During the month of July, something not-so-unusual happened in the City of Chicago—44 people were killed, 39 of which involved firearms, bringing the total dead for the year to 296, of which 269 had been fatally shot.

At least, that was the count from a remarkable website called heyjackass.com, which keeps a running count on all things crime-related in the Windy City. Earlier this year, a short documentary produced by Punch Out Films (that can be viewed on YouTube) told the story of Chicago’s mean streets. It was wall-to-wall despair.

What caught the attention of Insider Online was the sad fact that on the same weekend of the tragic shooting at the annual Garlic Festival in Gilroy, Cali. that claimed three lives and left 15 other people wounded, Chicago served up nine homicides and 39 people wounded. And, of course, the national headlines focused on California; probably because it involved a 19-year-old who bought the gun in Nevada legally, but then illegally brought it into the Golden State. Once there, he violated various laws ranging from assault with a deadly weapon to bringing a gun into a gun-free zone to homicide.

At the time of this writing, more than 1,400 people have been shot and wounded in Chicago in 2019. In just July, 286 people were wounded by gunfire.

It’s important to keep these numbers in mind because the gun prohibition lobby and its friends on Capitol Hill apparently have a distorted viewpoint that people misusing guns in Chicago are somehow representative of law-abiding gun owners all over the landscape, and they must be regulated. Of course, if that were the case, the country would quickly run out of cemetery space.

Now, in the midst of all this carnage, the truly bizarre and tragically ironic sometimes rise to the surface.

El Paso Gun Sales, Firearm Classes Surge!

In the wake of the El Paso rampage that left 22 people dead, Reuters is reporting a sudden spike in firearm sales and attendance at training classes with the “vast majority” of those attending being Hispanic.

Insider Online checked into this phenomenon and learned that class attendance at Gun Center, a large El Paso retailer, was about 600 percent above normal for Saturday and Sunday sessions, where the normal number is “approximately seven,” as explained to Reuters by Michael McIntyre, the store’s general manager.

On top of that, gun sales doubled during the week following the shooting at a Walmart store in the West Texas city. Two people purchasing guns at Gun Center were reportedly in the Walmart on the day of the shooting.

By no small coincidence, Texas Gov. Greg Abbot, a Republican, recently signed pro-gun legislation that includes lifting a ban on the carrying of firearms in places of worship, Reuters noted.

Wrong Victim in Fatal Drive-by

Proving for the umpteenth time that fact is stranger than fiction, Newsweek reported last month about a drive-by shooting gone so bad it belongs in a Quentin Tarantino movie script.

A fellow identified as 26-year-old Matthew Gibson was fatally wounded, allegedly by his front seat passenger, identified as Jake Lee, who just happened to be on parole after having done eight years for aggravated battery with a handgun, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. Aside from being a rotten shot, he was a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.

This caper unfolded on a Sunday morning at about 5:40 a.m. as a vehicle described as a white SUV pulled up next to Gibson’s car. Lee is alleged to have fired a .40-caliber pistol at the SUV, but shot Gibson in the head, instead, according to Fox32 News.

Maybe the only “good” thing resulting from this was the report that Gibson’s organs were donated after he was taken off life support.

The shooting was apparently captured on surveillance video.

Anti-violence Activists Shot Dead

Many in Chicago were mourning the tragic slayings of two women identified by Fox News as volunteers for a group called “Mothers Against Senseless Killings (MASK).”

Their deaths were, indeed, senseless according to news accounts.

Chantell Grant and Andrea Stoudemire were working as “peace keepers” on a street corner in the Englewood neighborhood one Friday evening last month when a blue SUV rolled up and someone inside cut loose.

They were among 48 people shot that weekend. Eight of those people, including Grant and Stoudemire, died. Friends quickly launched a GoFundMe reward campaign and swiftly raised more than $9,000. That number has likely gone up by now, which suggests that people really want to find the thugs who did this.

MASK members reportedly now consider that street corner to be “sacred ground.”

According to heyjackass.com, the Englewood neighborhood is the second deadliest “hood” in Chicago. At this writing, there have been 24 homicides and 111 people wounded in shootings this year, in that part of the city alone.

The most violent “hood” is the Austin area, which has racked up 31 of the city’s slayings in 2019.

Shot Placement Detailed

The heyjackass.com website offers some other grim statistics that might be the work of a deranged gunwriter.

One column details shot placement on victims. So far, 85 people have been killed with head shots and another 43 wounded with bullets to the head. Another 63 people were killed by chest shots, while 74 chest-wound victims survived, so far.

Twenty-one people were fatally shot in the back and 128 were wounded; 14 others were victims of neck wounds while 23 others survived similar injuries.

The bad news in all of this is that 2019 still has more than four months remaining to jack up the body count even higher.

Interesting Reading for Travelers

There’s a new book that ought to be required reading for armed citizens who travel.

It’s titled “Legal Boundaries By State: The Travel Guide for American Gun Owners,” published by ConcealedCarry.com.

This little volume is loaded with information valuable to the “good guys with guns” who may cross several state lines in their travels. Described simply as “a legal reference book,” it contains summery information on each state’s gun laws, plus the District of Columbia.

You’ll find out about open carry, if a state has a “duty to notify law enforcement,” state magazine limits (if any), guns in cars, laws relating to state and national parks, firearms in hotels, concealed carry reciprocity, state preemption laws, non-resident permits/licenses and much more. There is also a section on air travel.

This is probably a book that belongs on every bookshelf and in every vehicle glove box.