Girl who performed for Obama shot dead in Chicago (via AFP)

A 15-year-old girl who performed at President Barack Obama’s inauguration last week was shot dead in Chicago by a gunman who opened fire on a group of kids hanging out in a park, police said Wednesday. “It is believed that the offender mistook the group for gang members and fired at them,” Chicago…

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  1. ROBERT COUTINHO January 30, 2013 at 5:02 pm

    Here’s an idea: institute the laws at Tombstone, AZ during Earp’s time. You can not be packing! No excuses other than transporting the weapon to your own home.

  2. petew January 30, 2013 at 11:29 pm

    And obviously, this shooter was not without a previous criminal record—at least I would bet not. Still, he was able to gain access to a gun anyway. If a thorough background check was used, wouldn’t this have probably raised some unmistakable red flags?

    The truth is that even the laws that already exist are far too inadequate. Perhaps even if Assault weapons and high capacity clips are not banned, we will at least develop background checks that actually work! We can only hope so!

  3. sheknows January 31, 2013 at 12:20 am

    What a senseless tragedy. So much needs to be done regarding gun violence. Banning assault weapons, clips and background checks is just the tip of the iceberg.
    Perhaps that is what the NRA is really afraid of. If they give an inch we will ask for a mile.
    Well, they let the genie out of the bottle a long time ago by fighting every ban there was. Now we are a nation overrun with guns…just like the gun manufacturers wanted.
    No we can’t do anything about the crazy people in our society but to recognize we have them and limit the availability of guns altogether.

  4. sheknows January 31, 2013 at 12:39 am

    Just a note about all this 2nd amendment nonsense. Slavery and the rights of slave owners was in the constitution too, until it was abolished. Guns and the rights of people to own them is in the constitution, and it’s time to abolish that portion of it as well!

    England had 51 homicides last year by firearms, Japan only 11, Germany 157.
    Countries that don’t ALLOW guns easily to it’s citizens don’t HAVE our problem.

    More guns = more homicides. Fewer guns= fewer homicides. Simple math.

  5. zusa1 January 31, 2013 at 1:41 pm

    SK, I think a better case would be made if the total homicide stats were compared. Just comparing gun deaths appears to be misleading and doesn’t strengthen your case. It should also be based per capita as well.

  6. petew January 31, 2013 at 1:57 pm


    But even if many assaults were done with knives, that would not negate the many that would, undoubtedly have continued to be committed with guns—guns that would not have been available to criminals if decent background checks were done, or, if certain weapons were just not available anymore to the general public. It is pretty difficult to ignore that fact that simple arithmetic tells us that there is a very good chance that, if more guns are available, this only increases the odds that more will be used to commit violent crimes.

    Although many studies do not show a solid correlation between stricter gun laws and lowering rates of gun crimes, there are also some that do, as well as many others that offer no definite results at all. Also, many of these studies have been done using questionable analysis and incomplete data. Please consult if you want an overview of some of these problems.

  7. Ramona R January 31, 2013 at 2:12 pm

    For the record, anyone curious about the overall homicide rates could check this:

    The United States has 4.8 intentional homicides per 100,000 people. In comparison, the UK had 1.2, Australia 1, Canada 1.6, Germany .8, and Japan .4. Murder rates in the US are exponentially higher than nearly all other first world countries.

  8. The_Ohioan January 31, 2013 at 2:16 pm


    Here’s a fact and it’s been the same for many, many years, The United States has 10 times the population of Canada and 100 times the gun deaths of Canada.

    Now unless one accepts the premise that Americans are 10 times more prone to suicide than Canadians (which is a possibility given our current politicians’ antics), these stats should inform that the homicide rate is much greater in the US; and it is based on per capita since that is the purpose of the statistics.

  9. sheknows January 31, 2013 at 3:30 pm

    Thank you Ramona R, was about to reference the Wiki information.

  10. zusa1 January 31, 2013 at 6:36 pm

    We have 10 times the gun deaths of Canada but we also have 10 times the number of gang members per capita.

    The Suntimes article talks about how Chicago gang members are getting guns:

    – Stolen from legitimate buyers
    – Stolen from freight trains sitting in South Side rail yards
    – Stolen from gun stores
    – Straw purchasers

    California has storage laws to protect children. Perhaps we need minimum standards to prevent theft. The theft of a firearm obviously places the community at risk.

    Guns sitting around on freight trains?

    Theft from gun stores and straw buyers: The gun dealers interviewed for this article are faxing each other with information regarding potential straw buyers that they have turned away. Facial recognition technology is being used in other areas of law enforcement and stores are introducing it to identify shoplifters. Perhaps this would be another worthy application to identity straw buyers and known gang members. Build a federal data base.

    Private sales of gun cannot be exempted from background checks, etc. Perhaps a requirement they be sold on consignment through gun dealer, or maybe there could be an acceptable mechanism allowed through gun clubs.

    Bill Oreilly has been advocating tough federal penalties for illegal possession of firearm, etc.

  11. dduck January 31, 2013 at 6:40 pm

    Just curious, I wonder if we have ten to one ratios for other types of crimes?

  12. The_Ohioan January 31, 2013 at 8:31 pm

    Well, here are the statistics as of 2000 if anyone is interested. The homicides are only 30 times greater (down from 40 tims greater at the highest point in the 1970’s) – my mistake. We beat the Canadians in every category of crime except breaking and entering and auto theft (and arson). Maybe because the home and auto owners there are not armed? Canadians are more interested in stealing trucks, vans, and recreational vehicles (and bicycles!?!)than Americans. And the suicide by guns rate is 16% there and 55% here.$FILE/ATT8BNDV/0110185-002-XIE.pdf

  13. dduck February 1, 2013 at 9:14 am

    So basically we are a less law abiding country than most.

  14. zusa1 February 1, 2013 at 10:46 am

    Thank you for finding that report Ohioan. It has good information.