally shot on his block while hanging out with friends. The city paused when two Chicago police officers — Michael Bailey and Thor Soderberg — were gunned down in uniform within weeks of each other.
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But many more victims of shootings in July — historically among the city's most dangerous months — suffered unnoticed by the rest of the city.
Crime has been holding steady in Chicago in recent years. Through July, there have been 1,089 shootings in the city, a 2.4 percent decrease over last year. This July, police counted 221 shooting incidents, compared with 229 in July 2009. A review of seven years worth of shootings showed similar numbers.
In other words, this was a typical July.
The Chicago Police Department declined to provide the number of shooting victims in July or comment about the month's shooting tally. But a Tribune analysis of reported shootings, based on logs kept by police and reporting by the Tribune, counted 303 people who were injured in shootings last month.
The Tribune's analysis showed that shootings occurred in predictable places — the Far South Side and West Side, for instance, where violence has been a pervasive problem for decades. It also showed how a bullet — even one that doesn't kill — pierced a path of destruction in victims, families and the neighborhoods where they live.
ICarry commentary: If you asked Mayor Daley what the problem was - he would blame the inanimate objects that people are using - guns. We might as well blame spears, stones, knives, and clubs as well. Despite Chicago's strictest-in-the-nation laws regulating the ownership and possession of guns, shootings are happening every day.
These shootings aren't with legally-owned and registered long guns. The criminals aren't using pistols, which after nearly 30 years people in Chicago can finally own (after all the paperwork, waiting, training outside of the city, purchasing outside of the city, money, etc). The criminals don't have FOID cards either!!!
Isn't it time Daley stopped blaming guns and started blaming criminals? Isn't it time he left gun owners and the Second Amendment alone? Isn't it time Chicago did something real to stop crime - like lock the gangbangers away and throw away the key? Instead, we're focused on arrested firemen who have guns.
Time to change, Chicago, your gun laws are only HELPING criminals prey on their victims. The people of Chicago have the right to keep AND bear arms, it's a fundamental right, the Supreme Court of the United States told you this, and you've still ignored it.
ICarry.org was the first to file suit after Daley's new gun ordinance was rubber-stamped through city council.
29-Year Veteran Chicago Police Woman Supports Right-to-Carry for Illinois!!!
I grew up around guns. My dad, a farmer by trade, was also an auxiliary deputy with the local sheriff’s department so he owned a pistol or two. My cousins were hunters, and we always had a shotgun in the house that my father could get to if he needed to eliminate an errant raccoon in the garden or a family of moles tearing up our front yard. I was neither fascinated nor frightened by firearms, they were just a part of our lives in the rural Midwest.
When I graduated from the police academy in 1981, I was pretty excited about my “right to bear arms” both on and off duty. Although I was a patrol officer, I invested in a couple of concealed holsters for my big Smith & Wesson model 59 (completely the wrong handgun for a girl with the hands of an 8 year old, but that’s another article). I pretty much carried my gun everywhere. Young, single, and new to the “big city,” I spent lots of time in and around the Chicago area, enjoying the museums, the sports teams, the shopping, and of course, the nightlife. I never gave my safety much thought because (a) I was armed, and (b) I was usually in the company of other (armed) off duty cops. Life was good.
I’ve always enjoyed lively political discussions so I was happy to enter into debates about the Second Amendment and whether or not ordinary citizens really had a “right to keep and bear arms” as I continued to gain some patrol experience. At the time, I really didn’t understand what the big deal was. I was fine with people who were hunters, or enjoyed shooting sports, and even wanted to keep a “home protection” gun in their bedroom, but as a young cop, I was pretty sure I didn’t want ordinary, untrained people walking around “my” streets carrying concealed handguns. I mean, if everyone had a gun, how could we tell the good guys from the bad? If everyone was armed, wouldn’t people be shooting each other over parking spaces and other petty issues? Besides, I secretly (and selfishly) enjoyed the feeling of superiority in knowing that I was one of the few people allowed by Illinois law to carry around a loaded gun. Boy, did I have a lot to learn.
In 1989 I was invited to travel with the University of Illinois’ “Fighting Illini” men’s basketball team to the Final Four in Seattle, Washington. My uncle was the head coach so my dad and I were going to fly on the team plane. What a blast! Unfortunately, this was about the same time that serial killer Ted Bundy was all over the news, the “Green River Killer” investigation was in full swing, and I was obsessed with reading Seattle-based author Ann Rule’s true crime books. Not exactly a great time for me to be heading for Washington State. But hey, I was cop! I got to take my gun to Seattle, carry it everywhere, and feel safe and secure. Great for me, but it got me thinking about all those young female murder victims; many of them close to my age. What if one of them had been armed? Could she have saved herself and ultimately, many others? And back in Illinois we had our own famous serial killer, John Wayne Gacy, still in the news. He killed 33 young men and boys before he was arrested. Hadn’t they deserved the legal right to able to try and protect themselves to the best of their ability?
