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The state of Illinois holds a B+ rating from the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence (the highest rating given is an A). Gun control advocates would have you believe this means it should be a relatively safe place.

Yet Illinois’ largest city, Chicago, has long been an embarrassment to this notion. The city if anything has had an even lengthier list of gun controls than the state itself, but it has also seen years of terribly high rates of violent crime.

Crime in Chicago looks to be on a downward trend, thankfully, but it’s not clear gun control has had anything to do with this. Policing strategies and community involvement are more likely contributing factors. Programs like Cure Violence have made an impact in Chicago in the past.

But much of the research focus remains on guns.

A new study led by Dr. Philip J. Cook of Duke University, for example, looks at the duration of the “last link – the elapsed time from the transaction that actually provided the offender with the gun in question.” Cook and his co-authors surveyed 221 people convicted of firearm-related offenses in Chicago incarcerated in state prisons about the gun they had at the time of their crime.

The media coverage of this study has fixated on several findings. “More than two-thirds of the men obtained their primary gun within the last six months of their arrest (68%), while 19.3% possessed their gun for five or fewer days. Almost a quarter of respondents (22.6%) had never owned a gun six months before their current arrest. Of those who had, a majority acquired their primary gun—the one they possessed during their arrest—through a purchase or trade (54.3%) and from a friend or acquaintance (56.9%).”

These discoveries are an interesting contribution to the body of knowledge regarding criminal behavior, but an even more important detail is reported by Stephen Gutowski at the Washington Free Beacon: “The CIS respondents were almost all barred from purchasing a gun from a gun store because of their prior criminal record—as a result, their guns were obtained by illegal transactions with friends, relatives, and the underground market.”

In other words, while the lengthy list of gun control laws in Illinois and Chicago ensured the subjects’ behavior was illegal, it did nothing to actually prevent that behavior.

The study’s authors conclude that “more effective enforcement of the laws governing gun transactions may have a quick and pervasive effect on gun use in crime.”

And perhaps they’re right.

But the point Gutowski raises about the illegal nature of the transactions underscores that simply adding additional laws to the books will not deter the sorts of armed activity that end with people going to prison.

We can thank Dr. Cook, in other words, for once again reinforcing what we already know: criminals don’t follow the law.


This article originally appeared at and is reprinted with permission. 

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  1. Why would One expect the criminals in Illinois to follow the law. Hell the Politicians don’t follow the law. Illinois has the highest number per capita of politicians who have been sent to jail/prison in the nation. Thugs gonna Thug…Bangers gonna Bang…Politicians gonna Pilfer. Life in Illinois goes on.

    • A politicians with a law never stops a bad guy with a gun.
      He only controls the good guys, which is his true agenda.
      ”Killing is a matter of will, not weapons.
      You cannot control the act itself
      by passing laws about the means employed.”
      The late Col Jeff Cooper, 1958
      Handgun expert and founder of Gunsite Academy
      The unlawful use of guns by Defective Citizens is merely a convenient avenue for anti-American/Progressive/Socialist/Elitist politicians to justify….in their own minds and their Useful Idiots’ minds….to deny Second Amendment rights to citizens.

  2. I am shocked. When I point this out to a progressive I get blank stares and stuttering and the “well something needs to be done”. The progressive politicians know this but they don’t care as it suits their agenda to create more and more laws to infringe upon our Second Amendment Rights and they use their failures as reasons to pass more restrictive gun laws.

    • “We need to something!” Great, repeat “I DO believe in fairies,” 10 times. After you’re revived Tinkerbell, would you like to discuss something that might actually alleviate the problem instead of some other random act that will have no effect? If separating criminals from guns is the goal, we’ve seen that background checks, FOIDs, and the like don’t do it.
      SInce only non-felons can get guns that way, the bad guys don’t try it and get their guns through theft, straw purchase, or black market. Bad guys still got to the guns. How about some other methods? Being in jail seems to be pretty effective at keeping them from getting guns. How about drug legalization to get rid of the profit incentive? Some diversionary and proactive policing programs seem successful, maybe we can expand those.

    • When I’m given the, “We have to do something!”, line I simply ask, “Why? What percentage of gun owners were involved in a homicide or violent crime last year?” They never know, so I tell them – approximately 1/100th of 1% commit homicide and around 1/10th of 1% covers all violent crime with a firearm and those values ignore that most (60-80%) of those crimes are committed by people already prohibited from owning a gun. So, given that lawful gun owners represent something on the order of 0.004% or less of homicides and 0.05% or less of all violent crimes involving a gun, how is limiting the guns that those tiny populations have access to going to change a problem that effects a similarly small fraction of a population of 330,000,000 people?

      We don’t need more legislation that impacts lawful gun owners to reduce gun-related crime in this country because lawful gun owners are not committing gun related crime. Not to mention that there is nothing a gun owner can do with a gun that harms another person that is not already illegal. (Except for justifiable self-defense)

  3. No kidding.

    If at my present age were almost any sentence might be a life sentence.
    Im begging to think crime does indeed pay.

  4. Hey I know what’s going on here, you can take your smart gunm tech and shove it., , , , and as far as criminals and law, , , well duh.

  5. This is why ‘Gun’ Laws don’t do much if anything to deter crime.

    Illinois has given us the fastest revolving prison doors in the history of prison doors. The actual sentencing of felony offenders has increased recently as has the length of each sentence (plea bargain). This according to a friend of mine who’s husband is a Cook County Prosecutor is one of the main reasons for the drop in crime rate. Along with SHALL ISSUE CONCEALED CARRY LICENSES.

    Did you also know that Prosecutors can’t carry concealed handguns without a permit and STILL can’t carry from the parking lot into the courthouse? Also they must enter and exit the same way the criminals and witnesses do. Crazy.

