Skip to comments.Is Chicago Sun-Times Easy Gun Access Story BS?(IL)
Posted on 08/26/2012 6:21:10 AM PDT by marktwain
I smell a rat. Todays Chicago Sun-Times story Getting a gun in Chicago quick and easy strikes me as confabulation. Want to know how to get a gun? Just ask Chris. The skinny teen attends high school in Chicago and is a talented athlete. But hes also a notorious gunslinger. As a shooter in a South Side gang, he can get his hands on a gun as quick as you can get a burger at a fast-food restaurant. Hyperbole for sure. But is Windy City scribe and Pulitzer Prize winner Frank Main [above] another Stephen Glass or Janet Cooke? Here are some of the red flags . . .
The Chicago Sun-Times sat down with Chris for a lesson on how gangs get guns. Armed gangs like Chris have driven up Chicagos murder total 28 percent above the tally at this time last year. And Chris is on the front lines of the shooting.
For your hood, you cant stop [getting] guns because its war season. A gang need any gun it can get, said the teen, who has worked as an informant for police and asked for anonymity. The Sun-Times is identifying him by an alias.
Any story based on a single anonymous source is inherently dubious. Doubly so for a human interest story that illustrates or sells a point that jibes with the publishers bias/agenda (e.g., guns are too easily available).
Say one of your guys gets bumped [arrested] with a gun, Chris said. Now your gang need another gun. Its a lot of people who get bumped, a lot of people who get caught. The chances are like 50-50. If I get caught, Im gonna need another gat.
Or you may have people who did a murder and want to get rid of their gun, he said. Now they get another gun and you take theirs.
Wait, what? Where did Chris get the idea that the odds of getting caught with a gun in Chicago are 50-50?
More to the point, I reckon no gang banger worth his colors would knowingly take possession of a gun used in a murder. That makes no sense whatsoever.
Another source of stolen guns is the freights, Chris said.
He was talking about the freight trains parked on easy-to-access rail yards on the South Side.
You bust the lock, he said. Once you get in there, you may get the wrong thing. You may get shoes or something. You feel me? But you keep trying. We tried it before and we know what kind of containers they in. Theyre carrying all type of handguns in crates.
Huh? Handguns in crates in trains (unguarded ones at that)? True story, apparently. Back in 2000, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Between April and July last year, at least 35 brand-new guns were stolen as they sat in boxcars in the citys South Side rail yards, waiting to be shipped to dealers, Chicago police and prosecutors say.
Only six of the weapons have been recoveredall in the hands of people with criminal records, according to Michael Smith, Cook Countys lead gang-crimes prosecutor. A gun stolen in a separate incident was involved in the accidental death of a 4-year-old Chicago boy in July, said States Attorney Richard Devine at a press conference Sunday.
Does this still happen? Maybe. If not . . .
Best case: the Sun-Times is buying a load of BS from a playa who remembers this incident. Alternate explanation: Frank Main Googled the story and put the words into a [possibly fictional] interviewees mouth.
But the revolver Chris most recently acquired came from yet another hot source: a friend who stole the gun from a relative who legally registered the weapon with the city.
The friend lent the revolver to Chris, but he never gave the gun back.
Its a grimy world these days, I wont lie, he said. I told my friend I lost it, but I kept it for myself.
The gun had a serial number on it, so Chris scraped it off with a screwdriver. The cops cant trace the weapon back to the original owner without the serial number, he explained.
I dont want no one to snitch on me, the teenager said.
The number of people whove legally registered handguns with the Chicago police is minuscule. The ones that have bothered to jump over numerous hoops (but still cant take their gatt out of the house) are probably extremely cautious about security. Theyre not likely victims of firearms theft.
The fact that Chris filed down the serial number on the once legal gun makes the story impossible to substantiate. Conveniently enough, given the implication that legally registered guns are a source of firearms for gang bangers like Chris.
I dunno. There are some parts of this article that have the ring of truth to them. But then they would, wouldnt they?
If I were on the Sun-Times editorial board Id want proof that Chris is real, including an audio tape of the interview. Main did record the interview, didnt he? Just askin .
The Pulitzer prizes have a history of being given to writers of politically correct fiction.