Two and a half years later, on October 16, 1991, the infamous Luby’s Cafeteria shooting occurred in Killeen, Texas. In what we would now call an “active shooter” situation, George Hennard drove his pick up truck through the front of the restaurant and was able to stalk, shoot, and terrorize the 80 lunchtime patrons, killing 23 and wounding another 20 before police cornered him and he turned a gun on himself. He’d been able to reload several times before police could arrive, and there were no armed citizens to challenge him. I was now a patrol sergeant and really starting to really re-evaluate my stance on citizen carry, and frankly, the Luby’s incident scared the heck out of me. After all, just like my state, the law in Texas at the time forbade citizens from carrying handguns. The Texas “serious crime” rate was 38 % above the nation average. After the post-Luby’s passage of the CCW law, serious crime in Texas has dropped 50% faster than the United States as a whole. Illinois, however, continued to prohibit CCW.
The whole citizen carry issue, often mixed in with the broader debate over “gun control” in general, has been terribly politicized and the debate rages on to this day. Yes, the United States is the leader in “per capita gun deaths among industrial nations,” a statistic that gun control advocates love to throw around. However, as most cops will tell you, the issue is a whole lot more complicated. One of the best resources out there is John Lott’srecently updated book “More Guns, Less Crime.” Basically, Lott concluded in an 18 year study that states who allowed citizens to carry concealed weapons saw violent crime goes down. Pretty logical stuff; the more law abiding citizens who train and arm themselves, the less victims we have. He has continued to study this issue objectively but passionately; every crimefighter should read his work.
My adopted home town, the city of Chicago, is a perfect example of Lott’s conclusions. We’re averaging 20 – 40 shootings a weekend, three Chicago cops have been killed this year, off duty, since May, and yet Chicago has some of the strictest gun laws in the nation! Who’s got the guns? The cops and the bad guys; and frankly, the cops tend to be out-numbered and often out-gunned. All the gun laws in the world aren’t going to keep thugs from owning, carrying and using firearms, so all the City of Chicago is doing is keeping law abiding citizens from legally obtaining personal protection firearms.
I’m retired now, but as I travel throughout the United States, training with and filming law enforcement personnel, I take advantage of HR 218; I am always armed, and I’m grateful for the privilege. I am now a firm advocate of well-trained, well-armed civilians, and this is an issue that police officers must get more involved in. With layoffs, cutbacks, workplace violence and the raging “war on cops” in the United States, we may have to depend on our citizens to step up, jump in, and help out in an armed encounter. After all, you don’t have to have a badge to wear a white hat and be one of the good guys. Stay safe!
Posted by ShaunKranish on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 @ 01:10:29 CDT (9399 reads)
In a major victory for common-sense in Illinois gun laws, Winnebago County States Attorney Joe Bruscato has dismissed a felony charge lodged against prominent firearms rights advocate – founder of ICarry.org Shaun Kranish. Kranish was arrested in May of 2006 for carrying an unloaded pistol in a container/case in accordance with Illinois state law. However, former states attorney Paul A. Logli went ahead with prosecution.
Despite no allegations of wrongdoing, Kranish had to mount a defense against the felony charge for over four years. The Honorable Judge Steven Vecchio courageously dismissed the charge in 2007 based on the fact Shaun had followed the law – unloaded, in a container, with a valid Firearms Owner Identification (FOID) card.
The dismissal was appealed by the state, reversed on a legal procedural technicality, and sent back to Rockford for trial in mid August 2010. Represented by attorney Walter Maksym of Chicago – who is also representing ICarry.org and Second Amendment Arms in a lawsuit challenging Chicago’s new post-McDonald gun ban scheme – Kranish and countless firearms owners then asked Joe Bruscato to dismiss the charge brought against Shaun by his predecessor.
Mr. Kranish’s related Second Amendment civil rights case filed by Mr. Maksym in 2008 against the Village of Cherry Valley, six of its police officers, and two CherryVale Mall security guards that was upheld by U.S. District Court Judge Frederick J. Kapala (Rockford), has been recently settled on confidential, mutually satisfactory terms.
Kranish and his attorney applaud Mr. Bruscato for his responsible and sensible action taken in the interests of justice by dismissing the charge rather than bowing to the political pressure that has kept Illinois the last and only state in the country to completely prohibit its citizens from carrying a loaded pistol for self-defense – a constitutionally-protected right the US Supreme Court has described as “fundamental.”
If Joe Franzese [ICarry.org President] has his way, he will open five gun shops within the borders of Chicago by the end of this year.
Franzese already owns one gun shop, Second Amendment Arms in Lake Villa. But his goal of opening gun shops in Chicago, including Lincoln Park and on Michigan Avenue, has been halted due to new ordinances set in place by the Chicago City Council regarding the sale and ownership of guns in the city.
Franzese and former United States Marine Robert Zieman, Sr., have now filed a lawsuit against the City of Chicago and a number of city officials, alleging the new ordinances are unconstitutional. The lawsuit was filed against the City of Chicago, Mayor Richard M. Daley - as an individual and as mayor, - Superintendent of Police Jody P. Weis, City Clerk Miguel Del Valle and Maria Georges - as an individual and as corporation counsel.
"I filed the lawsuit because I want to sell a legal product and you can't outlaw a legal product," said Franzese.
