Police in Chicago say they have taken at least 450 illegal weapons off the streets since the first of year, but gun violence continues to plague the city.
Hadiya’s death a week ago brought the January number of homicides in that city to 42. The homicide rate in Chicago was up 77 percent in January compared to 2011, according to police department statistics.
“Every day, our law abiding citizens and law enforcement officials are put in harm’s way by the brazen actions of criminals with guns,” police Superintendent Garry F. McCarthy said in a prepared statement. “The availability of guns for criminals, and their willingness to use them, is an issue we must address head on with common-sense gun legislation,” he said.
The debate over gun control continues across the country with Senate Democrats preparing to take a gun bill to the floor that includes most of the proposals backed by President Barack Obama. The bill would not include a ban on military-style, semiautomatic weapons, a top aide to Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada told the Wall Street Journal.
The Senate Democrats bill would seek to limit the capacity of ammunition magazines; expand background checks to include sales at gun shows and other private transactions; and require better record keeping to keep guns out of the hands of those with mental illness, according to the Wall Street Journal.