Flashback: Chicago’s Murder Rate Was Even Higher During Handgun Ban

AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast
AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast

Chicago’s gun crime is soaring, and the city’s mayor is pushing more gun control as a solution, but Chicago’s homicide was even higher when the city’s handgun ban was in place.

In other words, more gun control correlated with even more death and suffering.

Breitbart News reported that Chicago witnessed nearly 4,400 shooting victims and almost 800 homicides in 2016. And the Chicago Tribune reported that the city passed 1,000 shooting victims this year before April concluded. This means Chicago is on track for a year similar to 2016 in pain and bloodshed, especially when one considers the elevated violence that comes with hot summer months.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s response? More gun control and continued limitations on law-abiding citizens’ rights to carry guns for self-defense.

The problem with Emanuel’s approach is that Chicago’s own history proves there were even more deaths when there was more gun control.

Chicago banned handgun ownership in 1982, and that ban was in place until the Supreme Court of the United States struck it down in McDonald v Chicago (2010). During the years that this ban was in place, Chicago witnessed homicide rates that topped 2016 by a wide margin.

For example, the Chicago Police Department reports there were 850 homicides during 1993. That is nearly 100 more homicides in 1993 than CNN’s figure of 762 homicides in 2016. Moreover, the Chicago Police Department shows there were 930 homicides in 1994; 921 homicides in 1991; and a startling 940 homicides in 1992.

The figure of 940 homicides in 1992 is nearly 200 more that CNN reported for 2016.

All these murders have one thing in common: they occurred at a time when the city barred law-abiding citizens from possessing handguns for self-defense. They could not have them in their homes or vehicles, much less on their persons. This meant the criminal did not have to worry about his victims shooting back.

But one did not have to wait for the 1990s to witness the death and suffering that correlated with the handgun ban; it was readily apparent during the first decade after the ban was in effect. That decade included 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, and 1989. The Tribune reports that the decade following the implementation of Chicago’s ban saw “murders [jump] by 41 percent, compared with an 18 percent rise in the entire United States.”

The bottom line is that gun control is not the solution, but it is part of the problem.

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 awrhawkins@breitbart.com.


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