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Ah, the Good Old Days in Chicago

 

The gangland wars of the Twenties of the last century in Chicago left such an indelible impression that people around the globe when they hear the name Chicago will often make Tommy  gun motions with their hands.  All told gangland chieftain Al Capone  was responsible for 33-50 murders over his thirteen years in the Windy City.  Today Capone’s murders would be attained in about four weekends in Chicago.  Go here to read about the latest mayhem.  Thus far 300 homicides have been committed in Chicago this year, and the homicide rate is actually down from last year when Chicago had 650 murders.

 

 

The mayor of Chicago during most of Capone’s time in Chicago was William Hale “Big Bill” Thompson, the last Republican mayor of the city.  The Chicago Tribune wrote this epitaph for his political career:

For Chicago Thompson has meant filth, corruption, obscenity, idiocy and bankruptcy…. He has given the city an international reputation for moronic buffoonery, barbaric crime, triumphant hoodlumism, unchecked graft, and a dejected citizenship. He nearly ruined the property and completely destroyed the pride of the city. He made Chicago a byword for the collapse of American civilization. In his attempt to continue this he excelled himself as a liar and defamer of character.

If the writer of this well deserved screed could be raised from the dead, he would have to mine new levels of vituperation for the depraved crooks that currently misgovern Chicago.

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Donald R. McClarey

Cradle Catholic. Active in the pro-life movement since 1973. Father of three and happily married for 35 years. Small town lawyer and amateur historian. Former president of the board of directors of the local crisis pregnancy center for a decade.

30 Comments

  1. Just to point out that in 1930, Will and Lake Counties in Illinois had populations 85% lower than they are today and Dupage County had a population 90% lower. Outside of the City of Chicago, Cook County had on average an exurban density of about 850 people per square miles. Outside the City of Chicago, you had a block of densely settled municipalities in Lake County, Indiana which had a population which summed to just shy of 180,000 and you had some suburban municipalities like Evanston and Harvey. You had 3.3 million people in the City itself, wherein you found the vast bulk (85% or more) of the densely settled population. In our own time, the city limits capture about 1/3 of the densely settled area. You’re not making an apples to apples comparison.

  2. Art, I’m not sure I follow you. None of this years Chicago murders have anything to do with DuPage or Lake counties. FWIW, the bulk of this weekend’s shootings occurred in only 4 of Chicago’s 22 police districts.

  3. Art, I’m not sure I follow you.

    The city as a physical and demographic phenomenon currently extends over the whole of Cook, Lake [Illinois], and Dupage Counties, as well as areas capturing the bulk of the population resident in McHenry, Kane, Will, and Lake [Indiana] Counties. It’s beginning to bleed a bit into Kendall and Porter [Indiana] Counties as well. That wasn’t the case in 1930, when the city as a physical settlement was much smaller areally and in terms of population. You have over 8 million in dense settlement now, with 1/3 living in the City of Chicago. Then, you might have had roughly 4 million with about 80% of them living in the City of Chicago.

    Greater Chicago today can be divvied up into three zones. Zone A consists of a mass of suburban jurisdictions and consists of about 65% of the total. Zone B consists of the more agreeable jurisdictions within city limits and some inner ring suburbs, for just shy of 25% of the total. Zone C consists of four islands: one would be Gary and East Chicago in Lake County [Indiana], one would be the City of Harvey in Cook County, one would be a bloc of neighborhoods on the South Side with a population of aobut 650,000; and one would be a bloc of neighborhoods on the west side with a populaiton of about 350,000. About 12% of the population of the whole is in Zone C. Zone A has a homicide rate of 2.3 per 100,000; zone B had one of about 5.6 per 100,000; and Zone C had one of about 47 per 100,000. These are pre-Ferguson figures. If the administrative boundaries of the city captured 80% of the whole settlement, zone C would be 15% of the city population assuming that none of it was outside city limits. As we speak today, about 7/8ths of zone C’s population is within city limits, constituting 36% of the population within those limits.

  4. Correlation or coincidence?

    More gun control laws = more gun violence

    More illegal immigration = more gun violence

    Over 70 years of democrat control = soaring murder rates.

    “No!” said the leftist elite, “It’s Climate Change!!!”

