February 28, 2018

The Democratic Illinois legislature is likely to pass more gun control laws today, under emotional pressure from Chicago police. The laws are named after an officer who was killed, and of course, the tragic school shooting in Florida that killed 17 was also cited as a reason for rushing the laws through. Opponents argue that the bills are flawed and would mostly create more redundant paperwork and high costs for small gun dealers and inconvenience, high costs and legal jeopardy for law-abiding gun buyers.

But putting aside the merits of the proposed new laws, isn’t Chicago already an example of how well gun laws work? The city’s last Republican mayor was William Hale “Big Bill” Thompson, who left office in 1931. The NRA had little influence over the generations of liberal Democrat machine rule, and Chicago had some of the strictest anti-gun laws in the country. This week, the White House noted the high gun violence rate in Chicago, and that set the “fact-checkers” spinning like bald tires on an icy Chicago street to try to debunk the criticism. They complained that Chicago used to have tougher gun laws, but some were declared unconstitutional. They also blamed nearby states with less strict gun laws for being sources of guns to Chicago gang members.

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I concede both of those points. But complaining that police could control the public better if they didn’t have to obey the Constitution is not a real argument. And blaming nearby states for making it more convenient for criminals to skirt local gun laws glosses over the larger issue: that just proves criminals will find a way to get around laws and obtain guns. One survey of imprisoned gang members even found that they prefer illegal black market guns: no background checks and they’re harder to trace.

Besides, even with that pesky Constitution getting in the way, Illinois and especially Chicago still make it as hard as possible for law-abiding citizens to own, carry or practice shooting a firearm. Yet the city still had 650 killings in 2017. They’re boasting that it’s down slightly from 2016, but that’s still about twice the death total of New York and Los Angeles, both larger; and it averages out to a Parkland-level massacre every 9-1/2 days.

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Chicago Democrats are congratulating themselves on the drop and crediting gun laws and stepped-up police work, but a surprising new study by the Data Reporting Lab found that over the past 20 years, gun homicides in Chicago may have dropped by 30%, but shootings actually increased by 15%. The major reason gun deaths are down isn’t gun laws, better policing or fewer shootings but better trauma care. Hospitals have studied techniques learned in other war zones (Afghanistan and Iraq) and applied them in Chicago.

I would also sadly guess that Chicago hospitals and EMTs have probably gotten very good at treating gunshot wounds because they get constant practice.



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Comments 1-6 of 6

  • Dona Elliott

    03/11/2018 09:05 AM

    Maybe if Chicago would consider an immediate mandatory death penalty for gang members involved in shootings, instead of putting them in prison so they can recruit more gang members, they might actually reduce crime!

  • jim ethell

    03/03/2018 01:14 PM

    they always talk about the shooting deaths in chicago, but the total shootings in 2016 was 4349 according to the newly released statistics. that comes out to about 12 people shot every day---365 days a year.

  • Jacqueline Thompson

    03/01/2018 10:28 AM

    Not sure how your poll was conducted, Do you think Congress should ban the AR-15? Yes 18.6% No 76.5%. That appears to be very inaccurate. In my circle, which is the Chicagoland area with school age children that still need to live through high school, that poll response is likely completely opposite. 76% will agree to ban the AR-15 and 18% will say no. All gun purchasers must be highly screened whether it is at a gun store, private dealer and especially online purchases. Online gun purchases are a very real problem. The screening should be nationwide and not state by state. We must protect our children.

  • Joe Wilkerson

    02/28/2018 08:35 PM

    Chicago op-ed is right on Gov. Huckabee and the teacher that complained might ought to drop the loser school and come to Texas or some state that appreciates his concern. The NRA has more concern for everyone than 90% of the libs. Oh, I hope it does come back to bite the Libs in the butt. These people are so misinformed and I feel don't really give a crap.

  • Anne Fernandes

    02/28/2018 12:57 PM

    The truism from John Lydgate is/was: “You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time”.” In this knee-jerk culture, it feels as if none of the people are pleased even some of the time. Personally, I'm a gun-carrying conservative whose Bill of Rights is extremely important to her. I'm disheartened by the incessant back and forth diatribes of the left who are blinded by their narcissistic "my way or no way attitudes" of blaming me and my fellows for the ruination of the country. The truth is, if you are deceived, and by golly the left is deceived, you DON'T know you're deceived. Right?? Blame pulls up one's defenses, and I'm tired of having to defend my rights. So, we should be praying in this political climate that Chicago, and its ilk, be visited by the Lord's Holy Spirit, that their blinders be removed, that the scales would fall from their eyes, and that countrymen would be saved....and, yes, I said countryMEN without fear of repercussions.

  • Stephen Russell

    02/28/2018 11:50 AM

    Chicago should offer Armored Tours of gun shooting zones in the So Side alone.
    Guests don body armor & view shootings from armored bus or mini van.
    & bring cameras & use phones to record images.
    Since native Chicagoans dont seem to care.
    Or those living in the SoSide.
    PR Chicago Shooting Tours.
    Boost some "income" for city.
    Tours hosted by ex PD, EMT types.
    Escorts on tour are Ex PD, Sheriff types.
    & build wall from So Side & North side.
    See Berlin Wall (minus guard towers) on So & North Side.
    Enter So Side at Your Risk for locals.