While mass shootings are more likely to attract the headlines — by ThinkProgress’ count there have been 14 since December — everyday gun violence in the U.S. adds up to a Newtown every single day (Slate counts more than 5,000 gun deaths since December).
Gun advocates tend to use Chicago to argue that gun violence laws are not effective. Chicago has some of the strictest laws in the nation — it had a ban on handguns until 2010 — but the city has long suffered from violence that is on an uptick the past two years. The total number of weekend’s shootings is actually slightly down compared to the same period last year, when 53 had been shot.
But as a city, Chicago is not isolated from areas with noticeably laxer laws. It is part of a state that has weaker gun violence laws, where a full 43 percent of the guns seized from Chicago crime come from. The rest of the seized guns were trafficked from other states not typically known for their gun violence prevention. Just in May, a convicted felon shot a man by arranging for someone to buy his hangdgun from a strip mall 40 miles away. Loopholes in federal law leave areas with strict gun laws more vulnerable to these straw purchases.
President Obama made a plea for federal law to catch up in February, before the Senate filibustered the most serious congressional attempt to address gun violence.