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Chicago Sun-Times Opinion This Week
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Some 60% of guns used in crimes in Chicago can be traced to out-of-state dealers, including 20% from Indiana alone. President Joe Biden recognized this week that if the problem is national, crossing state borders, the solution must be, too.
He rolled out a partial strategy for countering gun violence in Chicago and other cities, and announced a handful of common-sense federal initiatives that are sure to be supported by a strong majority of Americans.
By now we know that when it comes to ending the obscene flow of illegal guns into Chicago, our town can never do it alone, the Editorial Board writes. Only an aggressive federal approach — saner national gun laws and zero tolerance for illegal sales — will reduce the number of guns used to shoot and kill thousands of people in Chicago each year.
Chicagoans have become so desensitized to these large numbers that it almost seems like “the same old news,” writes Sun-Times reader Terry Takash of Bridgeport. In Letters to the Editor, Terry asks a hard and cold question: Is bail reform, in which no cash bond required for release from jail and instead there is an increased use of ankle monitoring, a factor in the increase in violence?
Carl Nassib, a defensive end for the Las Vegas Raiders, came out as gay on Monday — making him the first active NFL player to do so. His announcement was seen as monumental by some, while others just shrugged at the news. Columnist S.E. Cupp writes that the shrug is a good sign we are moving on from the homophobia that defined so many generations — but make no mistake — this revelation won’t be met everywhere with a shrug. In Commentary, read why from school locker rooms to professional locker rooms, Nassib’s coming out will hopefully be heard loud and clear by those who need to hear it most.
— Ismael Pérez, editorial board member

President Joe Biden discusses his crime prevention strategy at the White House on Wednesday, June 23. AP Photos
President Joe Biden discusses his crime prevention strategy at the White House on Wednesday, June 23. AP Photos
When it comes to ending the obscene flow of illegal guns into Chicago, our town can never do it alone.
Only a federal crackdown will stem the flow. Only an aggressive federal approach — saner national gun laws and zero tolerance for illegal sales — will reduce the number of guns used to shoot and kill thousands of people in Chicago each year.
Some 60% of guns used in crimes in Chicago can be traced to out-of-state dealers, including 20% from Indiana alone. If the problem is national, crossing state borders, the solution must be, too.
President Joe Biden recognized that reality on Wednesday and earlier this week in rolling out at least a partial strategy for countering gun violence in Chicago and other cities. He announced a handful of common-sense federal initiatives — nothing too politically polarizing — that are sure to be supported by a strong majority of Americans, if not by advocates for “defunding” the police or the extremist National Rifle Association.
At the same time, the cautious character of Biden’s new strategy speaks to the broader problem — good luck with anybody doing anything more. Not so long as a minority of a minority party, the Republican Party, continues to block even the most modest legislation in Congress to regulate our nation’s crazy, free-wheeling trade in guns.
Biden is acting by executive order, rather than writing legislation, because that’s all he’s got.
The Chicago Sun-Times Editorial Board is the opinion voice of the hardest-working newspaper in America. It is headed by editorial page editor Tom McNamee and includes Thomas FrisbieLorraine ForteLee BeyIsmael Pérez and Mary Mitchell as members.
What others have to say
S.E. Cupp on Carl Nassib:
With so much acceptance around gay rights today, some met Nassib’s announcement with more of a shrug, which itself might be an indication of progress. But it’s important not to underestimate how consequential and meaningful this moment is.
Carl Nassib just saved someone’s life
More editorials we published this week
All hands needed on deck to get Chicago school kids back on course post-pandemic
Tell the Chicago Police what the rules should be for dangerous foot chases
In your words
“Are people arrested for violent crimes able to “hit the streets” sooner, get another gun and shoot someone they would not have been able to shoot had a cash bail been required?”
— Terry Takash, Bridgeport
What role has bail reform really played in Chicago’s escalating levels of violence?
Every day we publish submissions from Chicago Sun-Times readers weighing in on issues facing the city and its residents. Send letters to letters@suntimes.com or reply to this email to share your perspective.
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Chicago Sun-Times Opinion This Week

A weekly overview of opinions, analysis and commentary on issues affecting Chicago, Illinois and our nation by outside contributors, Sun-Times readers and the CST Editorial Board.

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