  5. The City of Baltimore encompasses about 30% of the dense settlement, The City of Chicago, about 1/3. The City of New York, about 45%. Democrats control the legislative bodies of all three cities and have for generations. The last Republican mayor in Chicago left office in 1931. That in Baltimore, 1963 (and that man was a Rockefeller Republican). New York had non-Democrats in the mayor’s chair from 1994 to 2013. You’d expect homicide rates in New York to be lower because it encompasses more of the settlement and because about 15% of the slum population is in New Jersey. Still, the differences are radical. Pre-Ferguson, the homicide rate was 37 per 100,000 in Baltimore, 16 per 100,000 in Chicago, and 4 per 100,000 in New York. Properly staffed police forces optimally deployed gets you there.

  6. T Shaw

    Is there a correlation between “gun violence” and the homicide rate?

    Looking at the recently-released figures for my own country (Scotland), In 2016-17, 50% of victims (30 cases) were killed using a sharp instrument (94% of which involved a knife), 17% of victims (9 cases) were killed by hitting and kicking and 2% of victims (1 case) were killed by shooting.

    Out of 64 murders, a firearm was used in one of them.

  7. Michael Patterson-Seymour, in the non-metropolitan counties in New York, guns are everywhere. The homicide rate is 1.14 per 100,000. In general in this country, you have a background rate of about 2.5 per 100,000. You then have a bloc of inner-city neighborhoods (where about 10% of the total population lives) where it’s off the charts: 35 per 100,000, 50 per 100,000. The violence can be quelled in these neighborhoods (and has been successfully quelled in and around New York), but local politicians simply aren’t interested and neither is the police leadership in any obvious way.

    Our worthless sociological academy for decades sold the idea that assiduous policing would have no effect. When they were proven wrong in New York, they and their media lickspittles like Michael Massing tried various diversionary tactics in print while their lawfare confederates tried to get judges to cripple the New York Police Department. Get it through your head: it’s all status games with these people. Whether you’re talking about politicians, lawyers, academics, or journalists, the social nexus around the Democratic Party doesn’t give a rip about law enforcement or the damage to the quality of life which crime causes. Caring would mean endorsing the moral sense, character, and priorities of ordinary people, and that’s something these types do not do. In their society, you demonstrate your specialness by trading in situational irony, manifest in this case in scenarios which demonstrate the superiority of anomic and feral slum dwellers contra the Deplorables who live in suburban, exurban, small town, and rural areas.

    You have these controversies every time there’s a mass homicide in this country. Neither the politician wing nor the media wing of the liberal establishment ever admit the truth: long guns are used in about 3% of the homicides which take place in this country and bloc homicides account for less than 3% of the total homicide toll. It’s all public relations by vermin like Barack Obama to use these incidents to attack the social standing of people they despise. That would be small town and rural whites partial to hunting and target shooting.

    The one’s who don’t have it in for we Deplorables still have their tics and biases. Guns are inanimate objects. The sociological academic (or the economist raiding the turf of other social research disciplines) blames the inanimate object reflexively. The regnant generation in economics dislikes acknowledging the limits of their discipline and dislikes acknowledging that people aren’t widgets. Sociologists dislike acknowledging the moral agency of their mascot groups and clientele. Smith and Wesson and the National Rifle Association are a much more pleasant target as far as they’re concerned.

  8. MPS: GUNS!!! are employed in the left’s constant search for relevance.

    So called assault rifles are the American left’s du jour cause celebre. In the US in 2015, all long-barreled weapons (rifles and shotguns, hard to conceal) were implicated in 252 deaths. At the same time, 1,544 were killed with knives, 624 empty hand/no weapon, and 437 with blunt instruments; FBI statistics. Plus, nearly a million were aborted.

    In almost every (James T. Hodginson’s Republican-assassination attempt being the exception) incidence of a mass shooting with a GUN, rump America’s liberal idiots [redundant] indict the inanimate object; and, even more stupider, the 5,000,000-plus law-abiding members of the National Rifle Association.

    Miraculously, 99.9% of the 5,000,000-plus NRA members’ guns have never committed murder – you know it when it happens. Even more miraculously, normal Americans have 400 million guns; eight trillion bullets; and 93,000,000 (Gov. Terry McAuliffe) are not gunned down each day.

