Previous Post
Next Post


While is not an “official” tabulator of homicides in Chicago, they show that only nine out of about 700 homicides in Chicago this year have been listed as resulting from self defense (11 are classified as police-related). That’s close to the official ratio listed in the FBI Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) for the nation as a whole, which shows police justified homicides occur a little more frequently than non-police justified homicides.

Both of those numbers are significantly under reported for Chicago. Only about one out of five non-police justified homicides are caught by the UCR. It appears that about half of justified police shootings show up in the UCR.

Nationally, the clearance rates for homicides is about 63 percent. We know that most homicides occur among criminals and their criminal associates. Most of them are not legally able to possess firearms. They have a significant incentive to avoid the authorities.

In Indianapolis, police are wondering how many unsolved homicides were justified. From

During recent months, IMPD commanders were discussing whether some of the murders investigated by detectives should be reclassified as self-defense homicides.

On Sept. 14, the bodies of Mack Taylor and Alexander Brown were discovered in an alley near the 3000 block of North Gladstone Avenue where detectives determined two days earlier they had attempted to rob a drug dealer.

Detectives have considered whether or not that drug dealer fired back in self-defense of a home invasion robbery.

“You have the right to use deadly force to prevent the threat, imminent threat, you don’t have to wait to get hit,” said Hennessey. “It could be serious bodily injury or death so you can kill someone that is gonna beat you up.”

A few days later three people died of wounds as the result of a shootout in the 2000 block of West 76th Street. A fourth person survived, and, without any witnesses left alive to counter his story, claimed he was defending himself from a drug robbery.

“Just because you’re committing a crime doesn’t mean that you have to allow yourself to be robbed or killed or beaten up,” said Hennessey.

In some cities, such as Chicago, the clearance rate is much lower, about 20 percent. If the chance of being caught after justifiably killing someone is one out of five, many criminals are accepting that risk. A feedback effect occurs. People don’t trust the police, the police solve fewer cases, so fewer people trust the police.

In Chicago the feedback loop has been accelerated with the Ferguson Effect, where the authorities don’t back up the police, so the police take fewer risks, leading to higher homicide rates.


Those figures — known as the clearance rate — include homicides marked as solved in the current year but committed in different years. But when old cases are stripped out, Chicago’s clearance rate for 2016 homicides drops to about 21 percent. In all, Chicago police had solved just 92 of 432 homicides committed in 2016 through Aug. 16, according to police statistics.

Experts point to several reasons for the exceptionally low clearance rate in Chicago. Most killings in Chicago take place amid a street gang culture that intimidates anyone from coming forward with information.

“It’s reflective of witnesses that don’t want to come forward; they’re afraid gang members will retaliate,” said Thomas Alexander, a University of Maryland professor who researches clearance rates. “Another reason for low clearance in gang killings are people just don’t trust the police.”

As cities become less law abiding, tax revenues plunge. In Chicago the number of officers has been reduced significantly in the last seven years. The number of Chicago detectives has dropped from 1,151 in 2009 to 863 in 2016. Crime scene technicians fell from 113 to 84.

Crime increases poverty at least as much as poverty increases crime. It’s certain that some percentage of unsolved homicides were justified. We will never know how many.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.

Gun Watch

Previous Post
Next Post


  1. “How Many Chicago Firearms-Related Homicides Were Justifiable Self-Defense?”

    That really depends on who you ask.


  2. First….Happy New Year to all !

    Next, statistics.

    Based on the information provided, the self-defense rate (i.e. the chance of needing a gun for self-defense) is 0.0129 out of ~700 shootings as of November 2016. Even presuming the same rate of shootings and the portion attributed to self-defense, the likelihood of someone making a successful self-defense with a gun (conveniently, the information in the posting tells us nothing of successful self-defense with other weapons) is lower than even the deaths of those poor people accidentally killed by gunshot (~500); a statistic you dismiss as insignificant, not worth discussing, of no consequence. Interesting how many gun lovers are willing to ignore innocent death at the hands of gun owners, but will race about screaming how guns are so necessary, so often. Statistic for statistic, I would trade those 9 people alive in Chicago for those 500 who will die at the hands of an incompetent gun owner. 9 dead versus 500 dead. If you cannot fully eliminate “accidents”, what hope is there you can rid us of those mere 9 incidents where a gun use was justified?

    • No, you cannot bring in made-up tales of unreported self-defense events. The number of such is a complete unknown, and speculation is not data.

      • We can bring up whatever we want. I see censorship is a tool you like along with violating human and civil rights. Quite the fascist you are.

