Chicago Shooting Deaths: 2016 Gun Deaths Start Hours Into New Year's Day -- Is U.S. Gun Control Failure To Blame?

Patrick Frye

Chicago's shooting deaths in 2016 have started out with horrible statistics. Within minutes of New Year's Day, a shooting had already occurred, and within hours of the ball drop, Chicago's gun death statistics dropped in with a ringing clang. Chicago's gun control laws are some of the strictest in the nation, and some believe it is a failure to enforce existing laws that is the problem, not creating new gun control laws.

In a related report by The Inquisitr, California's gun seizure law went into effect on New Year's Day. President Obama is threatening to enact a gun control executive order since he believes the U.S. Congress has failed to act appropriately.

Just five minutes after midnight, a bullet came flying through a window and grazed the hand of a 34-year-old woman. In this case, it was not a murder attempt, it was someone who was celebrating New Year's Eve by shooting bullets into the air.

"We heard a popping sound, and I guess the sound went past my sister's ear," says Vianca Fisher, the victim's sister, according to ABC. "She raised her hand up, and the bullet went from the window through her finger. If the kids were standing in front of the TV, who knows what would have happened."

Unfortunately, 24-year-old Deandre Holiday was the first Chicago murder victim of 2016. The alleged gang member was arguing inside a bar when the fight spilled out onto the street. The other man pulled a gun out and shot him the chest, and Holiday died just as the holidays were ending.

The Chicago murder statistics are fairly chilling. There were 50 more murders in 2015 in comparison to 2014, but Interim Chicago Police Superintendent John Escalante believes they are not in a "unique" situation.

"But we're not unique. Chicago is not unique. Certainly I'm not trying to take the spotlight off Chicago. But if you look at every other major city across country, everyone has dealt with a spike and increase in violent crime," Escalante said. "We have a lot to do in some communities in the city of Chicago to build trust."

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, overall crime in Chicago dropped by six percent, and the drop from 2011 is 37 percent.

"Police said robberies are down by 32 percent; aggravated battery is down by 20 percent; burglaries are down by 51 percent; theft is down by 19 percent and motor vehicle thefts are down by 48 percent," the report says.

At the same time, Chicago gun violence has seen a rise. The Chicago Tribune has a web page dedicated to tracking Chicago shooting victims, and in 2015 there were 2,986 victims in total. The 470 homicides in 2015 are still less than the 500 deaths from 2012, but the high numbers still has pundits and politicians arguing over the best course for 2016.

For example, The Tribune-Review wrote that "the continuous clamor for more gun control falls flat in one of the most controlled cities in the nation.... The reality is gangbangers and desperate criminals don't obey gun laws — in Chicago or anywhere else." In response to Chicago's gun control failure, President Obama suggested in October of 2015 that Indiana and Wisconsin could be used as scapegoats.

"There are those who criticize any gun safety reforms by pointing to my hometown as an example," Obama said, according to The Indianapolis Star. "The problem with that argument, as the Chicago Police Department will tell you, is that 60 percent of guns recovered in crimes come from out of state. You've just got to hop across the border."

Even Spike Lee has been asked in the past by Meet The Press why he thinks gun control laws are failing in Chicago, especially since he intended for "people to think about guns" when watching Chi-Raq. The film director seemed to think that segregation was a large issue since "Chicago is America's biggest segregated city. I think [that] has a lot to do with it." When Lee was asked why "there isn't this sense of outrage about what's happening in Chicago," he simply shot back: "It's not Sandy Hook."

What do you think?

[Image via Worldstar/The Field]