Newt Gingrich presented a probing newsletter to members of House members questioning the effectiveness of Chicago’s anti-gun tactics and Chicago’s undeserved title of Murder Capital of the United States. A title earned with over 500 gun homicides last year — about 1 for every 5,300 people.
Gingrich asked, Why doesn’t Vice President Biden take his gun commission to Chicago, the murder capital of the United States and a place with some of the strictest gun laws in the country? By way of comparison, New York City had just 237 gun homicides with more than three times the population — only about three gun homicides per 100,000 people.
Chicago had more than 500 gun homicides in 2012, roughly 19 per 100,000 people. This puts the city of Chicago at more than 6 times the national gun homicide rate.
RT News recently reported that Chicago’s murder rate has far outpaced even other notoriously dangerous cities and will most likely be 2013’s US murder capital with 18 murders so far this year. New York City has only seen seven murders through Jan. 7, even though its population is three times as large as Chicago while Detroit, MI, which is experiencing a 20-year murder rate high, was host to six homicides through Sunday.
Yet in Chicago, it is effectively illegal to possess a handgun outside the confines of your own home. (Even taking the gun outdoors on your own property can be illegal.) Long guns face similar prohibitions outside the home or place of business. And if you have more than one gun in your household, only one at a time may be maintained in “operable” condition.
All gun owners must register themselves with Chicago police, allow themselves to be fingerprinted and take a training course on gun use, supervised by police officers, in addition to paying a $100 fee. They must also register each gun individually, at a cost of $15 per firearm.
In addition, a whole assortment of rifles and shotguns are banned completely, including many of the so-called “assault” weapons.
These prohibitions are not new to the city. In fact, for most of the last 30 years, Chicago had even stricter laws than they do today. In 2010, the Supreme Court struck down a ban on all handguns that had been on the books since 1982. The city continues to attempt to restrict guns as much as it can get away with without conflicting with the Court’s decision.
Many media elites, who are wealthy enough that they rarely need to worry about their own personal safety, are saying constantly these days that the U.S.’s gun homicide rate — higher than some cherry picked countries with gun bans — is proof that we, too, need to disarm our population.
But in Chicago, officials have gone as far as they can toward an outright ban and the city has one of the highest gun homicide rates in the developed world.
If the absence of strong gun laws account for gun violence, then how do they explain such significant outliers as Chicago? How many of these advocates for prohibition would feel the same way if they had to live in a place with the kind of lawlessness that is occurring in Chicago, with a murder rate many times the national average?
The Vice President’s commission on gun control ought to start there in the murder capital of America… and the House Republicans should immediately begin hearings on how the gun control laws now being proposed have worked out for the people of the Windy City.
The answer, as last year’s historic gun homicide rate suggests, is not very well.