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Two Chicago news stories tell the story of America’s gun violence

Chicago’s got a gun problem? Yes. Because America’s got a gun problem.

The casket for nine-year-old Tyshawn Lee is carried into St. Sabina Church on Nov. 10, 2015.
The casket for nine-year-old Tyshawn Lee is carried into St. Sabina Church on Nov. 10, 2015.
Brian Jackson/File photo for the Sun-Times

For anybody who requires further evidence that gun insanity is a national problem and Chicago can’t end its gun violence alone, we would refer you to page 10 of the Friday edition of the Sun-Times.

Two news reports tell the story.

In the first report, we learned that the gun used four years ago to kill a 9-year-old Chicago boy, Tyshawn Lee, was bought from a pawn shop in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where gun laws are much more relaxed than here. The buyer mailed the gun, plus a second one, to a friend in Chicago.

This happens all the time. “Straw purchasers,” as they are called, buy guns out of state for people who can’t buy them in Illinois. All it takes is a desire for easy money and a lack of conscience.

Because you don’t want to think too hard about how those guns are used.

“I didn’t think about it. Out of sight, out of mind,” the straw purchaser in this case, Andre Williams, testified in court on Thursday. “I knew they probably wasn’t being used for something good.”

In the second news story — a brief at the bottom of page 10 — we learned that a gun used to shoot a Chicago police officer and two other people was bought at a gun shop in suburban Minneapolis. The straw purchaser, according to prosecutors, bought the gun for her ex-boyfriend’s cousin, a convicted felon who could not buy it himself.

The gun was used to shoot a man in Minneapolis in July, according to authorities, before it magically found its way to Chicago, where it was used this month to shoot the police officer and a woman who was walking to lunch.

Two stories about illegal guns on one page of the Sun-Times? We can’t get around it. That’s the news in this town.

We need tough national background checks for anybody buying a gun, even if from a friend or neighbor. We need nationwide age restrictions. We need a national law that allows a judge to temporarily prevent someone who is in crisis from having access to gun.

Chicago’s got a gun problem? Yes.

Because America’s got a gun problem.

Send letters to letters@suntimes.com.