For three decades, Chicago banned all handguns. The crime rate skyrocketed. Murders soared. Gangs proliferated. Desperate city officials even considered calling the National Guard to combat out-of-control violence. The Supreme Court struck down Chicago’s individual firearms ownership prohibition in 2010, but the city’s liberal elite rewrote the law and the city still has among the strictest gun control laws in the country. How’s it working out?
Many reality-based opponents of a post-Newtown crackdown are reminding gun-control zealots of the failed Chicago experiment:
There were 192 shootings in Chicago throughout the month of November – a 49 percent increase from a year earlier – according to police records obtained by the Chicago Tribune.
In November of 2011, Chicago recorded 129 shootings compared to the 192 shootings this November. Police records also reveal that shootings increased more than 11 percent in the first 11 months of 2012 compared with a year earlier.
Total homicides in Chicago rose to 480 for the first eleven months of 2012; a 21 percent increase from last year. On November 30, 2012, there were four fatal shootings within the city. These murders brought the homicide total to 38 for the month, just above the 37 recorded in November of last year.
Despite having some of the strictest gun laws in the country, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel plans on restricting gun ownership further by banning individuals with a violent misdemeanor conviction from getting a gun permit for five years. The mayor also hopes to ban convicted felons from ever owning a gun.
Emanuel’s intentions are no doubt well intentioned, but like many cities with strict gun laws, the disarming of law-abiding citizens doesn’t remove guns from the hands of those who wish to do harm. On the contrary, it often leaves innocent victims vulnerable to criminals.