Correlation doesn’t equal causation. So while “common sense” tells us that cities with draconian gun control laws suffer from higher levels of gun violence than cities where concealed carry is allowed, we have to resist the urge to—hold on. Has anyone read John Lott’s book More Guns, Less Crime? If it’s hard evidence you want, there it is. Just make sure you get a degree in statistics before reading. Meanwhile, the rest of us can only shake our heads at the violence in urban “gun-free” zones (i.e. cities where it’s virtually impossible for a law-abiding citizen to exercise their Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms). “Nineteen people were shot across the South and West sides from Thursday evening through early Friday morning — 13 of them wounded over a 30-minute period,” chicagotribune.com reports. Need I say more? Well yes, actually . . .
The standard response to soaring levels of gun crime: blame someone.
Some blame the cops for not doing their job. The cops say they’re under-resourced and ask for more men. Some blame the politicians for sitting on their hands. They say their hands are tied and ask for more power. Some blame society; society doesn’t say squat. Some blame the criminals. The criminals do what criminals do. And so on.
Curtailing gun crime is not about assigning blame. It’s about everyone in the societal food chain accepting responsibility for their actions, or lack thereof.
The Chicago police must take responsibility for the effectiveness of their internal and external policies (not torturing people was a good start). Chicago politicians must take responsibility for defending the United States Constitution (which is pretty clear on that whole gun rights deal). Society—as in each individual within society—must take responsibility for its own safety.
Concealed or (ideally) open carry is an excellent way for society to deter and shield itself from criminality. Not to go all Death Wish, but guns are also pretty handy for punishing those who would prey on its weakest members. As I’ve suggested many times civilian firearms foster a spirit of lawfulness and responsibility that no police force can provide.
There’s that word again. Of course Chicago’s criminals must accept responsibility for their actions; the community, police and pols must force them to do so. Bad guys shouldn’t be able to game the system; good guys shouldn’t allow the system to fail under the weight of numbers.
And there you have it: the recipe for a relatively safe and functional American city. As seen throughout the United States in cities where citizens exercise their Second Amendment-protected rights.
Saying that, there’s always crime. And it’s hard to separate cause from effect. Are these cities safer because armed citizens are the inherently less prone to put up with (indeed vote for) corruption, or are they less tolerant of corruption because they’re armed and thus empowered?
If I’d have to guess I’d say yes. Anyway, who cares? Chicago is a cesspool. Why not “let” law-abiding Americans in the Windy City exercise their lawful right to keep and bear arms and see what happens? It couldn’t be any worse than it already is and maybe it would get better.