ISRA – McCarthy Must Go

It was a hot night in the city last night. While the weather was just warm, the teen mob violence on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile became rather hot with 28 arrested. According to multiple reports, a mounted policeman was assaulted, passerbys were attacked, and a group of women were attacked on a Chicago Transit Authority train.

In response to this out of control mob, the Illinois State Rifle Association reiterated their calls for the firing of Chicago Police Superintendent Gerry McCarthy. They are calling it “one rampage too many.”

CHICAGO, March 31, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The following was released today by the Illinois State Rifle Association (ISRA):

The ISRA is once again calling upon Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to fire Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy . This latest call for McCarthy’s ouster comes after a mob of young thugs – estimated to be in the hundreds – swarmed the Magnificent Mile shopping district Saturday night and began beating dozens of innocent shoppers. This latest mob action appears to be the most serious in a string of events over the past two years involving gangs of youths randomly attacking shoppers on North Michigan Avenue.

“Just like dyeing the Chicago River green on St. Patty’s Day, cracking tourists’ heads on North Michigan Avenue is becoming a Windy City tradition,” commented ISRA Executive Director, Richard Pearson . “The first warm night of the year, and all hell breaks loose in the city’s most tony shopping district. It should be clear to everybody by now that Supt. McCarthy has lost control of the city. What are things going to be like when the weather really heats up? What has to happen before Emanuel wakes up and gives the nod to a more effective top cop?”

“The ISRA has been cautioning folks against making Chicago a leisure time destination for a few years now,” continued Pearson. “Unless you’re the kind of person who wants to be terrorized, beaten, raped or robbed, then you should definitely find another place to vacation. For the law-abiding citizen, Chicago has become just too dangerous to visit.”

“While vicious mobs have been busily destroying Chicago’s tourism industry, Mayor Emanuel and Supt. McCarthy have been busy as well – vilifying law abiding firearm owners,” said Pearson. “If they spent more time thwarting crime and less time trying to take guns away from hunters and sportsmen, then Chicago might be a better place in which to live and work.”

“The sad events of Saturday night will certainly bolster efforts to pass concealed carry legislation down in Springfield,” said Pearson. “Good people have a right to defend themselves against lawless thugs. I’m positive that the prospect of encountering armed citizens would make such flash mobs vaporize in a hurry.”

The ISRA is the state’s leading advocate of safe, lawful and responsible firearms ownership. For more than a century, the ISRA has represented the interests of millions of law-abiding Illinois firearm owners.

Flash Mobs – Not Just For Philly And Milwaukee

When I think of flash mobs of urban teens who have gathered to rob and cause mayhem, I think of large cities like Philadelphia, Chicago, or Milwaukee. I need to readjust my thinking.

Thanks to Doc Wesson’s Gun Nation Podcast, I found out about a flash mob in my hometown of Greensboro, NC in late July. While I have not lived in Greensboro for thirty years, I still have my late mother’s house there and visit on a regular basis. To say I was shocked by the news is an understatement. Greensboro’s population is in the mid-200 thousand range which puts it in the mid-size city category with cities like Buffalo, Ft. Wayne, Birmingham, or St. Pete, Florida. While I am biased, I think most would say it is a very liveable city and a number of corporations have moved operations there in recent years.

According to the report above, one man was injured in an attack and the Carolina Theater was vandalized – all within view of the Greensboro PD headquarters.

There are conflicting reports on whether this was actually a “flash mob” or not. The Greensboro News-Record contends it was not and they reported that GPD spokeswoman Susan Danielson denies that they had any reports of attacks or a flash mob. Obviously, Greensboro station WFMY-TV above believes a flash mob attack happened and so does former Mayor Keith Holliday who now runs the Carolina Theater.

