Women Loses Her Fourth Child to Gun Violence

Respectfully submitted by Lawrence E. Rafferty (rafflaw)- Guest Blogger

I just saw this article and I had to report on it here.  A Chicago woman is grieving the loss of her 4th child to gun violence.  Her child was one of Five people shot and killed overnight in Chicago.  “Ronnie Chambers, who was his mother Shirley’s youngest child, was shot in the head Saturday while sitting in a parked car on the city’s West Side. A 21-year-old man who was also in the car was wounded, police said.  Shirley Chambers, whose two other sons and daughter were shot in separate attacks more than a decade ago, was left grieving again on Saturday, WLS-TV reported.  “Right now, I’m totally lost because Ronnie was my only surviving son,” Chambers said.

Shirley Chambers’ first child, Carlos, was shot and killed by a high school classmate in 1995 after an argument. He was 18. Her daughter Latoya, then 15, and her other son Jerome were shot and killed within months of one another in 2000.  “What did I do wrong?” she asked Saturday. “I was there for them. We didn’t have everything we wanted but we had what we needed.”

Chambers said despite this latest tragic chapter in her life, she’s not bitter or angry.  “They took my only child. I have nobody right now. That’s my only baby,” she said. MSN.com

How can anyone see this continued gun violence and not be angered and want to do something to stop it?  Reasonable gun control won’t solve all of our gun violence problems, but it is a good start.  We have to deal with poverty, unemployment, drug abuse and the failed war on drugs also.  However, some of these 5 people might not have died if guns were not so easily obtainable.  What do you think?  How can we reduce gun violence?  We must start to act now or it will never get any better.

60 thoughts on “Women Loses Her Fourth Child to Gun Violence

  1. Raff,

    “Porkchop,

    I [respectfully] disagree with your reading of the Heller case.”

    1. From Scalia’s majority opinion in Heller (slip opinion at 545-55):

    “Like most rights, the right secured by the Second
    Amendment is not unlimited. From Blackstone through
    the 19th-century cases, commentators and courts routinely
    explained that the right was not a right to keep and
    carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever
    and for whatever purpose. See, e.g., Sheldon, in 5 Blume
    346; Rawle 123; Pomeroy 152–153; Abbott 333. For example,
    the majority of the 19th-century courts to consider the
    question held that prohibitions on carrying concealed
    weapons were lawful under the Second Amendment or
    state analogues. See, e.g., State v. Chandler, 5 La. Ann.,
    at 489–490; Nunn v. State, 1 Ga., at 251; see generally 2
    Kent *340, n. 2; The American Students’ Blackstone 84, n.
    11 (G. Chase ed. 1884). Although we do not undertake an
    exhaustive historical analysis today of the full scope of the
    Second Amendment, nothing in our opinion should be
    taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the
    possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or
    laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places
    such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing
    conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.”

    Is there another part that I should be reading?

    2. Do you intend to respond to the rest of the post?

    I would still like to understand why/how Illinois gun control laws have been a success, or, at least, not a failure. It is illegal in Illinois for ordinary citizens to possess a loaded firearm outside the home (perhaps that is going to change with the recent 7th Circuit decision, but for now it is true), and very difficult to have one in the home. Yet Chicago continues to be a national leader in gun homicides. Illinois has one of the most, if not the most, restrictive statutory schemes in the country, but it doesn’t seem to be doing much to slow that down. Could it be that people who are willing to break the law to commit murder are not deterred by laws against possessing firearms? Could it be that the people who are deterred by laws against possessing firearms, are most likely also deterred by laws against murder?

    With respect, I think that Chicago needs to do something about its own thugs, not blame and penalize every gun owner in the country for its problems.

  2. brerrabbit771, January 27, 2013 at 9:35 pm sais
    “…I believe I remember hearing that some official of the BATF was asked in a congressional hearing or something whether that ammo record-keeping requirement had ever played a part in solving any crimes, and he responded by saying that as far as he could tell, not one single time had that ever happened. ”

    Ah yes and no one has ever lied before a congression hearing panel, nope, didnt know cigarettes were carcinogenic, nope, no gas price rigging. Nope, no one lies, Ollie North in Iran Contra. I could go and on, sadly but using that as your “proof” is, to me, nonsensical.