New ordinance bans gun shops
According to the lawsuit filed by Franzese's attorney, Walter Maksym, the United States Supreme Court on June 28 struck down the City of Chicago's previous gun ban ordinance that had been in place for 28 years. The ordinance, Maksym wrote in his complaint, "banned handguns by making them 'unregisterable' by law-abiding citizens, and thereby prohibited and was designed to render their ownership, transfer and possession illegal."
Franzese, who has owned Second Amendment Arms in Lake Villa for two years, then submitted two business license applications with the Chicago City Clerk's office with the intent of opening gun shops in Lincoln Park and on Michigan Avenue.
Within a couple of days, however, city officials adopted a new set of ordinances regarding the sale and ownership of guns. Maksym said these ordinances call for extensive training, require gun owners to obtain a $100 renewable permit every three years and prohibit gun owners from taking those guns outside of their homes - even in their backyards.
"People get killed in the streets. People get mugged in their backyards," said Maksym, who also is one of the lawyers representing Drew Peterson in his pending murder case. "They're saying you can only keep arms in your home but not bear arms."
He added the $100 permit is "like having a $10,000 car and having a $20,000 city sticker."
The new ordinance, according to the lawsuit, also bans gun shops.
"By banning gun shops and the sale (of) handguns, Chicago and Mayor Daley currently maintain and actively enforce a set of laws, customs, practices and policies under color of state law which deprive individuals, including the plaintiffs, of their right to keep and bear arms, and engage in commerce by selling them, lawful products, in violation of the Second and 14th Amendments to the United States Constitution," the lawsuit alleges.
"You cannot overregulate," said Maksym. "You cannot ban people from having a legal product or using a legal product."
He likened it to being able to practice religion, but not being allowed to build churches in the city.
"I represent law-abiding gun owners," said Maksym. "People get shot because people are angry. There's no such thing as gun violence."
Seeks new market
Franzese said he wants to open gun shops in Chicago because "it's an untapped market.
"I'm a businessman. I go where I'm needed," he said.
Franzese maintains he is "grandfathered in on the Supreme Court ruling" since he submitted his business license applications after the old ban was struck down and before the new ordinances were adopted.
The gun shops he wants to open, Franzese said, would be full-service shops that would offer training, education and, possibly, shooting ranges.
"I have unlimited financial backing, unlimited time and I'm not going anywhere anytime soon," said Franzese. "The ball's in (Mayor Daley's) court. We haven't heard anything yet, but all odds of this going through are few and far between, I guess.
"I'm not going anywhere," he added. "I've got 15, 20, 30 years. It doesn't matter to me."
Franzese is seeking monetary damages through the lawsuit, including loss of profits and attorney fees.
Posted by ShaunKranish on Tuesday, July 20, 2010 @ 00:45:37 CDT (11662 reads)
As always, gun control proponents say they merely want "reasonable" gun control laws. Yet, when listing the actual laws they favor, they go well beyond what most people would possibly consider "reasonable." Just look at the gun bans in Chicago and Washington, D.C. that local politicians and gun control organizations such as the Brady Campaign and the Violence Policy Center have fought to protect.
Today, exactly two weeks after the Supreme Court struck down Chicago's handgun ban, the city's strict new gun control laws go into effect. These new restrictions surely do not seem "reasonable" but rather intended to make life as difficult as possible for those who legally want to own a gun. Among the regulations is a complete ban on selling guns in Chicago. Also five hours of training is required, which may seem reasonable, but that training is forbidden to take place within the Chicago city limits.
And the list of odd restrictions in Chicago goes on. While people can own a handgun for protection in their homes, it only applies to some parts of what most people would consider their home: the gun cannot be used for self-defense in one's yard or garage, nor on your porch, even if it is enclosed. But certainly a garage is a possible place for criminals to strike. Is it "reasonable" that if criminals attack a family member in the garage, you aren't allowed to effectively defend them?
Further, Chicagoans are permitted to own only one handgun that is "in operating order." If you own a jewelry store that criminals might want to rob, forget it. You cannot even place your one functional handgun in your business instead of your home if you think that is the best place to put it.
Multiple residences or a very large house would not qualify for more than one gun either.
Break any of these or the numerous other regulations and you face up to a $5,000 fine and 90 days in jail.
For the second offense, the fine goes up to $10,000 and jail time goes up to six months.
Then there are the various fees and other costs of obtaining a handgun legally. A comparison with the First Amendment is useful: If Chicago were to put a tax on newspapers, even just a penny, courts would throw it out as an abridgment of freedom of speech. Why should the Second Amendment be treated any differently?
Apparently, the city of Chicago sees no constitutional problem in imposing a $100 Chicago Firearms Permit fee plus another $15 per firearm (even on the non-operational ones) every three years. A valid Illinois Firearm Owner's Identification (FOID) card is also required, at a cost of $10, although it seems redundant as the Chicago permit and the Illinois FOID card do the same things. On an annual basis, Chicago's fees are about 2.5 times the cost for the average concealed handgun permit.
Administrative costs are not an excuse as the Chicago fees are well exceed the costs of running the permit and registration system. Given that training requirements for concealed handgun permits don't make people who carry guns more effective at deterring criminals nor less accident prone, there is no evidence that Chicago's training requirements will make gun owners better at owning guns. What training requirements do is reduce the number of gun owners. The five hour training class, which includes one hour of range training, and the extra costs government imposes on those who want to get a single gun will run at least $200.