        We used to get good trolls here. Now we get the low rent dudes that kapo bloomberg hires. He’s too cheap to pay for good.

    • ” Statistic for statistic, I would trade those 9 people alive in Chicago for those 500 who will die at the hands of an incompetent gun owner. 9 dead versus 500 dead.”

      I don’t doubt for one bit you wouldn’t make that trade.

      500 lives lost isn’t an insignificant number. Since it’s obviously a high number of lives senselessly lost each year, let’s work on making sure tens of thousands of lives aren’t senselessly lost. We have one way to irrefutably save tens of thousands of lives each year.

      Make the national speed limit 20 MPH *strictly* enforced for all except police, fire, etc.

      What’s so damn important about driving at clearly lethal velocities? Your job? Leave for work 30 min earlier each day, then.

      Your callous lack of regard for other lives just because you want to get to where you’re going a few minuets faster is shocking. Are you going out to eat at a favorite restaurant really worth slaughtering others just to eat your damn supper? Pick up the phone, call out for delivery, then.

      Tens of thousands of lives each year will be saved if it wasn’t for the likes of *you* selfishly disregarding others lives just so you can get somewhere a *little* bit faster.

      It’s about lives being senselessly lost for no good reason, isn’t it?

      Let’s save tens of thousands instead of a paltry few hundred then. Aren’t huge numbers of lives saved worth more than a few of *your* precious minuets?


      Think of the children for just this *once*, won’t you? 🙂

      • Good conversation starter for a quite different blog (Truth About Cars, anyone?). I have long had questions as to the wisdom of hurtling along toward each other at breakneck speed, separated only by a three inch painted stripe.

        • I’m actually perpetually amazed cars aren’t slamming into each other more often than they do, quite frankly.

          Back to the issue… *YOU* were the one bitterly complaining 500 lives were lost. A human life is worth less just because they were operating a motor vehicle?

          How can you even sleep at night with that kind of a cold, callous disregard for the lives of others?

          Isn’t it your people that are the ones that piously proclaim if it would save just *one* life a law that is a minor inconvenience is worth it? A 20 MPH max speed limit will save magnitudes more lives!

          (Our side really needs to learn to milk that angle for all its worth. Your side does it, we really need to get much better at tugging those heart strings…) 🙂

        • So guns are not the only things you are statist about , it’s cars too. Since you live far East of NYC you don’t live in our country and we can safely ignore your positions. You can’t even vote here.

          • Actually, he probably could vote. He just has to show up in a sanctuary city in California.

      • I just love drivers that HAVE to change lanes in FRONT of you when there’s plenty of room behind you. I follow a simple philosophy. The faster you go around me, the faster you’re out of my way.

    • Is it a self defense shooting if the perp is only wounded?

      Is it a self defense shooting if the perp runs away after a miss?

      Is it an act of armed self defense if the perp withdraws when a firearm is displayed?

      • I’m going to address several people, at once.

        The number of unreported defensive gun uses alone makes any attempt to “prove” something moot. Second, defining defensive gun use is also problematic, such as to render the proposition, again, much about opinion. Do defensive gun uses occur? Absolutely.

        I compared the 9 people who were included in the self-defense statistic regarding Chicago to the 500 innocents who are killed each year because of negligent gun owners. I stated I would more readily accept that, if they had no gun and were killed, those 9 self-defenders were just the price one pays for living in Chicago (America?). Those 9 being truly statistically insignificant, and their deaths would in no way justify the risk posed by negligent gun owners.

        People on this blog love to divert the conversation to every other life risk, demanding that all other risks be eliminated before even opening a discussion about reducing the risks of unfettered gun possession. To one comment, I agreed that automobile death and injury statistics were a reasonable topic of discussion, but on another blog. I also posited that the entire matter of powered vehicles was a puzzlement that should be looked at closely. I did not indicate, in any way, that automobiles should be banned. Indeed, I find the proposition of cars controlled by artificial intelligence worth pursuing. However, to integrate disparate subjects into a single blog, it is truly amazing that gun owners scream that society must be rendered riskless, but refuse any discussion of making guns safer for standers by. (smarter guns, anyone?)

        Without serious attention to improving gun safety, you leave the other half of society with only complete banning and creeping confiscation as solutions.

        • The other half are going to try for bans and confiscations regardless of how safe private gun ownership is. That’s just the way it is. Nothing we say or do is going to change that.

          That’s why hillary is not in the oval office now. It’s why midterms will be another disaster for the confiscation team. It’s why we’ll see constitutional carry nation wide in the near future. History will record the AWB of 94 as the high water mark of the anti civil rights movement. It’s all down hill for them from here.

