Chicago Twice as Dangerous as Afghanistan

You can’t make these things up.

Between 2003 and 2011, 4,265 people were murdered in the city of Chicago. In 2012 alone, 512 people were murdered in the city.

Operation Enduring Freedom, the name for the war in Afghanistan, which started Oct. 7, 2001, has seen a total of 2,166 killed. The war has been ongoing for 11 years, 3 months and one week.

In fairness, I should point out that Iraq claimed 4,422 Americans KIA. So the city has that going for it.

Of the 4,251 people murdered, 3,371 died from being shot, with 98 percent of the murder weapons being a handgun. Thirty-seven people were killed with a rifle (caliber of bullet not specified), and 40 were killed with a shotgun.Murders by stabbing in Chicago accounted for 9 percent of the total between 2003 and 2011; 7 percent of the people murdered in Chicago between 2003 and 2011 died from what the Chicago Police Department classifies as “assault”; 92 people were killed by strangulation; 27 people by blunt force; 15 by asphyxiation; and 51 people were categorized in the “other” category.

That’s right: strangulation is over twice as deadly as AR-15’s in Chicago. Boy, that gun control sure is something, huh?

Not a single gun shop can be found in this city because they are outlawed. Handguns were banned in Chicago for decades, too, until 2010, when the United States Supreme Court ruled that was going too far, leading city leaders to settle for restrictions some describe as the closest they could get legally to a ban without a ban. Despite a continuing legal fight, Illinois remains the only state in the nation with no provision to let private citizens carry guns in public.

And yet Chicago, a city with no civilian gun ranges and bans on both assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, finds itself laboring to stem a flood of gun violence that contributed to more than 500 homicides last year and at least 40 killings already in 2013, including a fatal shooting of a 15-year-old girl on Tuesday.

Nothing to see here, move along….

One of These War Crimes is Not Like the Other…

Nestled amid this provocative collection of rare photographs from Saipan (h/t: Ace) are two links also about the subject of the horrors of war:

In the moral scheme of how we fight, urinating on corpses is not acceptable. It is unchivalrous, ungallant, whatever you want. But we need to remember, as Bill Maher reminds us, how inhuman our enemies are. Not because “Tu Quoque” is a valid argument, but because a sense of proportion is needed.

Should the offending Marines receive some manner of punishment for their actions? Sure. Give ’em two days in the brig, and then move on. And when that’s accomplished, our media can start putting the actions of our enemies on the front page, their burning of schools, their decapitating babies, their murder and rape and arson and overall pitilessness. Otherwise, I am forced to conclude that the media focuses on the Marines’ misdemeanors because to do the same to our foe’s felonies would invite a fatwa.

The Air Force Burial Business

I spotted this first on Ace’s sidebar: The Air Force has buried remains of servicemen killed in Iraq and Afghanistan in a landfill in Virginia.

The obvious reaction

I know. I know. Ladd Ehlinger, who worked for the military in some capacity until 2001, has piled on. But hold a second:

Air Force now confirms that body fragments linked to at least 274 fallen military personnel sent to the Dover Air Force Base Mortuary were cremated, incinerated and buried with medical waste. That procedure was in place between November 2003 and May 1, 2008. The Air Force also said that 1,762 body parts were never identified and also were disposed of, first by cremation, then by further incineration and then buried in a landfill.

Wait…what’s a body fragment? Is that a body? What is it?

When bodies are not intact — for instance, in the aftermath of a crash or explosion — a body may be released to the family before some parts have been identified by the Air Force Mortuary at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware. Families can elect to be notified when parts are identified or leave it up to the military to dispose of them appropriately. Since the policy was changed in 2008, the unclaimed body parts are buried at sea.

So what I take from this is: what got buried in the landfill was unidentified body parts, not whole bodies. What could be identified was sent home to families as it should have been.

At some point, it’s not 100% possible to determine who a particular bone or organ belongs to. DNA testing can only take you so far. And hanging on to body parts in the forlorn hope that they’re going to ever be identified — so you can ship them to family members who have already buried a loved one — is a rather ghoulish bureaucratic perversity.

You can fairly argue that cremating the leftovers and putting them in a landfill is insensitive. I agree, and am glad for the new policy — instituted in the closing months of the Bush Administration — of sea burial (after all, if it was good enough for Bin Laden…).

But however hot this tempest blows, it may extend no further than the teapot’s dome.