Yeah, right, that'll work. The reporter is too stupid to know he's talking to a fabulist.
The rats shining city on a hill.
That number is so deep that you need a grinder to do a good job. Any police department can raise serial numbers.
So..bs meter on 12.
Certainly seems like a fairy tale, 2 things that jump out from the story. The teen referring to a gun as a ‘gat’, isn’t that a very old dated term? I definitely could be wrong but I find it hard to believe a teen would use it. Also, using the very old ‘freight’ robbery story to add a bit of truth to this piece. This whole story seems to me as totally fictional. It’s probably another one of those ‘composite’ things(/sar off)
And disarming law-abiding citizens will help?
Even a grinder alone won’t work, because the original stamping leaves readable marks in the underlying crystalline structure of the metal UNDER the grinding zome. So first you have to peen the crap out of the number with a punch, and THEN grind it off. Very few crooks no this, so guns are commonly traced even if they have ground off the visible numbers.
Fun facts to know and tell.
scraped off with a screw driver huh. are even saturday night specials made that shoddily?
And if it WAS traced... what good does it do, usually. Probably was stolen. It’s the person who was caught wielding the weapon in crime who’s in big dutch here.
Yep. 90% of the time tracing just turns up, “Yeah, that pistol was stolen from my truck 5 years ago.”
Now there’s a real crime-stopping lead.
How many Fast and Furious guns are sent north by the cartels to enforce their will on their markets?
A link to the original article, where there’s actually a lot of good information showing how the gang problem could be dealt with if the authhorities actually wanted to:
A "composite" person can, which is probably what "Chris" is.
A propaganda agenda article with no other purpose.
This is so stupid. He'd mar the gun. Personally, I always use White-Out.
Interview me, Chicago Sun-Times. I got the scoop for ya!
I use White-Out. If I really want to make the serial number unavailable, I MIGHT use a pencil eraser.
Did you read the article? ‘Chris’ is a police informant so the argument that the reporter has some secret information that he isn’t disclosing is invalid. Also, why wouldn’t a criminal want to be quoted especially annonomously? Everyone likes their 15 minutes.
***Between April and July last year, at least 35 brand-new guns were stolen as they sat in boxcars in the citys South Side rail yards,***
40 years ago Mike Wallace had a 60 MINUTES report on freight car break ins. While interviewing some black gang members they admitted that they had found lots of items to steal from the freight cars.
Wallace asked what was the last thing they had stolen and they answered...”meat”.
Wallace then asked what was the biggest heist they ever made. The answer was...”GUNS”.
When asked what they did with the guns they refused to answer.
After 1968, in the panic after Bobby Kennedy was murdered, the government REQUIRED all gun shipments by rail to have a large colored tag on that read “GUNS”.
The gun dealer I bought from said that many of the freight car conductors were in league with criminals and at certain rail crossings they would open the car door and throw the packages marked GUNS out to people waiting there.
Skeeter Skelton, a writer for SHOOTING TIMES shipped an engraved Browning HI-Power to the magazine company in Peoria, Ill to have it photographed. It disappeared somewhere in transit and was never found.
I did jury duty a few years ago, a shooting case, and the whole thing had to be done through interpreters. Apparently, Spanish for gun is 'fuego'.
About the same time, my father shipped a .250 savage model 99 through Chicago to have some work done. It was stolen.
Even though it states that in the paper. No informant would single themselves out, even using an alias, by saying what they did and that they were an informant in the news. That is asking to get killed. Secondly, if he is an ‘informant’, he wouldn’t be ‘stealing’ a friends gun and filing off the serial, as any weapons he did provide as an informant would be provided from the police for tracking. He stealing a weapon and filing the serial would not be covered while being an ‘informant’ for the police.
This quote from the original article leads me to believe that Chris is fictitious. I find it unbelievable that a real life "gangsta" would ever use the word female to describe a female. If the quotes are bogus then the entire article is BS.
Good thread, thanks.
Yeah, that “gat” reference threw me off too. Seems a little cliched and contrived.
I would doubt there is one gang-banger on the planet that would have the patience to actually use a screwdriver and somehow get rid of the serial number on a firearm, given how long that would take.
Seriously. These are people that have no patience for anything.