  3. leejcarroll

    BATF is generally not viewed as gun-friendly or gun-owner-friendly, and, like most government agencies, tends to favor positions that would increase its authority,not diminish it. The testimony you apparently disbelieve was uncharacteristically favorable to gun owners and indicated that BATF saw no reason to increase its regulatory authority.

    The testimony you allude to to support your cynicism was from private parties (or in North’s case) a former or soon-to-be-former government official misleading congressional investigators at a time when they were subject to civil suits and/or potential criminal actions.

    Do you see the difference? No one was going to sue or prosecute the BATF witness if he had testified the opposite.

    • No I see, and know the difference.
      I don;t believe ir disbelieve it, I was replying to your comeent in general.
      People lie in front of panels, for whatever their reasons might be so I do not believe them just because they have taken an oath to tell the truth.

  4. Porkchop, thanks for replying to that last post. I would also add that if somebody at BATF was going to lie about it, they probably would have stated the opposite, i.e. tried to claim that the ammo-record-keeping HAD helped solve crimes when in fact it had not.

  5. Porkchop,
    the answer to the first part of your question is found in the statement you quoted from Scalia. , “nothing in our opinion should be
    taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the
    possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or
    laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places
    such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing
    conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.”’ The reasonable gun controls that have been discussed easily fit in the terms listed by Scalia.
    As to your demand for evidence, you are forgetting that the weapons used in the gang wars are usually not obtained legally, but as stated above, any gun can be purchased at the guns shows without a background check from a private party. Are you suggesting that there is proof that none of the illegal guns were purchased in this way? Without closing that loophole, we still have a way for people to get guns “legally” without a background check.
    I submit that unless Chicago goes the way of NYC and stops and frisks thousands of people a year, the illegal guns will still be available. I did not say that the Illinois law was perfect, you are the one that suggested it was doing little or nothing to prevent murders by gun. According to longer term records, Chicago gun murders were down until the last couple of years. The record amount was close to a thousand in the early 1990’s. If you look at the murder rate in 2011 according to the FBI, Georgia has the same murder rate as Illinois at 5.6 for every 100,000 residents. Louisiana had 11.2 for every 100,000. The data did not break it down by weapon. http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2011/crime-in-the-u.s.-2011/tables/table-5 Does Georgia and Louisiana have a problem even with their much more lax gun laws? Maryland was higher as was Michigan, Missouri and Mississippi, New Mexico. I could go on.

  6. Regarding the various sales methods of guns and how easy it is or isn’t for gang-bangers to get them, I will point out a couple of things: #1, there are so many guns in the world today that someone would have to be completely dissociated from reality to even THINK that some law would get them all registered (as if that would stop anybody from actually using one to commit a crime anyway), #2, criminals will always find ways to get them illegally (such as stealing them), and #3, there are devices that are coming out called “3-D printers” which make it possible to make small objects by means of blueprints or similar data fed into a computer which controls it, and once the use and availability of them becomes widespread, do these anti-gunners really think they’re going to stop anybody who wants a gun from getting one?

  7. “The reasonable gun controls that have been discussed easily fit in the terms listed by Scalia.”

    Yes, you can always win an argument when you assume your conclusion.

    —————-

    “As to your demand for evidence, you are forgetting that the weapons used in the gang wars are usually not obtained legally, . . .”

    Well, if obtaining those weapons is already, then how would more laws help? Gunrunning (illegal sale of three or more guns) is already a class 1 felony in Illinois with a penalty of 6 to 30 years in prison.

    ——————

    “but as stated above, any gun can be purchased at the guns shows without a background check from a private party. Are you suggesting that there is proof that none of the illegal guns were purchased in this way? Without closing that loophole, we still have a way for people to get guns “legally” without a background check.”

    I think that you have the question of “proof” backwards. If you are espousing new laws, you should provide evidence that there is an actual problem and that the laws you espouse actually address that they are problem. By the way, Illinois strictly regulates the intrastate sale and delivery of firearms (720 ILCS 5/24-3), but provides an exception for gun show sales *to nonresidents.* (720 ILCS 5/24-3(g)(3). So, Illinois has no problem exporting firearms to other states

    ——————

    I originally stated that Illinois and Chicago gun control laws have been a massive failure. You replied that gun control laws were not a massive failure. I asked you to explain to me how or why Illinois and Chicago gun control laws were a success, or, at least, not a failure. You have not done so.

