If you’re worried we’ve had our first school shooting in 2023, that hasn’t happened yet. As usual, I’m weeks behind on a story.
Some might say Chicago is the birthplace of the modern mass shooting. Almost a century ago, in 1929, Al Capone ordered a hit on rival crime boss Bugs Moran. Four of Capone’s men, disguised as police, took seven of Moran’s men, lined them up against a wall, and shot them in the back using Thompson submachine guns. We know this today as The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. Even though the killings took place between warring mob factions, people were still outraged at the bloodshed and wanted the government to do something about gun violence.
This led to the National Firearms Act of 1934. The NFA did not ban the sale of machine guns, but taxed them in such a way that would make them too expensive for most people. However, machine guns purchased prior to the passing of the act were grandfathered in. Machine guns were not banned in the US until The Firearm Owners’ Protection Act of 1986 was passed. Again, existing machine guns were grandfathered in.
The ‘responsible gun owners™’ will tell you that the semi-automatic rifles used in most mass shootings aren’t machine guns, and they’re right. Technically, they are not machine guns. However, it doesn’t take much to modify them into something indistinguishable from a machine gun.
Chicago is also often used by the gun nerds as an example of how gun control doesn’t work. They say the banning of gun sales haven’t decreased the gun violence in Chicago. Well, they’re wrong about two things. One, the only guns banned in Chicago are assault weapons and ghost guns. Secondly, even if all guns were banned in Chicago, that doesn’t stop anyone from going to a bordering state like Indiana, Kentucky or Missouri to buy all the coward sticks they want. If anything, Chicago is a great example of why we should have more federal legislation regulating the sale of firearms.
Even though places like Texas have a higher firearm death rate per capita than Illinois, Chicago recently earned its violent reputation again. On Friday, December 16th of last year, four teens were shot just outside Benito Juarez High School. A 15-year-old boy and a 15-year-old girl survived the shooting. Unfortunately, 15-year-old Brandon Perez and 14-year-old Nathan Billegas succumbed to their injuries. Both had been shot in the head. The three boys were said to be the targets of the shooting.
To make matters worse, the shooter is still at large, even this many weeks after the shooting. Chicago police have released images of a person of interest. That person has been described as wearing a black mask, black hoodie and black North Face jacket.
Anyone with information on the shooting is asked to call police detectives at 312-744-8261
Benito Juarez High School used to have school resource officers, but had them removed in 2020 due to the police brutality issues in the country. Students and parents are divided about bringing police back to the school. As I have stated previously, school resource officers and security guards are not the simple solution many think it might be. In my research, it’s essentially a coin flip as to whether they work or not.
I’m reminded of a shooting from around this time last year, when 15-year-old Marquis Campbell was shot and killed outside Oliver Citywide Academy in Pittsburgh. As far as I know, no arrest has been made in that case.
I sincerely hope that the families of Brandon Perez and Nathan Billegas do not have to endure what Marquis Campbell’s family must be going through.
- CPD Search: Person connected to Benito Juarez High School fatal shooting
- Benito Juarez School Shooting: ‘Person Of Interest’ Photos Released
- Search continues for gunman in deadly shooting outside Benito Juarez High School
- Despite student murders, Benito Juarez high shouldn’t bring cops back, students and staff tell LSC
- Benito Juarez shooting: Students hold walkout protest after 2 killed outside Chicago high school