On Friday's This Morning show, CBS News reporter Adriana Diaz reported on her seven days on the streets of Chicago's South Side, one of the most dangerous and crime-ridden areas in the U.S.
While her report gamely tried to focus on how guns were to blame for the violence, astute observers who know how difficult it is for law-abiding citizens to get guns in the Windy City will notice that, despite those state- and city-imposed barriers, it's still very "easy" for criminals to get guns.
Somehow, the network's full video report and accompanying text article never referred to "gangs." Instead, Diaz and the article bizarrely referred to "crews." Perhaps avoiding the G-word was a condition imposed for gaining access to these, uh, gang members, but it came off as a deliberate attempt to incorrectly characterize a major component of the South Side's crime problem.
The segment below concentrates on Diaz's discussions with these "crew"/gang members:
ADRIANA DIAZ, CBS NEWS: The problem we heard and saw over and over again was guns.
GANG/CREW MEMBER: We make sure ourselves secure. We make sure ourselves safe.
DIAZ: CBS News gained access to several crews on Chicago's South Side.
GANG/CREW MEMBER: Yeah man, this is a Mac here, man. That's 50 shots, man.
DIAZ: That's a Mac-10, a semi-automatic weapon originally designed for military use, and illegal in Chicago.
UNNAMED CBS REPORTER: So why do you need guns with that much firepower?
GANG/CREW MEMBER: Protection. It's dangerous out there.
DIAZ: This South Side crew is affiliated with the group The Titanic Stones. They cover their faces to conceal their identities. They actually told me that they hate guns.
GANG/CREW MEMBER: We ain't with this gun s***. I'm just doin' this for survival, bro, until I can put my family and myself in a better predicament to where I need to be. We are just trying to keep ourselves protected.
DIAZ: Many guys told us that they'd rather risk the police catching them with a gun than have their rival find them without one.
DIAZ (addressing two gang/crew members): Where do you get a gun like this? Where did you get this gun?
GANG/CREW MEMBER: Off the streets. People sell 'em.
DIAZ: How easy is it for someone to get a gun?
GANG/CREW MEMBER: Very easy. You want one?
GANG/CREW MEMBER: That's how easy it is.
DIAZ: And it's worth it for you to keep this gun?
GANG/CREW MEMBER: We're felons. Ain't nobody gonna give us no jobs. Nobody gives a **** about us.
DIAZ: So with so many innocent people dying, by these bullets, is it worth it?
GANG/CREW MEMBER: No it ain't worth it.
The CBS text article captures the rest of the dialog better than I could by listening:
(Gang/Crew member) "At the end of the day, it ain't worth it. But you got 'em motherf*****s wanna go through a drive by, you know what I'm saying? And some innocent, little sister get shot. Guess what? Them and them guys coming back in. That's how the confrontation is going to keep going."
"So why not jut put the guns down?" Diaz asked.
(Gang/Crew member) "Put the guns down? Probably would happen. Maybe in the near future. No time right now. I don't want to put my gun down. Nine times out of ten the innocent ones get hurt, you know what I'm saying? If they come do a shooting right now we probably won't even get shot. And we got guns. You might get shot. That's how f****** up it is, you know? But it's survive or be killed."
At the Bearing Arms blog, Tom Knighton noted that "CBS accidentally expose(d) a truth that they might not have intended to":
Admitted felons saying they have no real problems getting their hands on guns.
Every licensed firearm dealer in this country is required to do a background check. They require a photo ID and the purchaser is required to fill out ATF Form 4473, which specifically asks if one is a felon.
In Chicago, it’s a bit more involved. There you have to get a Firearms Owners Identification Card from the Illinois State Police, take an approved safety course, get a Chicago Firearms Permit, then after you buy the gun you have to register it with the city within five days of the purchase. Failure to register it within those five days, and your gun is deemed unregisterable.
These are all steps people have been assured would reduce gun violence.
Yet CBS is able to report that violent felons are able to get their hands on firearms “off the streets.” How is this possible?
The reality, something CBS missed in its report, is that only the law abiding who abides by laws. All of the myriad of steps required to legally purchase a firearm in the city of Chicago appears to do little to dissuade violent criminals such as gang members from getting guns.
Instead, it merely created legal and financial roadblocks to those who want to follow the law.
By following all the steps required by the City of Chicago, would-be gun owners are forced to pay an additional $250 to $260 over and above the cost of a gun. That’s more than some people pay for their low-budget firearms in the first place.
All in an attempt to stop criminals from getting guns.
For all the left’s pontification on firearms being a public safety hazard, they still haven’t figured out how to convince the average gangbanger to stop breaking gun laws.
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Let's also close the loop on one other statement above, namely that the gang members, according to Diaz, claimed that "they'd rather risk the police catching them with a gun than have their rival find them without one." It would be easy for readers and viewers to conclude that this is only because of the dangers of getting shot. Though obviously valid, there's one other point to be made, namely that the judicial system is "soft on criminals who keep pulling the trigger" at both the local and federal levels.
With all of Chicago's crime involving guns, it's utterly astonishing and infuriating that "federal prosecutors tried just 123 gun cases last year." In other words, the gang members quoted above aren't afraid of being prosecuted for carrying illegal guns simply because such prosecutions rarely occur.
Why, it's enough to make you wonder if the Chicago's left-dominated government isn't cynically treating its South Side residents as lab rats in a deliberately negligent attempt to convince the nation that restricting the self-defense rights of law-abiding citizens is somehow the only solution to the "gun violence" problem.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.