The parents of Hadiya Pendleton, murdered at the age of 15, were present as President Obama delivered his State of Union speech last night. Would Hadiya's tragic murder have been prevented by any of the measures Mr. Obama proposed? Probably not.
Would a ban on assault weapons have prevented this crime? No, the killer probably used a revolver
. Would background checks have helped? Probably not, despite what the expert interviewed in the preceding link says. Extending background checks to gun shows or even to private sales by law-abiding individuals won't stop criminals from getting them through black-market sales or just stealing them. (I am not against background checks. I just don't think they will have a large effect on crime rates.)
So what does work? Mostly measures that are opposed by the same people calling for these ineffective measures. First, locking criminals up works. Jason Meisner of the ChiTrib reports
The reputed gang member accused of gunning down 15-year-old Hadiya
Pendleton last month was on the street even though he had been arrested
three times in connection with break-ins and trespassing while on
probation for a weapons conviction in recent months, the Tribune has
In two of those arrests, including one just 2 1/2 months ago, Cook
County probation officials failed to notify prosecutors or the judge
that Michael Ward had been arrested on the new misdemeanor charges and
allegedly violated his probation.
The head of the county's probation department acknowledged Monday that
his office fell short in its responsibilities and vowed to find out what
If they hadn't "fallen short" in locking up this criminal, Hadiya would be alive.
Another measure that works is the proactive policing of the kind New York City uses over the vehement opposition of the Politically Correct. Holman Jenkins has this column in the WSJ: