Debate Magazine

More on the "Chicago" Lie

Posted on the 31 January 2013 by Mikeb302000
from The Corner Tavern in response to David Mamet's article thanks to democommie
Ah, that old saw. Tough gun laws don’t stop crime, because – Chicago! Only Mamet, unlike most who repeat this trope, hilariously misfires by including Washington, D.C. in the gun-laws-equal-more-crime argument. As it happens, the 2012 murder rate in the nation’s capital was the lowest it’s been since 1963.

But he is correct that the murder rate spiked in Chicago last year. It probably has nothing to do with the city’s “tough” gun laws, though; and, in fact, the opposite may be the case. As I’ve explained before, Chicago had a handgun ban in place until the U.S. Supreme Court struck it down in 2010.

Meanwhile, according to the 2011 Chicago Murder Analysis published by the Chicago Police Department (.pdf file), the city’s murder rate declined more or less steadily from well over 900 murders a year in the early 1990s to around 435 murders per year in 2010 and 2011. 2011 Chicago Murder Analysis, p. 4. 

So, the facts, Dave, are these: Chicago’s murder rate declined by more than half from the early 1990s to 2010, all while the city’s handgun ban was in effect; but two and a half years after the handgun ban was stricken down, Chicago’s murder rate ticked up by about 17% (from 433 in 2011 to 506 in 2012). Whether or not the recent increase in Chicago’s murders is related to the Court striking down the city’s handgun ban, you simply can’t argue that the opposite is true, because the murder rate plummeted under even tougher gun laws than Chicago has today. Facts, man. They always get in the way of the narrative.

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