- The Washington Times - Saturday, July 19, 2014

Adding to the city’s already violent year, 22 people were shot in just a 12 hour period in Chicago at the start of the weekend.

The violence occurred between 3:30 p.m. Friday and 3:00 a.m., with most of the incidents in areas west of downtown, the Chicago Tribune said.

Among the victims is a 10-year-old girl, who is now at a hospital in “extremely critical condition,” Chicago authorities said. A 12-year-old-girl was also shot.

Although violence usually ticks up in the summer months, the shootings come just two weeks after the 4th of July weekend where more than 60 people were shot and nine died.

So far in 2014, according to data from the Chicago Tribune, there have been 1,254 shooting victims in Chicago. Violent crimes have been slowly on the decline, down from the high in 2001.

But the Chicago Police Department estimates that 2014’s average has been about five shootings per day.

“It’s unacceptable,” Father Michael Pfleger of St. Sabina Catholic Church told Chicago’s ABC7 station this month. “We wouldn’t accept it in Iraq, we shouldn’t accept it in Chicago.”

Following the spat of July 4th shootings, Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said he blames weak gun sentencing laws that gives criminals with firearms a slap on the wrist, allowing them to again walk free on city streets.

“There has to come a tipping point where this changes,” Mr. McCarthy told reporters. “These offenders need to be held fully accountable for violent behavior to prevent them from ending up back on the street too soon…There’s too many guns coming in and too little punishment going out.”

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