It’s long been a curiosity of interest to the right that Chicago’s draconian gun control laws have done little to stem the city’s problems with gun violence.
It’s almost as if the Windy City was an object lesson that A doesn’t necessarily stop B from happening. Who would have thought?
As someone who’s written about gun and gang violence in Chicago for some time, it’s pretty easy to become inured to it. Even for the most hard-hearted of writers, however, the death of 9-year-old Tyshawn Lee had to be an exception.
Two gang members will almost certainly be spending the rest of their natural lives behind bars for the execution-style murder of the young boy back in 2015 — a murder which was retaliation for a gang attack allegedly carried out by his father weeks earlier.
According to the New York Post, gunman Dwright Doty, 26, and 31-year-old Corey Morgan, who planned the hit, were sentenced Wednesday to a combined 155 years in prison — 90 for Doty, 65 for Morgan. Both will have to serve out the entirety of their sentences and will almost certainly die behind bars.
“Little Tyshawn was still in his school uniform in a playground in the city’s South Side when Doty befriended him, luring him to an alley before blasting him several times at close range, the trial heard,” the Post reported.
“Seven .40-caliber shells were found by the boy’s body, along with his basketball. His autopsy showed he had tried to shield himself with his hands before a bullet struck his head.”
Morgan had turned down a 25-year plea deal to try his luck at trial, with his lawyer blaming it all on Doty.
“That execution of that 9-year-old boy has to come from one singularly evil person,” Thomas Breen told jurors. “Not from a plan. His killer did so of his own volition and for his own reason. Not at the behest or help of Corey Morgan.”
Doty’s lawyer, for his part, said Morgan had more of a motive to commit the crime; Lee’s father, Pierre Stokes, was a member of a branch of the Gangster Disciples called the Killa Ward. He was allegedly responsible for an attack which killed Morgan’s brother and wounded his mother. Morgan and Doty were members of an offshoot of the rival Black P Stones gang known as Bang Gang/Terror Dome.
Morgan had allegedly threatened revenge against “grandmamas, mamas, kids and all.”
The jury didn’t buy either explanation and neither did the judge, going by the sentences.
“Where does this mind-numbing, debilitating, senseless violence stop?” Judge Thaddeus Wilson told the courtroom in what the Chicago Tribune referred to as “impassioned” sentencing remarks. “Grandmas, mamas, kids and all are not fair game.”
Lee’s grandmother and great-grandmother, meanwhile, put out an equally impassioned statement.
“You preyed on Tyshawn, you lied to Tyshawn, you lured Tyshawn and then you murdered Tyshawn,” they said.
“You left his little 9-year-old body in a cold alley on the ground to die. … ‘In cold blood’ does not do justice.”
It’s not just that these two men were able to get a hold of a gun to kill this 9-year-old. The details of this odious crime prove the invariable problem with gun control.
Trying to take guns out of the hands of craven individuals like these won’t do anything to solve the problem. Gangbangers can find guns and most importantly, these are people who would kill with them. You don’t murder a 9-year-old boy without having some deep moral rot within your character.
That’s the issue here. It’s not access to weaponry.
These are people who have no qualms murdering young children because of gang violence — not because they were caught in the crossfire, but because they were fair game due to what the child’s father allegedly did.
If we don’t address that moral vacuum at the heart of our country, all the gun laws in the world are meaningless. And it’s not just gun violence, either.
If you’re not a Twitter denizen, you may have missed what was known as the “conservative porn war” — a back-and-forth among conservative figures on social media about whether we should tighten restrictions on pornography for moral betterment.
Considering there are virtually no restrictions on pornography — which has been definitively identified as a health hazard that has commoditized sex and hindered normal, healthy sexual relationships between couples over the past few decades — some regulations may not be the worst thing in the world. After all, there’s a regulatory web surrounding guns and gun ownership, and gun ownership is constitutionally protected.
However, here’s the reason that most restrictions on pornography are doomed to fail: They don’t address the underlying cultural sickness and processes that drive men to pornographic addiction and abuse. Without some kind of structure in place, all the laws in the world are wholly useless.
Likewise, Chicago officials would no doubt blame violent crimes like Lee’s murder on guns from elsewhere or lax policing, or some combination thereof. No doubt it also has something to do with the bitter clingers who still think the Second Amendment means something.
Eliminate legal gun ownership throughout the Midwest, however, and this would still happen. It’d likely happen on the same scale. Furthermore, law-abiding Chicagoans wouldn’t be able to protect themselves, like they aren’t able to now.
Tyshawn Lee’s death was a grave tragedy. It couldn’t have been prevented by gun control. Period. It’s only when we extirpate the weeds growing in our moral garden that we will be free of this kind of violence.
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