There are countless tales from the Old Wild West of gangs of outlaws daringly robbing stagecoaches and trains of their valuable cargo.
As everything that is old eventually becomes new again, we are now learning of a new series of train heists that are enriching bandits with valuable goods, this time in the wild West and South Sides of Chicago, according to the Chicago Tribune.
The paper recounted an incident that occurred in April 2015 in which rival gang members teamed up to rob a parked cargo train in a Norfolk Southern rail yard, hitting the robbery jackpot by finding a large shipment of guns manufactured by Sturm, Ruger & Co. that were en route from the New Hampshire factory to Spokane, Washington.
The gangsters made off with an assortment of more than 100 revolvers and semi-automatic pistols, which immediately disappeared into the city. Some have turned up after being used in other crimes, but only about 16 of them have been recovered by authorities thus far.
Nor was this an isolated incident, as similar thefts netting fewer firearms occurred in September 2016 and in 2014.
WGN noted that the problem stemmed from the fact that numerous rail lines converge on Chicago, resulting in trains often having to wait in overgrown rail yards in run-down sections of the city for their turn to pass through the limited switch yards, leaving them vulnerable to robbers armed with bolt cutters searching for anything of value that can be moved on the streets, with firearms obviously being at the top of the wish-list.
In fact, the investigation revealed that there have been at least 400 such train robberies over the past five years in Chicago, though of course firearms are not usually the item being stolen. It is unclear if this number also accounts for robberies of victims on passenger trains.
Unfortunately, nobody seems willing or able to accept responsibility for preventing the robberies, as the railroads and manufacturers are heavily insured against losses like this, leaving them with little incentive to invest in extra security for the rail yards where cargo trains sit and wait for hours on end.
This leaves only the already over-stretched police and local communities to keep watch over the hundreds of small rail yards scattered about the city.
With there being no doubt that at least some of the stolen guns have been used in crimes, including murder, some local politicians have jumped on the gun control bandwagon again, decrying supposedly lax gun laws in Illinois and neighboring states like Indiana, demanding that something be done.
But as Breitbart pointed out, these heists have absolutely nothing to do with gun control laws and instead are simple robberies — which are already against the law — of a variety of products being shipped from producer to retailer, with firearms happening to be the occasional highlight score for the bandits.
Unfortunately the oppressive gun control laws in Chicago mean that the law-abiding citizens remain at a disarmed disadvantage while criminals continue to be armed and continue to do their worst to a terrorized population.
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