    For comparison to the statistics you cite, there was an interesting story here in Virginia today courtesy of NBC News:

    “Firearm-Related Homicides, Injuries Decline in Va. ”

    http://www.nbcnews.com/id/50612325/ns/local_news-washington_dc/#.UQbkreh0qcs

    It refers to a longer story in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, which notes:

    “Gun-related homicides and serious injuries from gun assaults in Virginia have been trending downward for at least six years, and a new survey suggests the state’s booming gun sales have not triggered an increase in the proportion of people slain by a gun or who use a firearm to commit suicide.”

    “When state population increases are factored in, gun-related homicides fell 37 percent, from 4.72 deaths per 100,000 in 2005 to 2.99 in 2011.” [You stated in your post that “If you look at the murder rate in 2011 according to the FBI, Georgia has the same murder rate as Illinois at 5.6 for every 100,000 residents.” So Virginia started with a lower homicide rate than Illinois and went to an even lower rate.]

    Gun-related homicides and suicides are down by 37% since 2005, and gun sales are estimated to be up by 73%. The total number of violent crimes is down 24%. [As I noted above, Virginia is an open-carry state and a shall-issue concealed carry state.]

    http://www.timesdispatch.com/news/local/central-virginia/gun-related-homicides-and-injuries-down-as-firearm-sales-soar/article_f573c648-2e22-5534-a2a8-56fa0fef0fdb.html

    By the way, according to the NBC News story, the state medical examiner’s report noted that there was only one homicide from a so-called “assault” weapon.

  8. Should say: “If you are espousing new laws, you should provide evidence that there is an actual problem and that the laws you espouse actually address that problem.”

  9. Swarthmore mom,

    That heckling was inexcusably rude.

    That being said, the gentleman was simply factually wrong in the quoted statements from the hearing.

    People can and do hunt with AR-15 platform rifles — usually chambered in a larger caliber than .223 (or 5.56mm), such as .308 Winchester or .30-06.

    Second, the AR-15 in .223 caliber is a safer and more effective home defense weapon than many others in common use. The ballistic characteristics of the .223 round in a hollow-point round (the military uses full metal jacket ammunition as required by the Geneva convention) are such that it has a lower penetration (that is, a stray round is less likely to wound someone in another room or outside the house) than most common handgun rounds and shotgun ammunition. The .223 caliber rifle round is low-powered; that is why it was adopted for close quarter battle, especially within buildings. (By comparison, the World War II main battle rifle, the M1 Garand was longer, heavier, and more unwieldy, and was chambered for the .30-06 round which has a much greater effective range and much greater penetration.) The .223 round is actually less likely to harm bystanders (that is someone who happens to be outside the house or in another room) than a round from say, a .38 Special caliber revolver, a 9 mm semiautomatic pistol, or a 12 gauge shotgun.

    In addition, the AR-15 can be fitted with tactical flashlights and laser sights. I understand that some people find all that scary, but both of those add-ons mean that if someone invades your home at night, you will be able to see them and aim accurately, minimizing harm to others, if you have to shoot. You are less likely to miss your target with this added equipment. The commonly-found collapsible stock means that the weapon is shorter and more easily maneuvered in close quarters. The pistol grip and foregrip assist in accuracy and maneuverability, as well.

  10. Hadiya Pendleton Dead: Chicago Teen Who Performed At Inaugural Events Fatally Shot

    01/30/13 08:59 AM ET EST AP

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/30/hadiya-pendleton-dead-chi_n_2581309.html (with video)

    CHICAGO — A 15-year-old majorette who performed at some of President Barack Obama’s recent inauguration festivities has been shot to death in Chicago.

    Police say Hadiya Pendleton was shot in the back Tuesday in a South Side park and died at a city hospital.

    Authorities say Hadiya was one of about 12 teenagers sheltering from heavy rain under a canopy when a man jumped a fence, ran toward the group and opened fire. The man fled the scene in a vehicle. No arrests have been made.

    Police do not believe Hadiya was the intended target of the shooting. A teenage boy was shot in the leg. Police did not release his name.

    Hadiya belonged to the King College Prep High School band, which performed at several inaugural events in Washington, D.C.

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