Let's face it, Mayor Richard Daley wants to ban guns, all guns. And he thinks that a complete ban is a "reasonable" regulation. The Supreme Court has ruled that he is not allowed to ban guns, but this is not going to change his mind about guns in the slightest. Daley now wants to place as restrictive rules as he thinks that the courts will let him get away with. Pretending that these rules are anything more than an attempt to limit gun ownership as much as possible is simply dishonest.
Some legal experts unsure parts of new firearms ordinance can survive
ICarry.org's President, Joe Franzese, and owner of Second Amendment Arms gun stores has filed suit against Chicago for banning gun shops in the city.
As Chicago prepares to implement its new firearms ordinance Monday, gun advocates have begun a legal assault, filing two lawsuits that constitutional law experts said could be the next round of challenges to how cities can regulate personal gun ownership.
Less than two weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way for citizens to have handguns at home, Chicago was hit with the lawsuits that target, among other things, the city's ban on gun shops, a controversial and untested regulation that lawyers said could be the next frontier in the battle over firearm rights.
Though Chicago officials said the ordinance, adopted after the court gutted the city's 28-year-old handgun ban, was designed to withstand legal challenges, law experts said some aspects of it might not hold up. While it is impossible to know how far the two federal lawsuits will go in court, experts said banning gun sales, limiting permit holders to one ready-to-fire weapon in a home and prohibiting guns in garages, porches and yards could pose problems for the city in the long run.
"Chicago is in for a long legal challenge," said Eugene Kontorovich, an associate professor at Northwestern University Law School. "Clearly, parts of the ordinance will be struck down, but it is hard to predict how quickly that will happen."
But Chicago's top attorney, Corporation Counsel Mara Georges, said the ordinance falls within the scope of Supreme Court rulings. Some regulations in the new law, she said, have been upheld by federal courts elsewhere.
"In my mind the Supreme Court has said there is a right to have handguns in the home for self-defense. That is not an unlimited right but is subject to reasonable restriction," said Georges. "We feel that we have imposed reasonable restriction. It is up to the courts to tell us if they are."
The Supreme Court, in overturning the Washington, D.C., gun ban in 2008, made it clear that citizens in the district have the right to keep firearms at home. That stance was confirmed and extended to the rest of the country in the court's ruling that made Chicago's ban unenforceable.
But both times, the court declined to establish clear standards for judges to determine whether laws enacted to regulate the purchase and sale of guns violate the Constitution. The lack of a judicial standard has left state and local governments dependent on trial and error, passing laws that often are legally challenged and decided in lower courts with no uniformity from city to city or state to state.
According to Kontorovich, major parts of Chicago's ordinance, particularly limiting guns to the house and restricting the number of operable handguns, seem to contradict the right to "keep and bear arms."
"The bill bans arms in public. So that is like reading the Second Amendment as saying you can 'keep' arms but leave the 'bear' out," he said. "The court made it clear that 'bear' means to carry, and not just around the house."
A lawsuit filed Tuesday involves four Chicago residents who want to carry their guns outside the home and the Illinois Association of Firearm Retailers, whose members want to sell guns and operate shooting ranges in the city. In a suit filed Friday, plaintiff Joe Franzese, who owns Second Amendment Arms in north suburban Lake Villa, wants to open a gun shop in Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood.
"The intent (of the new ordinance) is to effectively enact a gun ban ordinance by over-regulating the rights of gun owners to keep and possess their firearms for self-defense in their homes and business," said Charles Cooper, a Washington, D.C., attorney who represents the plaintiffs in the first lawsuit filed.
But Georges said no Chicago alderman is willing to have a gun shop in his or her ward. So rather than implement zoning and other restrictions, the city chose to ban gun sales outright.
Chicago's ordinance, which the city acknowledges goes further than any other, mirrors many aspects of the one passed in Washington after its ban was struck down. Georges said the ordinance was approved after the City Council heard two days of expert testimony on reasonable limits the city could impose.
"We anticipated that we would get a challenge regardless of what the ordinance said, if we had any controls whatsoever," said Georges. "We felt that the D.C. ordinance had already withstood a legal challenge and it was wise to follow in their footsteps on some of these things."
The National Rifle Association and other gun advocates said they are prepared for more challenges. The NRA is not involved in the two recent lawsuits.
"The Supreme Court told Mayor (Richard) Daley and the city of Chicago that it has to respect the Second Amendment. By enacting this ordinance, their response is 'Make us,'" said Chris W. Cox, the NRA's chief lobbyist.
According to Adam Samaha, a law professor at the University of Chicago Law School, the lower courts in Washington, D.C., have upheld some aspects of Chicago's ordinance, including training requirements, limiting the number of guns that can be registered, restricting transfer of firearms from one owner to another and enacting registration requirements such as background checks.
Though federal courts in Chicago are not bound to those rulings, Samaha said, they could work in Chicago's favor.
"It is an indication that judges are receptive to the idea, but it's not a slam-dunk," he said.
Posted by ShaunKranish on Tuesday, July 20, 2010 @ 00:19:56 CDT (7304 reads)
A north suburban gunshop owner hoping to open gun "boutiques" in the Loop and Lincoln Park has filed a federal lawsuit against the city and Mayor Daley alleging a new gun ordinance is unconstitutional.