  9. Democratic Mayor, Republican Governor, Republican President. Who is to blame?

    Maybe crime, like the economy, doesn’t really have as much to do with civic governance as some people like to assert.

    On the other hand, give yourself even more jollies and note the crime surge occurred under Cardinal Cupich.

  10. “Who is to blame?”

    Considering that the murder problem is of long standing, and that heavily armed rural areas in Illinois are as peaceful as Denmark, I would think the responsibility is clearly with the local government of Chicago.

  11. “Who is to blame?”

    I’d blame the community itself. As I posted earlier, the vast majority of the violence from the past weekend took place in 4 Chicago police districts. Pfleger loves to race bait, blame the gun manufacturers and criticize politicians. The black and hispanic communities need to address why their young men feel so compelled to shoot each other.

  12. I’ve done some back-of-the-envelope calculations in regard to demographics and police staffing in Chicago. I may be mistaken, but the result I’m getting is that the Chicago police force has comparable staffing levels to that in New York. What it doesn’t have is optimal deployment and a motivated workforce. The blame for that is in the Mayor’s office more than any other place. The top echelon of the police force is another source of the problem. You cold blame the matrix in which they work, but keep in mind the civic leadership in New York in 1993 was facing conditions of a sort satirized by Tom Wolfe in Bonfire of the Vanities. They still got the job done.

  13. The black and hispanic communities need to address why their young men feel so compelled to shoot each other.

    No, the black politicians in Chicago (parliamentary and extraparliamentary) should quit running interference for hoodlums and give their full endorsement to the police force doing its job with vigor and without fear or favor. That would help, though New York got by without it.

  14. Maybe crime, like the economy, doesn’t really have as much to do with civic governance as some people like to assert.

    It absolutely does. You haven’t been paying attention.

  15. politicians in Chicago (parliamentary and extraparliamentary) should quit running interference for hoodlums and give their full endorsement to the police force doing its job with vigor and without fear or favor.

    Probably the President should also quit running interference for hoodlums and give his full endorsement to law enforcement doing its job with vigor and without fear or favor.

  16. Democratic Mayor, Republican Governor, Republican President. Who is to blame?

    The federal government has four contributions to make in the realm of palpable public order: roll-up rackets, stanch the flow of street drugs, stanch the flow of illegal aliens and miscellaneous foreign criminals, and disrupt the efforts of federal judges to ruin the effectiveness of local law enforcement. The state government can contribute the following: a sensible penal code, a prison system with ample staffing and space, a disciplined and properly staffed set of superior and appellate courts, statutes prescribing an appropriate division of labor among levels of government and appropriate scaling of the architecture of services, special assistance for rural and small town police forces, and certain specialized services for metropolitan police departments (such as a handsome crime lab). Brass tacks, however, is the business of local government. County police forces are to be preferred.

  17. Probably the President should also quit running interference for hoodlums and give his full endorsement to law enforcement doing its job with vigor and without fear or favor.

    He isn’t. If you’ve a contribution to make to the discussion, make it. If your business is partisan jabs, be advised that this isn’t that kind of site.

  18. He is. Saying he is not is the partisan jab.

    No, it’s a random retort and you couldn’t begin to elaborate on it coherently

  19. Kurt —
    I don’t like Trump one bit, but to suggest that he or his administration is responsible in any way for the violent crime in Chicago is risible.

  20. Dang that Trump, actually supporting ICE, and interfering in the witch-hunt by daring to point out there ain’t nothin’ to see, and worse pointing out when law enforcement DID BAD STUFF and it gets brought up by the witch hunters!

    How dare he!

    /snort

  21. T. Shaw, please remember your aim will be much better if you hold the gun with two hands and wear proper sized pants with a belt.

    Art Deco, it would appear that Jack Dunphy agreed with what I said earlier about the black and hispanic communities.

  22. Art Deco, it would appear that Jack Dunphy agreed with what I said earlier about the black and hispanic communities.

    What you said was that the appropriate response to the problem is some sort of collective soul searching among blacks and hispanics. No, he did not say that.

  23. A while back Chicago columnist John Kass did an article where he said that gang violence was spilling over into hospital ER facilities. It would seem that the gangs bite the hands that heal them.

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