Somebody Else’s Kids

At City Journal Rafael Mangual points out the uncomfortable fact that in Chicago last weekend six mass shooting took place and they didn’t get the sort of attention that has been devoted to mass shootings in schools. There are all sorts of reasons for it. Homicide on the South Side of Chicago has become a “dog bits man” story. The victims aren’t highly photogenic and sympathetic white middle class kids.

But I think he’s right in suggesting that one of the reasons is that the shootings don’t fit comfortably into the story that journalists want to tell. Chicago’s problems won’t be solved by tighter gun control:

Calls for stricter gun-control laws follow every high-profile mass shooting; the weekend’s carnage in Chicago prompted similar demands from civic leaders and pundits. Yet the city has strict gun laws, and even when police enforce those laws diligently, the city’s liberal anti-gun caucus doesn’t always back them up. Consider the case of Harith Augustus, whom Chicago police approached on suspicion that he was unlawfully armed. Augustus resisted detainment and, as can be seen in the body cam video released by the city, grabbed for what turned out to be an illegally concealed firearm, prompting officers to fire their weapons, killing him. Though Augustus did not have a conceal-carry permit, and clearly reached for his weapon before officers opened fire, his death resulted in violent protests and articles characterizing Chicago as an “abusive police state.”

Another inconvenient fact that Chicago’s liberal critics of guns and police don’t talk about much is the rampant crime committed by repeat offenders. In all likelihood, the perpetrators of this weekend’s violence have extensive criminal records. It’s hard not to sympathize with the city’s top cop, Eddie Johnson, who last year told the Tribune, “it’s the repeat offenders that consistently come back in our neighborhoods and shoot and kill, and if we don’t send a message that we are serious about holding them accountable, then what are we doing?” Incarceration critics argue that lengthy sentences don’t deter crime or rehabilitate prisoners, but because so much violent crime is committed by recidivists, keeping dangerous felons off the street for as long as possible is a public-safety imperative.

His solution is tougher law enforcement and longer sentences for repeat violators. I don’t think that will address the underlying pathologies which include poor job prospects, hopelessness, and lack of stable families. The unemployment rate in the areas where the homicides are taking place is a multiple of the national average and among the demographic perpetrating the crimes two to three times that.

As long as journalists are afraid or otherwise unwilling to tell the truth about the problems in Chicago, it’s unclear to me how or why they will be addressed.

11 comments… add one
  • Guarneri Link

    Re: journalists

    It’s no different than them failing to put “D” behind a name but most assuredly putting “R” when reporting a political scandal. Or burying, if reporting at all, the Islamic affiliation of some nutjob who goes on a rampage. Ever known an illegal alien? Me neither; they are “undocumented immigrants.” And so on.

    It’s more than just grousing about obvious political bias. There are no fooling, real world consequences to the profession having descended into the garbage dump.

  • Gray Shambler Link

    In 2002 Mexico City paid Rudy Giuliani four million$ to fix crime there. He didn’t have the answers, maybe nobody does.

  • steve Link
  • steve Link

    Google causes of Chicago homicide. One of many articles.

    Nice review.

    Most everything I have read says that lack of stable families, lack of hope and jobs are long term factors, but those did not suddenly spike in 2016.


  • Somehow in your first link they fail to mention that Chicago’s gun control laws are as tough or tougher than New York’s, that Chicago’s percentage of black population is higher than New York’s and more concentrated, or that Chicago’s black unemployment rate is more than two whole percentage points higher than New York’s to make it about 30% higher.


    The problem in the black underclass is black genetics. There is no way to change that other than extreme natural selection. All the usual suspects, such as racism, no jobs, no education, broken homes, all are themselves products of black genetics. Until you come to grips with that fact, actually realize it, you cannot begin to come up with a solution.

    Of course, the reality is that there may not be a solution.

    PS. The so-called broken black family, mothers without husbands and children from many fathers, is the African norm. It is almost certainly an adaptation to the conditions in Africa. Whites and Eurasians evolved under different circumstances and have different behaviors and families. Out of Africa was a speciation event.

  • In 1940 the black illegitimacy rate was 14%. The change over the last 80 years doesn’t sound genetic to me.

  • Steve Link

    Dave- The Tribune has run lots of articles on the homicides. They have said the gun control laws are about the same. The second article notes there are more blacks and more segregation. They all say unemployment is a problem. It is hardly a lack of courage to not identify the exact percentage every time.

    What is not clear is why the big jump in 2016. None of your identified causes are good explanation for the big jump. None of those had a big change.


  • 30% is a substantial difference. Not pointing it out is a significant omission. Here are some explanations for the “jump”:

    • the “Ferguson effect”
    • the passage of time with such high unemployment
    • in 2015 the population began declining
    • Rahm Emanuel was also re-elected

    I’m not sure what the relationship between that last item and increased homicides might be. Different police directives to facilitate re-election?

  • steve Link

    Did Rahm change police practices? Dont think he did. Another Tribune article looked some of those, and also at the “LaQuan” effect. None seemed to match up (though they mixed the Ferguson effect with the drop in “stop and frisk”). You can add up a bunch of those and they can explain that in the big drop from the 90s, Chicago did not drop as much as NYC or LA, but I have yet to see a good explanation.


  • Gray Shambler Link

    ROBERT SYKES: I’m Swedish by ancestry, my reading of history tells me that that is the land from which the merciless Vikings came, yet my family has not recorded a murder in anyone’s living or written memory. Is this an aberration in your genetics theory? I think not.
    I want to tell a story, no one has to read it. I was a 16 year old farm boy in central Nebraska. My world was that farm. It was my fathers farm, but it was my whole world, as I had never been anywhere else. One summer afternoon, I walked across the gravel yard alongside of my companion, a half German Shepard , half collie, and part coyote named Sport. I heard a strange sound, zip, zing, in the gravel. Sport was turning circles to figure it out. I looked around and saw a car on the gravel road about 100 yards north. A man was shooting at my dog with a rifle. All I felt was emotion, anger, it was a short run to the back porch where I knew the 22 cal long rifle leaned. In seconds I was attempting murder. I fired at that car as fast as I could pull the trigger, aiming high to allow for distance. I know I didn’t hit anyone, may have hit the car, but they took off fast and never came back.
    Robert, my point is this, we’re all human, and you might be surprised at what YOU would do under duress.
    BTW, it actually took me 30 some years to realize I could have been in major trouble if I had hit the perps. But at the time I couldn’t care less.
    Thanks for listening, Gray.

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