Joseph Franzese, owner of Villa Park-based Second Amendment Arms, and Robert M. Zieman Sr. filed the suit Friday in U.S. District Court against the city, the mayor, Police Supt. Jody Weis, City Clerk Miguel Del Valle and Corporation Counsel Mara Georges.
Franzese wants to open "boutique" type gun stores in Lincoln Park and on Michigan Avenue downtown, according to his lawyer Walter Maksym, who is one of Drew Peterson's lawyers in his pending murder case.
"It's not going to have firearms [on display] or bullets [for sale], and you'll have to have a FOID card to get in," Maksym said. "There would be a secure area and after you look at some videos, you can pick out a gun you are interested in and a security guard will bring it in to view."
Maksym noted you would need a FOID card to see and handle guns. You would then order a gun and come back to get it later after a background check is conducted.
Franzese has spoken to a store owner interested in renting both the Lincoln Park and Michigan Avenue locations for his gun shops, Maksym said. He would not disclose where in Lincoln Park the store would be.
Friday's suit alleges that by banning gun shops and the sale of handguns, Chicago and Mayor Daley are maintaining and enforcing a set of laws that are in violation of the Second and 14th amendments.
The city Dept. of Law issued a statement in response to the suit, saying the new ordinance is "a reasonable attempt to balance the right of individuals to possess handguns in the home for self-defense with the substantial risks to public safety that are associated with the proliferation of firearms."
Franzese, along with the plaintiff of another suit filed earlier this week, are attempting to "greatly expand the limited right recognized in [the court ruling] to possess a handgun in the home for purposes of self-defense," the statement reads.
The suit also alleges, with a total ban on the sale of firearms and accessories, Chicago will suffer damages including "loss of profits, goodwill and other general and economic damages."
The suit alleges that on July 2, "without seeking or allowing public comment or input or review," the city adopted a more "sweeping ordinance" hurriedly proposed by Mayor Daley to become effective July 12.
Maksym called the "new gun ban ordinance" the city's way of being "sneaky and cute."
"The city can only think in one direction," he said. "The city is monomaniacal. It's a crazy attempt but they're going to have their hats handed to them. The Supreme Court isn't going to say you can own something but you can't buy it."
The suit also calls on the city to repay the owners of firearms confiscated under the old gun ban since 1982, including plaintiff Zieman. That claim may seek class-action status, the suit said.
In response, the city claims they have "strong legal defenses" to any such claim.
"In addition to statute of limitations issues, individuals who failed to challenge the constitutionality of the gun ordinance when their cases were pending have waived their legal claims and are not entitled to now seek restitution," according to the statement.
The suit seeks general, compensatory and punitive damages.
Chicago's political class can't admit to losing control. They dare not even hint at it, particularly the mayor, what with his election coming up and his poll numbers tanking.
But just about every cop in the city must feel it, with the murder Sunday of veteran Chicago police Officer Michael Bailey outside his home. As do some people in the neighborhoods.
"The man was in uniform," said Marcus Burks, 35, a bricklayer and a father who was one of the first to run to Bailey after he'd been killed in the 7400 block of South Evans Avenue.
"A Chicago police officer gets shot to death outside his house, he's in full uniform, and he gets killed because some thugs want to rob his car on Sunday morning?" Burks asked me.
Detectives canvassed the neighborhood in the heat. And people sat out on their porches, watching, some fanning themselves in the shade.
"I saw him on the ground," Burks said. "You couldn't mistake him being the police. And still they try to rob him? They shoot him down? Tell me what happened to this city? Just think about that."
Bailey, 62, had just spent the night guarding Mayor Richard Daley's home.
Bailey hadn't been running through some night alley after felons or doing the kinds of things that get cops killed. It was a hot sunny morning, and he had a spray bottle of Windex in his hand.
He'd been polishing the windows of his new car, a black Buick, a gift to himself for his retirement that was supposed to take place in a couple of weeks.
Neighbors said he polished the windows of that new car every morning, after he'd spend the night guarding the mayor's house.
So his attackers most likely confronted him knowing he was a cop.
And now he's the third Chicago police officer killed in the last couple of months. On May 19, Officer Thomas Wortham was shot to death outside his home in the Chatham neighborhood, as thugs tried to steal his motorcycle. And on July 7, in the parking lot of a police facility near 61st Street and Racine Avenue, Officer Thor Soderberg, also in uniform, was killed with his own gun after a struggle with an attacker.
"This has just been a terrible year, and I don't remember anything this bad, maybe if you go back to the early '70s when we came on and we were losing, what, maybe 10 guys a year? And that was before bulletproof vests," former Chicago police Superintendent Phil Cline said.
We were in the parking lot of police headquarters at 35th Street and Michigan Avenue. Cline had just finished speaking to a group of a couple of hundred police and their families from across Illinois, part of a bike-athon that would take them to the Gold Star Memorial, with the names of fallen police on the wall.
I asked Cline and other former and current officers gathered there what had changed, if anything, with Bailey's slaying. They all said the same thing: Bailey was in uniform. And still they tried to rob him.
