Fifty-five people were wounded by gunfire in Chicago this weekend, with seven killed in what became the most violent weekend for the Windy City this year.
The Chicago Tribune reported that nearly all of the gun violence that took place Friday night through Monday morning occurred in the west and south sides of the city, with victims ranging from ages 5 to 56 years old among those whose wounds were fatal.
The weekend shootings left the city with a toll that was slightly higher than Chicago’s last major outburst of gun violence during the first weekend of June, when 52 people were shot and eight of them killed.
According to data from the Tribune, more than 1,600 people have been shot this year in Chicago, along with 300 homicides. While the paper reports that both numbers are still down from last year, the city has struggled to shed its reputation as a crime-infested city where gun violence is rampant even though Illinois has some of the strictest gun laws in the country.
Residents in the state are required to have a license to own a firearm and must undergo a 72-hour waiting period before owning a gun. Residents are also subject to “red-flag laws,” where relatives or law enforcement may request that a court take away firearms from individuals who could be a threat to themselves or others.
This weekend’s outbreak of violence in Chicago comes on the same weekend where back-to-back shootings occurred in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio on Saturday and Sunday, respectively, leaving a total of 31 people dead. The weekend’s events have once again led to calls for more gun regulations from Democrats and for an increased focus on mental health from Republicans.
In addressing the steps he believes the country should take in response to the weekend shootings in Ohio and Texas, President Donald Trump endorsed red flag laws such as those in Illinois. The president also said Congress should tackle mental health and violent video games to curb gun violence. There has been no substantial evidence, however, to prove violent video games lead to mass shootings, and the idea has even been rejected by the Supreme Court, with conservative Justice Antonin Scalia writing the majority opinion.
“These studies have been rejected by every court to consider them, and with good reason: They do not prove that violent video games cause minors to act aggressively,” Scalia wrote in 2011 striking down a California law that would have prohibited violent video games from being sold to minors.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Monday that he would consider bringing bipartisan gun legislation to the floor for a vote. Just moments before McConnell’s statement, U.S. Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) announced bipartisan legislation that would send tax dollars taken from citizens nationwide to states that adopt the red flag laws endorsed by Trump.