Chicago's Numbers Show How Badly Gun Control Has Failed

AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast

The city of Chicago really should be known as the place gun control goes to die. The city, unofficially nicknamed Chiraq, is a violent place that seemed to be getting more violent all the time, and that was before the surge in violent crime that gripped our nation last year.

Needless to say, it hasn’t really made Chicago a safer place.

And yet, Illinois is a heavily gun-controlled state. They’ve got just about everything gun control advocates say we need to curb gun violence, only, it doesn’t work. Recent numbers from Chiraq make the case beautifully.

Chicago ended 2020 with 769 slayings. So far this year, there have been 1,515 shooting incidents and 1,880 people shot in the city. Shootings incidents and victims over the first six months of 2020 totaled 1,377 and 1,656, respectively.

More than 5,900 guns, including 290 assault weapons, have been seized so far this year, police said.

“Each illegal gun taken off our streets is potentially a life saved,” Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown said in a statement. “We’ve asked so much from our officers over the past six months, who continue to answer the call each day and night in service to our city.”

Except, with so much gun control on the books, how are so many illegal firearms being recovered? (It should be noted, in the name of fairness, that homicides actually appear to be down. But, as shootings are up, I’m not sure that represents a real step forward for Chicago or not.)

I mean, unless those gun controls don’t actually do jack squat.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is notorious, as were her predecessors, for trying to blame states like Indiana. Those states don’t have Illinois’ gun control laws, thus making it easier to get a gun.

According to Lightfoot, people just venture to these states, buy guns, then transport them back to Chicago.

To be fair, that’s probably exactly what happens. Where Lightfoot and people like her are missing is that if they didn’t come from Indiana, they’d come from somewhere else. That’s because guns flow into an area in order to meet demand. Like water, it looks for the low spots.

Besides, if the only issue was easy access to guns, why doesn’t Indiana have a similar problem with violence? It doesn’t, yet it’s somehow responsible for Chicago’s?

No, Chicago’s problems are because of something other than guns. The problem is, no one in power in Chicago seems to have any political will to actually look for those problems and address them. They’d much rather just blame the guns.

After all, blaming the guns makes for a good soundbite. It makes it look like the politicians are doing something without them having to actually do anything. Meanwhile, almost 6,000 guns have been recovered in a state where they’re simply not supposed to exist. Clearly, blaming the guns just ain’t working.

If Chicago and the state of Illinois were serious about trying to put an end to this, they’d start to recognize that maybe the answer lies in addressing crime from a different angle. Maybe the secret is to prevent criminal activity by preventing people from becoming criminals. For those who already are, you simply find a way to shift them in a different direction.

But that would require effort. It would require will.

That’s something Chicago’s anti-gun politicians lack. They blame guns because it’s easy and it wins them applause from their fellow Democrats. At the end of the day, though, these are the same people who blamed guns even as violent crime was dropping decade after decade. They’re blaming guns now because it’s what they do, not because violence is actually increasing, but because they don’t know how to do anything else.