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500th Homicide Brings Out Jesse Jackson

By Prescott Carlson in News on Dec 28, 2008 5:54PM

As Chicago moved past the milestone of over 500 homicides this year, Jesse Jackson, Sr. used the opportunity to further promote his campaign for tougher gun laws.

After a morning forum yesterday at RainbowPUSH headquarters, Jackson held a press conference featuring the mother of Kermit DeLashment -- who became the city's 500th homicide victim last Monday -- where she pleaded for her son's killer to turn themselves in. A national program director for The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, Jennifer Bishop, was also on hand criticizing Illinois gun laws and said that the "laws currently in place have huge loopholes." Bishop outlined the center's "5 point action plan" to stop easy access to guns:

Require universal background checks on every gun transfer

Regulate the trafficking of illegal guns

Restrict military-style assault weapons in civilian hands

Prohibit all violent criminals from possessing firearms

Apply consumer product safety standards and childproof safety features to all firearms

Sounds good, but we're not sure how much of the above would cut down on things like gang violence -- which is clearly the cause for this year's homicide uptick. We also thought Illinois actually had some pretty restrictive gun laws in place, especially in Chicago and Cook County -- for instance, Illinois is one of the last states that doesn't have any sort of provisions to allow a citizen to legally conceal and carry a weapon. So sorry, Rev. Jackson, we just can't get past the nagging feeling that the focus is in the wrong place.

Photo via RainbowPUSH