The city of Chicago is home to some of the strictest gun control laws in the United States and has been for decades. But somehow the murder rate there continues to be one of the highest in the nation. Go figure. Democrat mayor Rahm Emanuel was elected in 2011, and despite efforts to further restrict firearms within the city limits the situation hasn’t improved. In fact nearly 200 more people were shot go death in the Windy City in 2016 than the year before.
The usual media suspects are quick to blame — wait for it — guns for Chicago’s crime problems. The civilian disarmament activists at The Trace noted that Chicago’s murder rate is actually “normal” if you ignore firearms related deaths. As Dan pointed out in last night’s Digest, that’s like saying Michael Moore eats the same amount as anyone else each day…until he sits down to dinner.
The Trace fingers guns as the source of the problem. Some note that Chicago’s firearms laws have been relaxed in recent years, specifically extending licensed concealed carry to the windy city and easing handgun ownership restrictions through federal court rulings. Both of those changes, though, only apply to law-abiding properly licensed firearms owners who have passed a background check. According to Chicago officials, though, roughly 80% of the murders involving firearms are gang-related, perpetrated by people who can’t pass background checks and have zero regard for the law.
Mayor Emanuel has put together yet another proposal to try to combat this “scourge of gun violence.” It basically boils down to the Tarkin Doctrine — hiring hundreds of new police officers to patrol the streets. Some might argue that approach is doomed so long as the city maintains a catch-and-release legal system and continues to ignore the cultural factors contributing to the problem.
In a tweet the other day President-Elect Donald Trump provided an electronic dope slap to Mayor Emanuel, encouraging him to get his act together.
Chicago murder rate is record setting – 4,331 shooting victims with 762 murders in 2016. If Mayor can’t do it he must ask for Federal help!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 2, 2017
The MSM have interpreted this as Trump threatening to invade Chicago with federal troops, but in reality it seems to be a pretty common sense approach at least politically. People are dying in Chicago at an alarming rate. Mayor Emanuel has a responsibility to his citizens to maintain law and order and make the city safe.
If Emanuel can’t improve the situation with the resources available — and given his six-year track record, there’s no reason to believe he can — he has an obligation to the families of potential future victims of violence in his benighted city to get help where he can. While someone once noted that the nine most terrifying words in the English language are, “I’m from the government and I’m here to help,” with new management coming to Washington, it may be worth a try.