It’s been nearly two and a half months since two women were wounded by a stray bullet(s?) while taking in a White Sox game at Guaranteed Rate Field. You’d think two fans getting shot while enjoying America’s pastime would be big news — and it was, for a while. But this is Chicago, the city the right loves to point to when screeching about crime (though cities like St. Louis, Missouri, Shreveport Louisiana, and Mobile, Alabama consistently outrank Chicago in per capita murders), and gun violence is, tragically, not hard to come by. And, since the shooting took place on Aug. 25, 2023, there have been three major mass shootings that made national news and dozens that did not. America is a country steeped in gun violence.
All of that would leave you to believe that Major League Baseball, at least, would have a vested interest in wanting fans to feel safe at America’s ballparks so that they continue to go to ballparks. MLB ended the 2023 season with the highest attendance rate since 2017, but its rapidly aging fan base has been a story for years, and that means getting families with kids out to the ol’ ballpark. Which, I assume, families are much less likely to do if they fear their children will be gunned down while eating hot dogs on the third baseline.
At the end of September, one of the shooting victims broke her silence, telling Channel 7 in Chicago that she did not, as had been reported, smuggle a gun into the game in her belly fat. According to the victim, “She absolutely did not sneak a gun into the ballpark…She also said she has never even owned a firearm, although she does have a FOID card. The victim said she has been fully cooperating with police, but the last time they contacted her was the day after the shooting.”
Whether or not the woman brought a gun into the park and accidentally discharged it, shooting herself in the leg, seems like something that could have been easily uncovered by now, if that were the case. But the woman’s attorney, John Malm, told ABC 7, “The evidence that we have, both of the injuries and of the X-ray demonstrating the position of the slug in her leg tell us that she did not shoot herself.” If the woman did bring a gun into the park, she would have had to have stashed it somewhere before she was taken to the hospital, but there haven’t been any reports of anyone recovering a gun at the scene. The whole situation is bizarre.
Chicago Police, meanwhile, haven’t updated the public on the investigation in over a month, and told Deadspin that, while the investigation remains ongoing, “there are no updates at this time.” And while it’s unfair to judge what’s going on in an active investigation based on what the police tell the public, it sure feels like everyone has just chalked this up to “America — what can you do?” No one even seems to agree on whether the shots came from inside or outside the ballpark, which seems like something Dwight Schrute could come up with in the parking lot of Dunder Mifflin. If someone got a gun past security and into a major league ballpark, that’s a big problem. If the stands at Guaranteed Rate Field are positioned so that someone can shoot into the park from outside it, that’s a bigger problem.
If you, like me, are old enough not to have grown up with active shooter drills and people bringing semi-automatic weapons to Starbucks, all of this seems surreal. When the Loma Prieta Earthquake halted the World Series in 1989, it was a big deal. Imagine what would have happened if someone had been shot during an MLB game in 1989. We’d have been talking about it for weeks, even months. The date would have been etched in history and something people write oral histories about. Instead, it seems to have cycled in and out of the news cycle like every other mass shooting in America.
Alas, in America in 2023, you can be shot for going to Walmart, church, temple, a bar, a movie theater, a country music show in Las Vegas, elementary school, middle school, high school, the grocery store, and just about anywhere else you can think of. Maybe worrying about guns at the ballpark is the most American thing one can do.
Original source here
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