Almost 20 years after then-President Bill Clinton pushed the idea of “midnight basketball” courts as strategy to curb inner city violence, last night’s shooting of 13 people at a Chicago park in what appears to be a gang-related incident, suggests that it’s not working out.
Both the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times are highlighting the youngest victim, 3-year-old Deonta Howard, who was struck in the face but who will reportedly recover. Nobody was killed, but the incident gave Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy an opportunity to launch a demand for a ban on so-called “assault weapons.”
Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Bellevue-based Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, said in reaction that McCarthy’s real, objective should be to ban gangs, not guns.
“When you have street thugs opening fire on groups of people in a gang war,” he observed, “that suggests the city has not advanced much since the days of Al Capone and Bugs Moran. Law-abiding Chicago residents continue to face bureaucratic obstacles, wade through red tape and jump through hoops before they can legally own a gun, while criminals obviously don’t bother with any of that, and just drive around shooting people.”