Last year, the city hit 506 homicides, and this year, killings again are stacking up at a rate faster than one a day.
“I’ve had eight cops shot in the last year and a half that I’ve been here," McCarthy said. "Somebody’s got to do something about it besides putting ourselves [Chicago police officers] in harm’s way."
He and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel are in sync in their push for new gun laws and are getting support from state lawmakers in Springfield. The Public Health Committee of the state Senate rapidly approved bills that would ban the sale of semi-automatic weapons and high-capacity magazines during the lame-duck session.
The legislation is moving quickly, riding a wave of emotion triggered by the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. The timing is in keeping with the stated philosophy of Emanuel that we should use times of crisis to mobilize people and demand change. . . . .
However, McCarthy acknowledged aiming at assault weapons misses the mark when dealing with Chicago’s gang violence. The weapon used is generally a handgun and rarely is it purchased through legal channels. McCarthy wants to target straw purchasing, which is when legal gun buyers will purchase a weapon and then let it loose in the illegal market. . . . .