Gun Control In Chicago Isn’t Working too Good

Gun Control: See How Chicago’s Current Homicide Rate Compares With 1 Year Ago…It Might Shock You
Written by Philip Hodges
Feb 23, 2016

Chicago’s current homicide rate is quite different compared with where it was this time last year. In fact, there are just over twice as many homicides in the Windy City now, compared with one year ago. Chicago’s high homicide rate – coupled with its having some of the strictest gun control laws in the county – are reasons that the city is often cited by gun control opponents as the prime example of where gun control leads.

Chicago’s high homicide rate is due in part to its prevalence of rival gangs, particularly in the South Side of Chicago, as well as neighborhoods such as Englewood – which is right next to the South Side – and Austin on the West Side.

Chicago_community_areas_map.svg
The Chicago Tribune reports on the city’s increasing homicide rate:

Four homicides over the weekend and two more Monday morning pushed Chicago’s homicide count so far this year to double the same period last year.

The city has recorded at least 95 homicides since the first of the year, compared to 47 last year, according to data kept by the Tribune. The city has also more than doubled the amount of people shot – about 420 this year compared to 193 last year.
[…]
On Saturday afternoon, 18-year-old Brian Johnson was shot in the head near the intersection of Prairie Avenue and 56th Street, officials said. He was taken to Stroger Hospital and pronounced dead.

Around 8 a.m. Monday, a cabbie was found shot to death in his taxi parked near a library in the 4400 block of North Leavitt Street, police said. Hours later, a 28-year-old man was shot in the 6400 block of South Eggleston Avenue, said Officer Ana Pacheco, a Chicago police spokeswoman.

In addition to those homicides, the Tribune reported that there were a total of 32 people shot in Chicago over the weekend alone, including a three-year-old boy in Englewood, who police say was shot by a stray bullet during a gang fight. The Tribune concluded:

The weekend toll includes one person killed and nine wounded from Friday evening to Saturday morning; three men killed and 14 people wounded from Saturday afternoon to Sunday morning; and six people wounded from Sunday afternoon to Monday morning.

The weekend’s first gunshot homicide was at 11:30 p.m. Friday, when 20-year-old Terrell Sykes was shot multiple times in the abdomen while standing out on the Gresham block where he lived.

Gun control proponents believe that the solution to the city’s high homicide rate is – believe it or not – more state and national gun control laws. Read what Chicago Police Department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi had to say:

“Every year Chicago Police recover more illegal guns than officers in any other city, and as more and more illegal guns continue to find their way into our neighborhoods, it is clear we need stronger state and federal gun laws.”

What’s abundantly clear is that criminals will not obey laws. As much as that is stating the obvious, it doesn’t seem to be something that is understood by many politicians. Those who favor strict gun control see the cause of Chicago’s high homicide rate as “lax gun laws” in neighboring states such as Indiana.

2013_Chicago_Homicide_MapInstead of responding to the high homicide rate by trying to create a gun vacuum, political leaders should embrace the reality of the need for self-defense weapons in the hands of residents.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by Constitution.com.

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No doubt cleanup at Fukushima nuclear plant contaminated rice crops in 2013


Researchers: No doubt cleanup at Fukushima nuclear plant contaminated rice crops in 2013
January 18, 2016
http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ201601180052

THE ASAHI SHIMBUN

MINAMI-SOMA, Fukushima Prefecture–Radioactive substances that contaminated rice paddies here in 2013 came from the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, an international group of researchers said, rejecting a denial issued by Japan’s nuclear safety authority.

The researchers, led by Akio Koizumi, a professor at Kyoto University’s Graduate School of Medicine, reached the conclusion after analyzing radioactive substances and taking spot readings of radioactivity levels around Minami-Soma.

Koizumi presented the final report of the group, consisting of 11 researchers from Japan, Europe and the United States, to local farmers and other parties at a community center in Minami-Soma on Jan. 17.

“The cause of further contamination was the radioactive particles dispersed from contaminated rubble during the cleanup effort at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant,” Koizumi concluded in the report.

Earlier, the agriculture ministry and the Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NRA) gave different views on the source of the contaminated rice.

In 2013, rice crops from areas of Minami-Soma were found with unexpectedly high radioactivity levels more than two years after the triple meltdown at the nuclear plant located 20 kilometers south of the city.

One theory was that highly radioactive substances were dispersed when workers were lifting and removing contaminated rubble at the Fukushima plant on Aug. 19 that year. Two workers at the plant were exposed to high doses of radiation during the cleanup process.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said the cause of the contaminated rice was “unknown” although it acknowledged “the possibility of the dispersal of contaminated dust.” The farm ministry discontinued its investigation without specifying the source of the contamination.

The NRA, however, said the contaminated rice was not related to the cleanup work at the nuclear plant.

The Minami-Soma city assembly expressed outrage over the NRA’s stance. Some in the city suspected the NRA of a cover-up.

Koizumi and the other researchers digitally recreated an accidental dispersal of contaminated dust from the plant in August 2013.

They used a new analysis system to estimate the amount of radioactive cesium that spread toward Minami-Soma based on radioactivity readings around the city and other factors.

The group’s cesium estimate was more than 3.6 times the amount initially estimated by the NRA.

The research group in September 2014 also collected soil samples from 10 locations around the contaminated rice paddies to determine the amount of strontium 90 in the area.

They confirmed that the ratio of strontium 90 to radioactive cesium in the soil samples was similar to the ratio that would be found near the Fukushima nuclear plant.

Beta-ray emitting strontium 90 is less airborne and tends to remain within close proximity of nuclear weapon testing sites or nuclear accidents. Radioactive cesium is more volatile and can easily adhere to fine dust spread by the wind.

In general, the amount of strontium 90 decreases the farther it gets from a nuclear plant, compared with radioactive cesium. In fact, hardly any strontium 90 has been detected far away from the Fukushima plant.

They also confirmed radioactive substances captured on equipment that keeps track of airborne radioactive particles around Minami-Soma. The researchers concluded that a highly irregular plume of radioactive cesium reached Minami-Soma on the third week of August 2013.

“Every single piece of data in the paper supports the fact that contamination by radioactive dust came from the debris at the nuclear plant,” Koizumi said.

Asked about the NRA’s conclusion, Koizumi said: “It seems they were blinded by their estimated amount of dispersed particles, and their choice for the analysis system was misguided. This kind of attitude would only increase the anxiety of residents in the affected areas.”

The group’s findings were published in the international academic journal Environmental Science & Technology last month after a peer review.

(This article was written by Masakazu Honda and Miki Aoki.)
THE ASAHI SHIMBUN