Independence Day Blood Bath in “Gun-Free” Chicago

CHICAGOThis year’s Independence Day celebration, for many Chicagoans a four-day respite in the land of the free, was for others an ordeal in a killing field.

Violence tore through parts of the city from Wednesday night to Sunday night.

Police and community sources said the bloodshed was driven by gang warfare, good weather, easy access to guns and a reluctance of witnesses and the victims to identify the shooters.

The Chicago Sun-Times has counted 38 separate shooting incidents since 6 p.m. Wednesday.Ten men were killed and 55 other people, including two young boys, were wounded.

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To date this year, there have been 202 homicides, down from 275 for the same time last year, according to Sun-Times data.

The carnage was tightly concentrated. Forty percent of the incidents occurred in and around two West Side neighborhoods — Austin and Garfield Park — roughly an 8.5-square-mile patch of a 228-square-mile city.

Gov. Pat Quinn said the four-day toll should be a new impetus to the state Legislature to support his amendatory veto of a concealed-carry gun bill. Calling them “commonsense” changes in the name of public safety, Quinn wrote in provisions limiting a person from carrying a gun onto private property or anywhere that serves alcohol, among other changes.

Concealed-carry passed with veto-proof majorities, and sponsors have said they will attempt to override Quinn on Tuesday.

In an interview with the Sun-Times, Quinn said his changes have wide public support and amend a bill essentially written by the National Rifle Association.

“I would hope that the mayor and Chicago Police on Tuesday will help us on the veto override vote,” Quinn said.



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