The law-abiding citizens of Chicago are now arming themselves at rates far higher than ever before; the demand for gun permits skyrocketed in the city of Chicago in the year  2016.  As the murder rate rises, more Chicago residents look for ways to protect themselves.

In a piece written for the Daily Caller, Amber Randall writes:

Approximately 38,712 Chicago residents received state-issued Firearm Owners Identification cards in 2016, compared to the 23,725 who got ones in 2015, according to data from the State Police.

Randall also notes:

Concealed carry permits have also been on the rise in Chicago. State Police data shows that they went up 50 percent. 13,948 people received them in 2015 while 22,517 did in 2016.

In 2016, the city of Chicago had seven hundred eighty homicides and over four thousand shootings.  In February of 2017, the city had over one hundred murders.  Liberty Nation noted:

As of Saturday, February 25th, the city of Chicago has suffered over one hundred homicides to date.  According to Megan Crepeau and Deanese Williams-Harris of the Chicago Tribune, “the shooting brings this year’s homicide toll approximately on a par with the first two months of 2016. That year ended with more than 780 people killed across the city, the most violent in decades.”

When you look at the number of shootings that have occurred in Chicago, it is no wonder that more residents are arming themselves.  Illinois has some of the strictest gun control laws in the nation, yet Chicago has one of the highest murder rates.

The left seems to believe that more restrictions on gun ownership mean fewer shootings.  The right argues that stricter gun control laws mean that more guns will end up in the hands of criminals than law-abiding citizens.  However, as President Reagan said, “facts are stubborn things.”

The most important fact to consider when looking at the situation in Chicago is that most of the shootings are committed by criminals using guns they acquired illegally.  Gang shootings rarely involve guns purchased in accordance with the law. Chicago Police Department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said few guns legally bought are involved in criminal activity in Chicago. “Our issue is with illegal guns and repeat offenders who use them to engage in violence,” Guglielmi said. When describing the main issues police face, Guglielmi brings up two interesting points:

  • Most of the guns being used in these shootings were procured
  • Repeat offenders are a significant part of the problem.

The first point shows that strict gun control laws do not curb shooting deaths.  They only make it harder for law-abiding citizens to defend themselves against criminals who acquire their weapons illegally.

The second point is also problematic.  Why would repeat offenders be a significant contributor to the increasing homicide rate in Chicago?  It is because law enforcement officers have been prevented from doing their job.  They are not arresting murderers at the same rate as they have in the past.  According to the National Review:

The quality of Chicago’s policing has been deteriorating for decades. Back in 1991, 67 percent of murderers were arrested. When Mayor Richard M. Daley finally left office 20 years later, in 2011, the arrest rate was down to 30 percent. This troubling drop only continued after Rahm Emanuel became mayor, hitting a new low of 20 percent in 2016.

So why is Chicago making fewer arrests?  Simply put: politics. The city’s Democratic leadership, led by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, has made disastrous decisions that have contributed significantly to the murder rate:

  • They shut down detective bureaus in the districts with the highest crime rates and moved them to locations far away from high-crime areas.
  • They closed down most of the task forces dedicated to stopping gang violence.
  • In collaboration with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), they instituted a policy increasing the amount of paperwork officers have to complete each time they stop someone.

This is common sense.  Less policing leads to more crime, yet Chicago’s leadership seems to believe that preventing law enforcement from doing its job is the answer.  Is it any wonder that President Trump offered federal assistance?

Chicago’s rising homicide rate is nothing less than a disaster.  One can easily see this by looking at the numbers.  However, this situation cannot be boiled down into a statistics report.

People are dying every single day in this city.

To the family members of the victims, it is not merely a news report.  It is the loss of a son.  It is the loss of a daughter.  It is the loss of brothers, sisters, mothers and fathers.

It should not come as a surprise that everyday residents of Chicago are choosing to arm themselves. They see that their city is becoming more dangerous.  They see that their government is deliberately failing them, and they want to do something about it.

If Chicago’s leadership is willing to get serious about decreasing the homicide rate, they need to increase the policing in the city.  They need to make it easier for law enforcement to capture criminals.  They have to allow the authorities to prevent crimes before they happen.  When the police can do their jobs, there will be fewer victims.

Jeff Charles

Race Relations & Media Affairs Correspondent at Liberty Nation
A self-confessed news and political junkie, Jeff’s writing has been featured in Small Business Trends, Business2Community, and The Huffington Post. Born in Southern California and having experienced the 1992 L.A. Riots up close and personal, Jeff's insights are informed by his experiences as a black man and a conservative.

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