There was a time when the sight of the uniform alone would stop them. Not now. And that is transformation.
"I think what you're seeing is that the gangbangers have lost their fear of the police — and that's not a good thing," Cline said. "The balance we always wanted was that the good citizens in the neighborhood to like the police, the gangbangers to fear us. Evidently, we've lost that.
"And that's something the department is going to have to work on, to take back the street from these gangs. The city is going to have to bite the bullet and hire more police."
But the mayor and his rubber-stamp council have spent all the money. There is no money. They spent it on deals for the guys who know guys who got their beaks wet.
Hundreds of millions of dollars worth of deals went to the cronies. And now there's no money left to hire cops.
Police numbers are down. Cops are retiring at unprecedented rates. And there aren't enough young officers going through the academy to take their place. That puts even greater stress on sergeants and commanders.
Meanwhile, the mayor has a problem, and it's all about control. A new Tribune poll released Sunday shows that 53 percent of Chicago voters don't want Daley re-elected.
Sixty-eight percent disapprove of his handling of government corruption, with 13 percent offering no opinion. Figure that there are enough worried government workers in the 13 percent to make that 68 percent even greater.
And 54 percent of voters disapprove of how he's handling crime, with 13 percent offering no opinion, so figure that 54 percent is higher than stated.
For almost 20 years, voters have shrugged off the corruption, figuring it was a price to pay for order. But voters finally understand that the cost of corruption has taken from funds available for public safety.
Politics and policing are a lot about public perception. And here's the one folks will have as they begin the work week on Monday: A veteran police officer in uniform, who spent the night guarding the mayor's house, shot to death outside his own home on Sunday morning, confronted by robbers while polishing his car, just weeks away from retirement.
Update: The man ICarry members led authorities to catch, according to the Daily Herald, "Wisconsin Department of Corrections records show Gallatin is a convicted child sex offender. He was convicted of first-degree sexual assault of a child in Kenosha County in July 2003."
I was writing this email to tell you that ICarry is launching a new membership program - full membership into our group!!! On July 4th, 2010, we celebrate freedom and the birth of our great country - the Declaration of Independence from tyrannical rule and the recognition of human rights such as life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness. (The right to life means there's a right to protect it to - and our Second Amendment protects that right!)
As Illinois and Wisconsin take the final steps to join the 48 other states with concealed carry, on the heels of the Supreme Court ruling AGAINST Chicago's gun ban, we join together to be the final tipping point - the flash point - to once and for all see common-sense self-defense laws.
So get ready for fast changes! July 4th, 2010 is the day it begins. You don't have to wait if you don't want to, however, read below to see what we mean! I wish I could go into everything more, as there is way too much to tell, but this story just broke that you ABSOLUTELY COULD NOT MISS!!!
All I can say is WOW!! I don't have words for how pleased and proud I am at this moment. One of our members, who wishes to remain anonymous, became aware of this man through a forums post by one of our Founders Club members.
The wanted man, a Richard R Gallatin, is accused of ABDUCTING, ROBBING, and RAPING a woman in the Gurnee Mills parking lot in Gurnee, Illinois. When our new member read the story in our discussion forum and saw the picture of the suspect - he couldn't believe it - he and his family knew the man!!!!
Here is the story from ICarry.org's President and Lake County Coordinator, Joe Franzese:
A new Lake County member of ICarry.org, whom I know personally, and wants to stay anonymous, is being credited by F.B.I. and local agencies for the capture of Richard R Gallatin, accused of abducting, robbing and raping a woman in the Gurnee Mills parking lot in Gurnee Illinois.
Our member became aware of Mr. Gallatin while fishing at Zion State Park. During this time our member and his family thought of him as a charity case, seeing he was unemployed and living in a tent. The family bought him boots, pants and a cheap old cell phone to get employment. When our member saw the post by another member, it was the same guy!!!
A quick call and meeting with the F.B.I, our member was asked to be a decoy and call the offender to go fishing Wednesday night. He agreed to call and meet the man. After a short conversation, undercover Agents converged on the area.
It all worked out , our member is safe and the criminal is now in custody.
I've grown very used to the forum as a place for tons of Illinois and Wisconsin citizens to interact who share values such as freedom, defending the Constitution, and the personal, family, and community responsibility of self- defense and stopping crime by resisting violent attack.
Our forums have been a fantastic place for us to discuss the kinds of things that our kind of people appreciate: inside-the-waistband or IWB holsters, flashlights, shoot/no-shoot scenarios, and the list goes on. We're a family, and today we celebrate members of our family leading the authorities to capture a man accused of very heinous crimes.
I was looking forward to telling everyone about our membership launch, but I'm so honored to bring this even better news!!! If you want to become a leader in the ICarry family and support our ongoing efforts, and get a behind-the-scenes look at what's going on, then check out the Founders Club and join today as many others have. Show everyone how much you support the right to self-defense that doesn't end on your property line!!!
A historic United States Supreme Court ruling just came down today!!! The Supreme Court has ruled that the Second Amendment does apply - also known as incorporation - to state and local governments. The right to keep and bear arms is a FUNDAMENTAL right and Chicago and other cities cannot ban the ownership of handguns!!!
