Chicago and gun control are so intertwined that the legacy of one is the legacy of the other. With that said, it is worth noting that “about 91 percent” of Chicago homicides in 2016 were committed with a firearm, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Think about it–Chicago has played host to decades of gun control experiments, including an all-out handgun ban from 1982-2010. Yet 2016 witnessed 779 homicides in the city, and over 9 out of 10 of those were firearm-related. And even after the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit struck down Illinois’ ban on concealed carry in December 2012, city leaders fought to make implementation of concealed carry as difficult as possible. For example, on September 15, 2013, American Thinker reported that Mayor Rahm Emanuel was fighting to block off sections of the city where concealed carry permit holders would be barred from carrying guns for self-defense.
These and other gun controls ultimately do one thing–they make it difficult for law-abiding citizens to acquire and carry the guns they need for self-defense, while doing nothing to curtail the behavior of criminals, who will always acquire and carry the guns they use in crime.
Fast-forward to 2016 and Chicago’s gun-control legacy–779 homicides, more than 9 out of 10 of which were committed with a firearm.
On January 2, 2017, the Chicago Tribune pointed to a recent study from the University of Chicago Crime Lab which shows “that of the five largest U.S. cities by population, including New York City, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Houston, Chicago has seen the largest single-year homicide increase of the last 25 years.” Moreover, whereas “Los Angeles’ homicides committed with guns averaged 72 percent from 2011 to 2015, and 60 percent in New York City,” the rate is Chicago is now “about 91 percent.”
University of Chicago social service administration professor Jens Ludwig stressed that the growing use of guns for homicide in Chicago does not necessarily mean there are more guns in Chicago now than in the past. Rather, the situation may simply be that criminals feel less compunction about using guns to take lives in cold blood; therefore, more firearm-related homicides are showing up.
It is interesting to note that the rate of firearm usage in homicides was “about 76 percent” in 1998. That climbed to “88 percent” on Obama’s watch during 2015, and now sits at “about 91 percent.” This is the legacy of gun control.
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of “Bullets with AWR Hawkins,” a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.