          • If the recent election was in any way a referendum on guns, the majority was against the gun lobby (popular vote), by some 2 million votes. I’ll not quibble about popular vote and electoral college; the system is the system. However, when one wishes to use the choice of president as indicative of the majority of the nation, it simply is not.

        • How many of the popular vote came from CA? Enough to make up the balance? CA issues licenses from their dmv to illegals. How many of those voted, illegally, in this election?

          Without corruption the anti gun side is in the minority. And as more elections and court decisions come down against them the anti crowd will more and more abandon that issue. At least the ones needing to get elected.

          It’s over. The lie didn’t hold up.

          If you’re actually from jolly old or some other northern european clime you have more than enough trouble to keep you out of our affairs.

          In fact, you should be campaigning for less gun control in your area. Or you’re going to wake up in the very near future as a prize for the muslims and Putin to fight over.

          • Your elections, your rules. If you can’t keep them honest, deal with it. Point is, the majority of voters did not support the winner of the presidency. No escaping that. Thus, if the majority of voters (however they managed to be able to vote) did not support the gun lovers, they did not support the gun lovers.

            Court victories? Are you daft, man? Look at what is really happening. The only appellate courts that matter are 9th and DC. They ruled no one has a fundamental right to have a gun anywhere, anytime. The SC also stated that there is no constitutional right to avoid “reasonable restrictions” on where you may possess a firearm. The SC also ruled (via the three levels of scrutiny) that the mere burdening of a constitutional right does not prima facie make an action illegal. The degree to which the constitutional right is burden must be assessed. You are going to have to live with the rulings in Heller and McDonald for a very long time. The SC will never declare that “shall not be infringed” means just that, and that alone.

        • Time will tell which of us is daft. Are you now resorting to ad hominems? Desperation is showing thru.

          Good luck adapting to the new reality.

          • It is ad hominem to inquire as to one’s mental state at the moment? It is a simple inquiry into whether the emotions have overcome the brain. Nothing more.

            Thought your side was all about tough hides, and whatnot.

        • You’ve lost. You know you’ve lost and it’s getting to you. You want to inquire about mental status do a no bs asessment on yourself. Your ship is sinking but you keep assuring everybody it’s seaworthy.

          You were once a better grade of troll.

          • We are winning in courts and the national popular vote, and that is losing? Do you there have your own form of arithmetic?

            Yes, we will lose now and again. But the arc of history is against conservationism (i.e. non-movement, fossilization, hardback shell, static inertia). The line has been crossed, and there’s no coming back. If it were, the Spanish, French, Portuguese and (yes) the British Empires would not idle relics of history.

        • Cool story, bro. Except you’re not winning. Watch what happens with the mid terms. Watch what happens to the scotus. The 9th can be dismantled and with Trump it likely will.

          You’re not losing. You’ve lost. You just won’t face it. That’s ok. You’re pretty much irrelevent at this point. Your own england has decided to go nationalistic and exit the EU.

          Socialism is a failed experiment and the hard liners, muslim or putin, take your pick, are on their way to seal the deal.

          Buy a gun. Buy more than one. Ally yourself with some like minded folk or perish. It really is that simple.

          • Socialism (as you would describe it) seems just fine in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Belgium, France, well, all of western Europe. You think those are failed states? Impoverished? Dictatorial? Bankrupt? Filled with vassals and serfs? Lacking basic healthcare? No industry? No wealth? Rather like Venezuela, Cuba, and Mexico?

            Just for record, the British Isles are not part of Europe (which is a continent). But it is quite understandable Americans think otherwise. After all, every nation “over there” is a muddle called Europe.

        • I’m well aware of where england is. And when greece has a monetary hicup and it threatens to collapse the eu like a house of cards, socialism isn’t doing well.

          The only reason europe has thrived(it really hasn’t) has been the American willingness to shoulder the defense of europe from the bad guys in the world.

          Like I said. Putin or Islam. Unless you change your ways it’s the only future you have.

          Personally, I think the US ought to pull out of nato and the eu. I’m hoping Trump will see that, too.

          • Oh please do come back to the Motherland. All is forgiven. We welcome your tax revenues and green initiatives. Make the Queen so happy to see her wayward children safe at home by the hearth.

        • Throw all the tantrums you wish. It changes nothing. You folks are between a rock and a hard place. And unless you grow up and deal with it it’s going to deal with you.

          This is my last comment to you for the night. I’ve got more productive things to do. Like surf the youtube for funny cat videos.

