Last week, the city of Chicago reached its 500th murder for the 2012 calendar year. Mayor Rahm Emanuel called this “an unfortunate and tragic milestone”. That’s putting it mildly. In a city with some of the toughest gun laws in the country, that serves as a shining beacon for gun control according to the Lunacy Campaign, at least 500 people were murdered in 2012. How can this be possible?
I couldn’t find published murder rates by city in the FBI Uniform Crime Reports for 2011, but no matter, it’s a simple calculation. Looking at the crime by city in Illinois for 2011, we find that in 2011, there were 431 reported murders in Chicago, with a population of 2,703,713. That gives us a murder rate of 15.94 per 100,000.
Using the same population of 2,703,713 for 2012 (presumably the population will have gone up slightly, but since I don’t have that number, the 2011 population will be used), 500 murders gives Chicago a murder rate of 18.49. That’s an increase of 16%.
Gun Control in Chicago
Chicago’s gun laws have long been some of the country’s most strict. Concealed carry is against the law (though clearly the criminals didn’t get the memo), and prior to the 2010 McDonald v. Chicago Supreme Court ruling, you couldn’t even have a handgun in your own home.
After the McDonald ruling, Chicago was forced to allow citizens to own handguns in their homes, but not without considerable effort. The hoops you must jump through and the limitations imposed are many, including the registration of all firearms, an “assault weapons” ban, and a ban on magazines (you know, those things that everyone in the media calls clips?) that hold more than 10 rounds.
Gun control in Chicago has most certainly been a failure, no matter how you slice the data. If you look at other highly populated cities in the United States, you’ll find several different scenarios with which to compare.
For example, New York has a higher population, a lower murder rate, but still has a high level of gun control. This would appear to support the argument that gun control works. An opposing example is Houston, which has nearly the same population as Chicago, a much lower murder rate, and a low level of gun control. Houston and Chicago appear to support the argument that gun control does not work.
Looking at individual large cities in the United States, there doesn’t appear to be any strict pattern, so where does this leave us? Both sides of the gun control debate can find data that supports their argument. This should lead to an obvious conclusion: it’s not about the guns. If it was, Chicago wouldn’t have the crime problem that it does, and Houston’s crime problem would be much worse than it is.
The truth is, murder has never been about the tool used in the implementation. Evil exists in the world, and has always existed, both today and before guns were invented. You cannot legislate your way out of this reality.
Gun control doesn’t work, and Chicago proves it. What’s worse, is that as draconian as Chicago’s gun control laws are, if Dianne Feinstein and crew have their way, even worse gun control laws are coming, and coming nationwide.