I'm honored and pleased to announce that we have elected our first President of the organization. Joe Franzese joined us last year, and ICarry has seen some great changes since then. Joe is very passionate about the rights enshrined in the Second Amendment, and his self-motivation and resourcefulness matches that passion to make him a great leader.
The Founders Club just finished voting him in today. I think I can speak for everyone when I say we're very glad to have him on board!
If you haven't joined the Founders Club yet, now is a great time as we're undergoing a lot of changes. The Founders Club is the best way to get involved and have the biggest impact in ICarry's direction. Being a Founders member is being a leader, and leaders are really needed right now. Usually the saying is too many chiefs, not enough Indians, but I think it's the opposite here. We need more chiefs!
A bloody weekend of gun violence spilled into Monday, leaving 10 dead and nearly 60 men, women and children wounded all around the city.
Investigators tied some of the shootings in the Gresham and Englewood neighborhoods to stepped-up in-fighting among Gangster Disciple gang members.
And some of the violence on the West Side was attributed to retaliation over the slayings of three men found shot dead early Saturday in the 2300 block of South Springfield.
But the remainder of the shootings followed no pattern and were not being tied together, leaving emergency rooms busy, investigators with scores of open cases -- and national newcasts focusing on Chicago violence.
The youngest victim was a 1-year-old girl who suffered a graze wound to her neck when shots rang out at a barbecue about 12:15 a.m. Monday on the Near West Side.
The 10 dead included a man dressed in women's clothing found dead on a sidewalk in the 7500 block of South Halsted Street, two naked men found dead near railroad tracks in the 900 block of South Holland and the three men found in and around a car on South Springfield.
Here is a rundown of the shootings, based on reports from police and the Cook County medical examiner's office:
1) 3:05 p.m. Monday: A man, 20, walking in the 6400 block of South Kimbark was shot twice from a passing car.
2) 2:40 p.m. Monday: An 18-year-old man who punched a man on a CTA bus was shot in the leg by the same man after they both got off the bus in the 6800 block of South Halsted.
3) 2:40 p.m. Monday: An 18-year-old man was shot in the thigh in the 7700 block of South Kingston Avenue.
4) 2:30 p.m. Monday: A 42-year-old man was shot while walking in the 5900 block of South Loomis Street.
5) 8:50 a.m. Monday: Two unidentified men between 16 and 20 years old were found shot dead and naked along railroad tracks in the 9000 block of South Holland.
6) 6:39 a.m. Monday: A gunman shot a man he knew in the 11300 block of South Ada Street.
7) 3 a.m. Monday: A 29-year-old man dressed as a woman was found dead by a passing motorist in the 7500 block of South Halsted.
8) 2:20 a.m. Monday: A 27-year-old man was shot in the abdomen in the 7800 block of South Constance.
9) 2:02 a.m. Monday: Darryl Dunn, 44, of West 80th Street, was shot and killed in the 7200 block of South Marshfield.
10) 1:52 a.m. Monday: Larry Johnson, 25, of Lansing, died after being shot in the abdomen in the 6400 block of South Ingleside.
11) 12:50 a.m. Monday: A gunman burst into a party in the 6400 block of North Damen, shooting one man in the arm. Another jumped out a window.
12) 12:30 a.m. Monday: A 28-year-old woman riding in a car was shot in the right side and arm in the 6000 block of South Honore Street.
13) 12:11 a.m. Monday: A 1-year-old girl and four men were shot at a barbecue in the 1300 block of West Hastings Street. The girl suffered a graze wound to the neck.
14) 11:05 a.m. Sunday: A man talking to friends was shot in the 6200 block of South Maplewood.
15) 10:28 p.m. Sunday: Two 18-year-old men were shot in the 2900 block of West 64th Street -- one in the back, one in the leg.
16) 10 p.m. Sunday: A man was shot in the leg in the 600 block of South Central.
17) 9:47 p.m. Sunday: A man visiting his child at his ex-girlfriend's home in the 200 block of North Lamon was shot in the leg by the woman's new boyfriend.
18) 8:15 p.m. Sunday: A fight broke out in the street in the 1200 block of East 78th Street and a 16-year-old girl was shot in the back.
19) 6:20 p.m. Sunday: A man was shot in the right foot in the 7400 block of South Euclid.
20) 5 p.m. Sunday: A man, 31, waiting for a CTA bus in the 5100 block of South Halsted was shot in the buttocks.
21) 3 p.m. Sunday: A quarrel over a stolen car led to the shooting of a 19-year-old in the 300 block of West 106th.
22) 1 a.m. Sunday: A man was shot in the foot in the 1600 block of North Sawyer.
23) 11:10 p.m. Saturday: Three men arguing about a woman with a group of people were shot in the 3300 block of West Huron. Durwin Hackman, 20, was killed.
24) 10:15 p.m. Saturday: A 26-year-old man, a 19-year-old woman and a 15-year-old boy were shot in a parking lot in the 6200 block of Lake Shore Drive.
25) 10 p.m. Saturday: A woman in her 20s was wounded in a drive-by at Van Buren and Central.
26) 9:10 p.m. Saturday: A girl, 15, caught in the crossfire was shot in the hand in the 3400 block of West Evergreen.
27) 6:10 p.m. Saturday: Two people were shot -- one in the leg, one in the side -- in a gang-related shooting in 2700 block of West Division.
