It is Sunday evening and the Chicago Tribune Breaking News page reports

  • new study on guns seized by Chicago police shows that suburban gun shops are a main source of guns used in crimes in the city
  • 19-year-old man was shot this evening in the Marquette Park neighborhood on the Southwest Side
  • southwest suburban man arrested Friday morning at Midway Airport trying to board a flight to Houston, Texas; said he forgot he was traveling with a loaded handgun in his carry on baggage
  • detectives this afternoon asked for the public’s help finding a man who sexually assaulted and robbed a woman at gunpoint in a Bronzeville neighborhood parking lot early this morning
  • murder and armed robbery charges have been filed against two men accused of gunning down and robbing a man sitting in a car with his girlfriend in the Bronzeville neighborhood early Saturday
  • two people were seriously wounded during a shooting in Park Manor neighborhood on the South Side this afternoon
  • 13-year-old boy accidentally shot himself in the leg in the West Pullman neighborhood on the Far South Side after finding a gun this morning
  • A man was killed and at least 16 others were shot across the city Saturday evening and this morning, continuing a streak of violence that has left dozens wounded in recent days
  • two assailants wearing masks opened fire this afternoon leaving two people dead and a 17-year-old girl hospitalized in serious condition in the Chatham  neighborhood on the South Side
  • best friends slain three years apart (no, not gang members.  yes, guns.)

There’s more but we needn’t go on, do we?

This, in Chicago, affects and informs the gun control debate in America.  It affects the deer hunter in Minnesota.

Police Superintendent Gary McCarthy says the shooting this summer is a result of drug trafficking and gangs.

Doesn’t it just sound insane to say hundreds of people in Chicago have been wounded by shootings this year?  But it’s true.  Just look at the news for one weekend here.

It’s also no wonder that gun control is a serious topic in the city of Chicago.  If today I spoke to someone on the street about guns the little thought bubble above their head would say “dozens of shootings reported each week in this city”.  They would not be thinking of deer season.

Gun control does exist but it takes many forms.  Walking into O’Hare?  Definitely.  Driving around on the West Side or South Side?  Supposed to be no handguns.  Yeah, right.

Reality: it’s not enforceable at the present time in Chicago.  And what would be your good guess that the handguns used in this summer’s shootings are legitimately owned?

If Superintendent McCarthy’s claim that Chicago’s problem with guns and violence is directly related to drugs and gangs, then that means the challenge is more than removing firearms from the city.  Not that guns are to be ignored, no.  But there are deeper issues involved.  There better be.  Because if police, laws, and adequate funding are effective in addressing the matter, well, there’s no problem.

So what are the issues?  Or, should the question be what is the issue?

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