        • While carrying on about the popular vote, please remember that Hillary lost 80% of the counties in the entire country. Like, Trump won 4 of 5. Absolutely crushed her! So what, you say? That means exactly as much as the popular vote, namely fuck-all. She LOST, asshat! She richly deserved to lose, and she did. Osama lost right there with her, as did Michelle, and Bill, Jeb, Chelsea, Malia, Ted, Mario, dozens and hundreds. Denial is a river in Egypt, I am certain that Hilary will be soliciting funds to build a $2 billion war chest for 2020, and that you will be stupid enough to contribute. Relax, you do not need to wait long for your masters to give you direction. Just genuflect towards the east, and wait.

          • I’ve been giving you people too much credit.

            Here is what I wrote: Hillary gathered more popular votes; fact. The population at large has ideas that are counter to gun lovers. The best polls so far conclude a near 50-50 split on the idea of more or less restrictions on gun ownership. The population is not moving in the direction of less gun control. The popular vote does not elect a president, but it does reflect the temperature of the public. Given the popular vote went to Hilary, given Hilary is very much anti-gun, it is difficult to contend that the gun lobby is winning the popular vote. Other than the election of the president, the middle of America does not move the country. Outside of election of the president, the game is pure democracy; majority rule. No matter how many precincts or counties Trump won, the population numbers contained in those counties is not, not the majority of the population, nor the majority of voters.

            When it comes to reasonable restrictions (Scalia) on guns, it is the popular vote that determines outcomes. Since there was only a 2 million vote difference between the parties, the current situation is essentially stalemate. But little majorities can be the winning factor. It is 50+1, right? At present, “gun control” has the edge. The end of it will be when we have control again of the house and senate. Expect a significant battle to launch a constitutional amendment to repeal and replace (lovely phrase, what?) the second amendment. You’ve left us no choice.

            BRTW, Mr. Trump will have approximately 12 months to make radical changes, then comes the election campaign season for 2018. Rather little else will happen then.

        • “Without serious attention to improving gun safety, you leave the other half of society with only complete banning and creeping confiscation as solutions.”

          That’s why we *will* be passing legislation mandating young kids receive instruction on what they should do if they happen to come across an un-secured firearm. (STOP!, don’t touch it, etc.).

          ‘Smart Guns’ aren’t required. People educated on securing and safe handling *is* required. And to remind those on the Left the irrefutable *fact* gun deaths are roughly one-half what they were 20 years ago.

          Gun ownership and use is a part of American life. I wasn’t kidding when I commented we really need to start using emotional tactics with regard for guns.

          There’s more than a faint whiff of panic from the Progressives, it’s almost like they realize they are losing the culture battle for gun rights. And oh, boy, are we ever grateful the best proponent for gun rights are the Hollywood Progressive crowd and their delightful movies!

          A direct example for you – You rarely see cigarettes in modern movies. That was a direct choice by Hollywood to not glamorize them.

          Just keep right on making those action-adventure movies and video games where guns are often the tool to confront and defeat evil. The kids just *love* ’em!

          Doesn’t Hollywood even realize that the positive impact they are having on gun rights is cutting the Progressive’s collective throats in the culture war? 🙂

          • You have some good observations, there.

            The progressive wing isn’t in panic. It is the old time Democrat country club types that do not understand that their day is gone, they ceded the historic coalition to the Republicans (middle class, working class), or at least to Trump who saw the reality. The progressives are busy shoving the oldsters out to pasture so the Bernie and Elizabeth wing can run things. With Hilary gone, it will not be long before Schummer, and other old-timers give way to youth, enthusiasm, and social consciousness. Even the traditional Democrats will see Trump for the entertainment he is, and return to the only party that will protect good jobs, re-assert unions, and rally the multiple minorities into the force that brought Obama to office. Hilary and the elders could never, can never, energize that base.

            It will be fun bringing justice to America, once again.

          • Thank God for Soros. Putting an end to the old fossils. The demographic that fueled the “support the middle class, help the poor, spread union membership, strong national defense, keep the minorities beholden but never elevated” is in panic because they are too old to understand, too hard to change, stuck in their self-interest. The progressive movement is leaving those old foggies in the dust. Bernie is one of the few old timers who gets it (likely because he is still a radical hippie from the ’60s). The rust belt is dissolving, the future is in new jobs and careers, not iron bending. Isn’t “creative destruction” the hallmark of Americanism? By 2020, we will have either a new Democratic Party (built by progressiveism), or we will have a crippled Democratic Pary, and a vibrant Progressive Party. Either way, the old days are over. The future belongs to those with sense to grab it.

