The number of shooting deaths in Chicago has surpassed the total for the entirety of 2015, and there are still four months still to go in this year. Chicago has more homicides that than other major U.S. cities, despite Illinois having some of the most strict gun laws in the United States.
Police have been stepping up their efforts to confiscate illegal firearms from the streets, and Illinois recently passed a law strengthening penalties for gun trafficking, but these moves are having little effect, with this August set to be an even more deadly month than the others of 2016 and the most violent in over twenty years.
By August 31, 425 people had been fatally shot in Chicago in 2016. This accounted for 91% of the murders in the city. While in the entirety of 2015, 424 people were killed by guns, with a total of 493 homicides.
Chicago police said the number of violent gun crimes calls for a quicker route to getting illegal guns off the street and strengthening punishments for using a firearm during of a crime.
“The violence we are seeing is being committed by repeat offenders who do not fear the consequences of their actions, because too frequently they are not held accountable by the rest of the criminal justice system,” said police Superintendent Eddie Johnson, calling for legislation to “send a clear message that if you bring violence into our communities, you will be held fully accountable.”
Last week, Gov. Bruce Rauner signed legislation raising the maximum sentence for bringing guns illegally into the state to 30 years. However, even with the new laws, it is apparent that things are not getting better, but worse. It doesn’t appear, though, that Illinois is on the path to finding an alternative attempt to curb the violence besides trying to lower the number of guns on the streets.