    • You’re right about laws as deterrents. A law has never stopped or prevented anything. It sets procedure and consequences. Given this, there are people that have no concern for the consequences of their actions regardless of the severity. This is especially true when there is no follow through on the consequences.

      • “A law has never stopped or prevented anything.”

        Kinda something we cannot prove. It would require interviewing every person in the country, asking if they were ever deterred from a crime because of a law’s consequence. Thus, it is unlikely that the deterrence effect of law is zero. What we can prove is that a certain number of criminal acts were not deterred by the existence of a law. We might be safer to announce that laws do not deter a person determined to commit a crime, which is every event where someone used a gun illegally; for which we have data/stats.

  6. “The study’s authors conclude that “more effective enforcement of the laws governing gun transactions may have a quick and pervasive effect on gun use in crime.” ”

    “And perhaps they’re right.”

    Not seeing any basis for that assertion. What does it even mean?

    • Just at a guess, actually investigating and prosecuting 4473 rejections, going after straw purchases, knowingly “loaning” a gun to a felon, et cetera.

      You know, the things the gun community has been pointing out for decades now…

      • “Just at a guess, actually investigating and prosecuting 4473 rejections…”

        Possibly, , but would that amount to “pervasive” enforcement? To date it seems only a coupla dozen rejections result in convictions.

  7. Perhaps it is because they are unaware of the law, and a simple public education campaign…

    • “Perhaps it is because they are unaware of the law, and a simple public education campaign…”

      Public re-education program… Right?

  8. It’s easier for the Ledt to blame guns and gun owners, the NRA, and republicans than the failed culture which gives us criminals of all kinds.

  9. They dont care about criminals. They care about us simply having guns. Every time a criminal uses one, that is what they see. The gun. The gun is the problem in their eyes. It will never change. Even if for 200 years, gun violence goes up in out country after they somehow managed to confiscate them, the gun laws would still be the issue. They could destroy every gun on earth, and it would simply evolve into the next weapon used for violence. Self protection is violence. They don’t like violence, therefore they don’t have the ability to protect themselves. Our govt has created such a great illusion of freedom and protection, that it will take seperation to change it.

    “A democracy is two wolves and a small lamb voting on what to have for dinner. Freedom under a constitutional republic is a well armed lamb contesting the vote.” – some random youtube comment I saw yesterday

    The only moves for freedom in the history of humanity, have been completed through the use of force. It’s sad to see these people & our government become everything our forefathers were trying to avoid.

  10. Zzzzzzzzzpppppppppp , kerrwang. Yah all missed it. It’s gunm control. Anybody saying anything about what I can and cannot have is Control, be it Momma or the Fed Gov. I can deal with some of the can’t haves, however when it’s in My Bill Of Rights, like the guys who wrote it didn’t know welllll geez. Life sux , why’d you get on my island

  11. Now if the Marxist left could accept fact,however that will never happen,unicorns will be jumping rainbows before that happens.

  12. So now NRA-ILA pretends to care about gun owners in Illinois? NRA contract lobbyist for Illinois Donald Todd Vandermyde placed the Duty to Inform w/criminal penalties in state Rep. Brandon Phelps “NRA backed” concealed carry bill in 2013. Chuck Cunningham and Chris Cox at ILA let him do it, and NRA lawyers supplied the language the anti-gun police unions wanted.

    Re. gun rights “leaders” in Illinois, Valinda Rowe from (southern) Illinois Carry and John Boch were in the room with Vandermyde and the IL Chiefs of Police lobbyist to negotiate and personally sign off on the Duty to Inform deal in 2010-2011. When Illinois gun owners get executed by police criminals like Philando Castile in Minnesota, you can thank traitors like Vandermyde, Rowe, and Boch. They can’t do enough to suck the asses of the anti-gun police unions that opposed any sort of citizen carry in Illinois for FIFTY YEARS.

    Don’t blame “democrats” like Speaker of the House Mike Madigan or the Chicago “machine.” Retarded hicks like Valinda Rowe and Richard Pearson from ISRA are the ones selling out their own members to be set up and killed by police criminals. These losers live in all white small towns where the police are your friends, but they use black people from Chicago like Otis McDonald as plaintiffs for their lawsuits.

    • And where were you, while all the people you mentioned worked to get a concealed carry bill? Not a perfect bill, but a “shall issue” bill that could actually pass in Illinois. And what have you personally done since then to improve it?

      • “And what have you personally done since then to improve it?”

        Ok, the door opened, so I’m crashing through….what has anyone done to improve it? What has the NRA done to improve it?

        The critics here are not running fundraising, lobbying organizations. The critics here are not ostentatiously flaunting belongings bought with donations to their non existent fundraising, lobbying organizations. The critics here have never asked anyone else for money to do anything. The critics here are “selling” nothing, to nobody. The NRA is responsible for what it is, and is obligated to prove donations are used almost exclusively to advance the pro-2A agenda, fighting every infringement, win, lose or draw.

        When a non-profit wants money from me, it is not my responsibility to fund it because it is the “big daddy”. It is the responsibility of the non-profit to prove the donations are spent on the mission, not on the staff. I don’t donate to any organization that cannot prove 90% of funds raised are spent directly on operations. Having once worked with a national non-profit, I know that in too many cases, the fund raising campaigns are not made up of volunteers, or even staff. Fund raising is often conducted by contractors who take a minimum of 50% of the funds raised, and in some cases (state troopers) 90%.

        Want me to donate to your cause? Prove the product performs as described.

  13. Chicago. The most corrupt government and place on the planet and the most dangerous and restrictive place. Go out of my way to avoid it. The only other place that comes close is NYS .they just figure that out goes to show you….

    • “Chicago. The most corrupt government and place on the planet…”

      Ever lived in Lousyana, or Ar-Kansas?

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