Regardless of the conflicting reports, the potential for violence when large groups of youth suddenly converge on a location due to a call posted on Facebook or Twitter is there. Combine bored youth with a bad economy and the potential rises. The best advice given by people I respect is not to be in a location where the mobs would gather in the first place and, if you are, to get out as fast as you can. If it can happen in a Greensboro, it can happen in Knoxville or Richmond or other small-to-moderate sized cities.

NOTE: The title on the video above was put there by the person who posted it on YouTube. I had to use this version instead of embedding directly from WFMY-TV. I do not condone the equating of flash mobs with black youths. Violent youths come in all colors and all races.

Hardly Seems Fair

George Grier faced a gang of men outside his Uniondale, Long Island (New York) home on Sunday night. He thought they were members of the MS-13 gang and that they were about to invade his home. He ran inside his home and returned with his legally owned AK-47.

The men started shouting at him and another 20 more thugs arrived. Mr. Grier then fired 4 shots into the grass in front of his house to disperse the crowd. He felt that doing so would bring the police as his town has the “ShotSpotter” technology. After the police arrived and the crowd dispersed, Mr. Grier was arrested and charged with felony reckless endangerment by the Nassau County Police.

From WCBS New York:

You may think a person has the right to defend their home. But the law says you can only use physical force to deter physical force. Grier said he never saw anyone pull out a gun, so a court would have to decide on firing the gun.

Police determined Grier had the gun legally. He has no criminal record. And so he was not charged for the weapon.

In looking at what he did, I think his first mistake was being outside in the driveway. He was without cover. If he had been inside of his house, he would have had more protection and been able to call the police without being assaulted. If the gang had forcibly entered his home, then it would have been a home invasion and he would have been legally justified in using force. Not that I don’t think he was justified in what he did but legal justification is different that just being “justified.”

Given the violent and vindictive nature of Latin gangs such as MS-13, it is probably just as well that Mr. Grier didn’t shoot any of them.

Despite it being in New York, the comments on this story are running heavily in his favor.

Violence in Chicago – Why It Continues

The Chicago Sun-Times ran a very interesting investigative piece today. Entitled “Why they won’t stop shooting in Chicago”, it examines the aftermath of an April 2008 weekend in Chicago where 40 people were shot, seven fatally.

So what has happened to the shooters in the two years since that weekend? Nothing.

So far, not one accused shooter has been convicted of pulling the trigger during those deadly 59 hours from April 18-20 of that year, a Chicago Sun-Times investigation has found.

Only one suspected triggerman — a convicted armed robber caught with the AK-47 he allegedly used to blow away his boss — is in jail awaiting trial.

 Six of the seven murders remain unsolved. In three other cases, the victims know who shot them but won’t testify against the shooter. They don’t want to get labeled a snitch or rat in the neighborhood.

Last year Chicago PD detectives cleared 18% of the outstanding non-fatal shootings from 2009. However, almost half were due to “exceptional” circumstances. Exceptional means that the victim won’t testify, the prosecutors don’t want to go to trial on the evidence, or, if luck would have it, the shooter is dead. This means that about 91% of the shooters during 2009 were never charged with a crime.

“The certainty of punishment is very, very low in Chicago, and that’s going to embolden people,” said defense attorney Thomas Needham, who was a top legal adviser to former police Supt. Terry Hillard. “It’s going to lead to less fear by the people who are going to consider shooting. That’s very alarming.”

Part of the problem is that the victims are not choir boys and may have criminal records themselves. Police and prosecutors acknowledge that this makes their case in court tougher. Also, as some privately told the reporters, the police and prosecutors work harder for innocent victims than for those that have been involved in past criminal activity.

While Mayor Daley continues to mouth off about the violence being due to guns, the reality is that most criminals know they can get away with shooting someone in Chicago. If victims won’t testify, police don’t investigate, and the State’s Attorney avoid prosecutions, the shooters walk. And as long as that continues to go on, the violence will continue. Only when their is certainty of punishment will it start to abate.

I suggest reading the whole article to get the victim’s full stories.