    • Successful self-defense with a firearm doesn’t inply, much less require, the death of the assailant.

      Nice try.

      • I confused myself, here. Where did I even hint that self-defense with a gun required the attacker be killed? I did note that if the 9 self-defenders had been killed when attacked, I would rather that outcome than the 500 innocents killed by irresponsible gun owners.

        • So, you would trade 9 defender’s lifes from ONE CITY for 500 killed by accident from whole COUNTRY. This make sense how?

          • The Chicago Nine are more statistically insignificant. Less loss of life, which is the whole point.

    • So, it’s only self defense if you KILL someone? You are a vile, hateful creature. Why are you so fond of killing people?

      I have used a firearm twice in self defense. Drew and pointed once, trigger finger indexed, displayed once. But you wish I had killed two men instead. You really are a special flavor of special.

      • “So, it’s only self defense if you KILL someone?”

        I said nothing of the sort, nor was it implied. I did say that the number of self-defense gun uses that are not reported is unknowable, and any attempt at a number is pure speculation, wherein my number is as good as yours….and just as meaningless.

  3. When someone dies in the commission of a felony that is consideed murder 1. There have been cases where a perp dies at the hand of a victim and his partner gets prosecuted for murder. A drug dealer may have the moral right to defend his life when a deal turns sour but because he was comitting a felony at the time it is murder in the first. It is only a legitimate act of self defense when he defends his life while not engaged in a criminal act at the moment of the attack.

  4. Just because you’re committing a CRIME doesn’t mean ya’ can’t defend your evil azz.. ?What a goofy idiot. Happy New Year! Stay safe…

    • You can defend your ass but a death that occurs in the commission of a felony is Murder 1 even if the person dead is the perp. If he has a survivING partner, the partner gets charged.

  5. At Chicago’s rate, the city will be a suburb of Joliet in the next 20 years, and a ghost town by the 22nd Century.

    With fewer people, that means less CO2 emissions and reduced Manmade Global Warming, so it’s really the most progressive plan imaginable.

  6. Hold on a second – isn’t shooting someone in defense of your drug stash “felony murder” rather than “justifiable self-defense”?

    Bear in mind I actually favor legalizing drugs, but under current laws, killing someone in the act of carrying out another crime is not justifiable self-defense any more than shooting a homeowner who comes at you with an axe while you’re burglarizing his home.

    • Not sure how many states still follow the traditional Felony Murder Rule. Add in the interplay of “Castle Doctrine” statutes creating a presumption of self-defense and you have an interesting interplay of two legal theories when a drug dealer shoots a robber after his stash in a home invasion.

      Admittedly, an absurd result; however, the Felony Murder Rule often leads to absurd results:

      Drunk driver runs red light, hits getaway car leaving the scene of an armed robbery, kills himself and the occupants of the getaway car are charged with capital murder of the drunk driver.

  7. These seem like pretty meaningless numbers given the huge percentage of “no suspect charged”. What percentage of those were self defense where the shooter walked away rather than answer a bunch of questions or face charges for breaking some obscure gun law (like felon in possession of a gun)?

  8. This only touches on murders. As you all know there are multitudes more non-fatal shootings, filling up the ERs every day, than there are fatal ones, and the VAST majority of gunshot victims claim no knowledge of their assailants. How many of them were actually the assailants, to begin with, I wonder? And how much of the drop in the murder rate is actually caused by the deterent effect of CRIMINALS, illegally arming themselves against other criminals? My guess is, absent the malaise of the drug war, these sort of hidden statistics would mirror or damnasnearit our own suspicions regarding the utility of firearms in that regard.

    TL;DR “more guns, less crime” probably applies within the criminal community, as well, perhaps even moreso.

  9. “Just because you’re committing a crime doesn’t mean that you have to allow yourself to be robbed or killed or beaten up,” said Hennessey.
    This cuts both ways, but not as far as you think. It can be okay if you’re in possession of a scary salt waffle or hi-cap clipazines that are banned by your leftard state or city gubmint, but if you’re committing a felony by dealing drugs you’ve lost your gun rights under federal law. And what of people who are robbing others at gunpoint? If their victim produces a gun and shoots back, the robber should not have the right to kill them then, but under libby laws that require “minimum force” or otherwise protect the robber rather than the defender, the legal positions may change instantaneously.

  10. “People don’t trust the police”

    Might have to do with the 100% clearance rate for police homicides under the paid vacation bucket.

Comments are closed.