Not long ago I did a post on the phenomenon of government checks stimulating gun sales. Today we get further confirmation in an article from the Chicago Sun Times:
Interestingly--but entirely predictably--whereas the weapon of choice in the past used to be "Saturday Night Specials", often .22 revolvers, the criminal element appears to have gone in for upgrading their armory, using their stimulus checks for that purpose. I've seen stories on shootings now that feature fairly upscale 9mm guns in unexpected situations.
I was bemused, however, to read about the new meaning to be attached to the familiar phrase "brown bagging it":
Trillions of dollars of federal COVID-19 relief checks have been sent out across the country to help people buy food and pay rent. In Chicago, they’re also helping to fuel gun sales — legally and illegally.
That’s according to authorities on the subject — including a 25-year-old convicted felon in West Garfield Park who says he spent some of his coronavirus stimulus money to buy a gun on the street.
“You gotta do what you gotta do to stay safe out here,” said the man, speaking on the condition his name not be used.
Felons need to protect themselves, too, and if other felons are upgrading, well, ya gotta keep up with the Joneses.
Law enforcement officials say they’re been building cases against people who have used their pandemic-relief checks to buy guns and illegally resell them on the street.
Here's a concept: Maybe it's time to ... pass another law?
But, not to be left out ...
Law-abiding people are buying guns with their relief checks, too.
Imagine that! Just possibly these law-abiding people have heard what their less law-abiding neighbors are up to.
Tio Hardiman, executive director of Violence Interrupters, a not-for-profit Chicago peace initiative, said the two first rounds of federal relief checks have helped fuel a hot market for guns in low-income neighborhoods in Chicago.
“Yes, people are using money they are receiving from COVID-19 resources to buy firearms,” Hardiman said, describing illegal gun possession as out of control. “We hear stories about people selling semi-automatics out of shopping bags these days.”
Last year, the number of killings in Chicago was up 55% over the previous year. And the numbers are continuing to soar.
Illinois set a record for lawful gun purchases last year. The Illinois State Police reported more than 554,000 gun-transfer inquiries in 2020 compared with 385,000 in 2019.
Life, or what passes for it, goes on in this Great Reset of the Covid era.