Is Houston the ‘new’ Chicago?

The news cycles this weekend were wrapped around mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio.  But as it normally goes, we have weekends of extreme violence around the country, and it only makes a blip on local radars. This past weekend in Houston, two pregnant women were among the victims of 11 fatal shootings and one deadly stabbing. 

According to Houston’s ABC 13, at least 18 people were shot this weekend from Friday evening through early Monday morning.

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Houston was rocked by a number of fatal attacks this weekend. (Flickr)

 

Friday afternoon, a man was shot and injured during an argument with his girlfriend. Several hours later, a man was found shot to death in a driveway in the 5200 block of Irving Way. 

Two men were found shot inside a vehicle early Saturday morning. One died at the scene, the other was transported to the hospital. 

Also early Saturday morning two men were shot in their vehicle. One man died at the scene. 

One man was shot to death and one woman injured Saturday afternoon. 

Saturday afternoon, one man was shot and killed in an apparent road rage incident.

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Violence in Houston takes the lives of 12, death toll includes two pregnant women.

 

A 21-year-old Pasadena man is facing charges for the fatal stabbing of his pregnant wife late Saturday afternoon. This, after he was arrested just days before, charged with family violence. He was released on bond and told to stay away from her because of a protective order. Three days later, she was stabbed 20 times. He will likely face charges on two counts of murder. Texas, unlike New York, still recognizes that an unborn child is still a life.  

 

One woman was killed and a man injured by gunfire. Investigators say the man claims his wife pulled a gun on him during an argument Saturday and the gun went off when they struggled over it. Both were struck. The woman did not survive.

A convenience store clerk was shot to death Sunday afternoon. Investigators believe that he was killed as part of a robbery. He died at the scene.  

On Sunday, one woman was shot to death. Shortly afterwards, and another man was shot dead.  

In the early hours of Monday, a man was shot to death outside a club in the 4700 block of Ennis, while another man was shot to death on a front porch of an apartment on Westheimer. 

A 19-year-old pregnant woman was found shot to death in a northwest Houston motel room early Monday. 

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Police in Houston apprehend suspects. (Flickr)

 

Barely any of this was discussed outside of the greater Houston metropolitan area. Since 2015, Houston is averaging almost two gun-related injuries/deaths per day. Houston is the 4th most populated city in the U.S., just a few hundred thousand behind Chicago.   

Let’s take a look at what’s happening over there.

On Sunday, Chicago authorities reported that a total of seventeen people had been victims of shootings in just three separate incidents. 

So far in 2019, more than 1,500 people have been reported shot in the Illinois city.

This weekend’s carnage was so bad that a local hospital near Lawndale was forced to stop admitting patients because they had reportedly been filled to capacity. 

Read that again.

The hospital stopped allowing patients in because they had no means to treat them.

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Authorities in Chicago are buried in violent murder cases. (Flickr)

 

What is going on in this city?

A 5-year-old boy riding in a vehicle also was among the shooting victims this weekend, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

Since everyone is calling for strict gun legislation following the vicious public attacks this weekend, let’s take a closer look at a city that has arguably some of the strictest gun laws in the country.

News flash: they’re not doing so hot.

As of July 28, the Chicago Tribune published that 1,517 people had been shot. Add up those recent numbers from the past few days and the numbers continue to climb. 

 

Back in June, Chicago experienced its bloodiest weekend of the year… so far.

Reports compiled from that weekend show a staggering 50 people shot, with 10 of those shootings becoming fatalities, according to Chicago Police.

The Chicago Tribune published a piece about the spring of violence. That followed Memorial Day Weekend, which boasted another 43 reported shootings. Targeted patrols worked together to try and pull illegal guns off the street. 

“Those efforts resulted in 19 arrests on gun-related charges and 81 illegal weapons seized since Friday evening,” Anthony Guglielmi said back in June. “Several people of interest are also being questioned in relation to some of our incidents and detectives have good video leads in others.”

Violence in Houston takes the lives of 12, death toll includes two pregnant women.

Chicago has taken an aggressive stance on gun control. So where are the results? (Flickr)

 

Strict gun laws are in place. So shouldn’t we see the trend of criminal violence and shootings go down?

Apparently it doesn’t work like that. (Someone should tell our elected leaders.)

The age to purchase a firearm is 21. The state requires gun owners to obtain licenses and face background checks as well as imposing waiting periods on firearms purchases. Judges can take guns away from owners who are deemed to be a threat to themselves or others. And recent legislation aims to begin a fingerprinting database of all gun owners in the state.

Yet the city is still a war zone. How could this be?

The problem seems to be (both in Chicago and around the country)… that legal gun owners are not the ones causing the issues.

AP News reported that from 2013 to 2016, almost 7,000 illegal guns were recovered each year in Chicago, according to the city’s Gun Trace Report. In 2017, the total was 7,932, according to the Chicago police. As of Dec. 6, the total for 2018 was 8,309, and police say that could surpass 10,000 by year’s end.

What’s in store for the future of these cities? Guess we’ll have to stick around and see. 

 

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