28) 6:12 p.m. Saturday: Two men, included one in his 20s, were shot in the 1100 block of North Washtenaw.
29) 6:04 p.m. Saturday: Five people were shot in the 2200 block of South Kolin Avenue.
30) 3:10 p.m. Saturday: An 18-year-old man walking in the 2300 block of South Kostner was shot in the back by someone in passing car.
31) 9:09 a.m. Saturday: A 19-year-old man and a 15-year-old boy standing in the 11500 block of South La Salle were shot -- the man in the arm, the boy in the leg.
32) 3 a.m. Saturday: Three men were shot and killed in the 2300 block of South Springfield. Relatives Waseen Smith, 25, and Barry Smith, 45, and Leon Smith, 28, all died from multiple gunshot wounds.
33) 12:17 a.m. Saturday: A boy, 16, sitting on a porch in the 6900 block of South Justine was shot in the knee in a drive-by.
34) 10:30 p.m. Friday: A 27-year-old walking in an alley behind the 8800 block of South Loomis was shot.
35) 9:15 p.m. Friday: Pierre York, 19, of the 8600 block of South Wood, died Sunday after being shot in the temple Friday night in the 1800 block of West 8th Street.
Posted by ShaunKranish on Tuesday, June 22, 2010 @ 14:46:21 CDT (9559 reads)
JUPITER FARMS — A trio of would-be robbers who shuffled up a front yard on Alexander Run with a pump-action shotgun last week had the misfortune of confronting an armed homeowner in the driveway. He stared them down until they ran off.
But if they had tried one of the neighbors instead in the rural Jupiter Farms enclave, they might not have had much better luck. In the house next door lives a Vietnam veteran with heavy firepower in his bedroom. At the two houses across the street, the homeowners were packing heat too.
It's no secret that much of an unincorporated swath of pine tree-studded acre lots, elegant mini-mansions, rugged ranch homes and rural individualism - is heavily armed. And after two brazen home-invasion robberies and one attempt earlier this month, some residents are buying new bullets and brushing up on Florida's self-defense laws.
"If they get inside my house they'll die," vowed Joe Melchiosse, a Vietnam vet and air-conditioning repair worker who lives next-door to the site of the attempted robbery. "At least they'll get hurt."
At a Jupiter Farms homeowners association meeting Thursday night, more than 400 packed in to listen to Palm Beach County Sheriff's officials describe their investigation into the robberies, in which masked gunmen stormed into occupied, unlocked homes and in one case stole several weapons.
Deputies advised residents to lock their doors, trim oversized shrubs and be vigilant. Many residents grilled deputies about the state's Castle Doctrine law, which declares people's right to use lethal force to defend themselves on their property.
Deputies told attendees that if someone comes into their house unwelcomed, it is presumed they mean them harm. But they warned that the decision to shoot and potentially kill someone is not an easy one.
"It is a life changing moment that will affect the rest of your life," one sheriff's official told the crowd.
But it was clear many were in no mood to negotiate with trespassers. The crowd burst into applause and cheers when a Jupiter Farms resident stood and advised the other residents to gun down intruders.
"We all have guns in our house," the man said. "If you have an armed intruder in your house, shoot him."
For decades, residents say Jupiter Farms has remained a safe, low-key place to live, a place where people raise horses, chickens and even cattle and until recent years even main roads weren't paved. Most people's idea of crime, as one resident put it, was teens taking a baseball bat to a mailbox.
To many, the recent spate of home invasions have served as one more reminder that the county is growing.
"I think Jupiter is just not as small as it used to be," said Trent Bongard, co-owner of Bongard Nursery in Jupiter Farms, where a theft of several plants last week was first crime at the nursery since it opened seven years ago.
But some residents are concerned about excessive vigilantism. What happens, they wonder, if someone innocent gets hurt?
"I don't want our own community, our own residents to hurt themselves," said Albert Rabadan, vice president of the Jupiter Farms Homeowners Association. "I just hope there's no tragedies."
Whether or not the armed robbers are caught, many say the days of leaving front doors and car doors open in Jupiter Farms may soon be a thing of the past.
And at one Jupiter Farms gun store, where the owner asked not to be named, sales this week were up.
A 15-year-old boy was shot dead after a bullet went though an apartment window early Sunday on the South Side.
The boy -- identified by the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office as Kevin Jones -- was at a party in a first floor apartment in the 7800 block of South Carpenter Street when he was shot about 2:15 p.m., police News Affairs Officer Robert Perez said.
Jones was pronounced dead at 2:56 a.m. at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn.
Prior to the shooting, there was an altercation at the party that moved outside, Perez said. One of three men involved in the altercation began shooting into the party and one of the bullets went through the window and struck the teen, police said.
Police said the boy was shot in the back. An autopsy is scheduled for later Sunday.
Calumet Area detectives are investigating, but nobody is in custody.
Posted by ShaunKranish on Tuesday, June 15, 2010 @ 02:22:56 CDT (11945 reads)
The Federal Government has no constitutional authority to regulate firearms. How then have all these federal laws been passed and enforced? What about all the new laws that are always hanging over the heads of tens of millions of peaceful gun owners?