In Chicago – 42 dead from gunfire in the first 30 days of January

This is devastating for a city no doubt, but one thing you won’t hear from me is the this-is-what-happens-when-you-ban-guns argument. There are too many variables involved and I won’t be pulled into the “Chicago is a gun control bellwether” argument.

Not all the murders in Chicago this month have been related to firearms. From CBS Chicago.

The murder toll in Chicago for the month of January now stands at 42, making it the most deadly January in Chicago in more than 10 years.

The last fatality happened in the Kenwood neighborhood on Tuesday, where a 15-year-old honor student, was shot and killed while taking shelter from the rain in a park.

Devastating. Culture. Problem.

We can point to cities like Chicago and Washington D.C. with higher levels of violent crime, and point to gun control as a problem. Recent history has ensured residents who are not prohibited persons could not purchase, own or carry a firearm for self-defense. That pretty much ensured the people who had guns were of the criminal element, associated with gangs and drug distribution.

The United States is somewhat unique in that someone can purchase (or steal) a firearm somewhere and transport it easily to places like D.C. and Chicago. Gun control advocates will point to “illegal” guns being transported into the cities from other areas. Politicians like mayors Michael Bloomberg (D-New York City), Rahm Emanuel (D-Chicago) and Vincent C. Gray (D-D.C.) are pointing to these”illegal guns” as the problem. Do they see how idiotic this argument is? Can they clearly explain why all the illegal guns are not heading to Austin, Charlotte, San Diego, Seattle or El Paso?

There are questions we can ask, but when you look at any data set, you must consider the variables. It is difficult to “rank” state by state, city by city. Population density, age, income, climate, effectiveness of law enforcement, residence stability, and modes of transportation are just a few of the variables that factor into crime statistics.

Why is the 2011 murder rate in Chicago .16 per thousand and it’s only .09 per thousand in Houston? Chicago is the fourth and Houston the fifth largest city in the country and have populations of 2.7 and 2.1 million respectively. One might point to the fact Houston’s residents can carry concealed and firearm ownership is wide-spread, where that is not the case in Chicago. Although true, that would not fully explain it and I would not use that argument as the only reason to suggest Chicago get on board with open and/or concealed carry.

In Philadelphia the murder rate in 2011 was .21 per thousand and you can carry open or concealed (with a permit). We could muddy the waters a bit more and reference Dallas, which has a violent crime rate of 7 per thousand as compared to Houston’s 10 per thousand. Why the big difference between two cities in the same state?

Then I could go back to Newark, N.J. where it is very difficult to get a permit to carry. The murder rate in Newark was .34 per thousand.

If all of those “illegal guns” are travel from state to state, city to city, we have to wonder why they show up in greater numbers in one place and not so much in an other place. Be careful when referencing statistics, because the crime data reports are unable to factor in for all of the variables, but one thing seems pretty certain … it’s not about the guns.

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Steve McGough

Steve's a part-time conservative blogger. Steve grew up in Connecticut and has lived in Washington, D.C. and the Bahamas. He resides in Connecticut, where he’s comfortable six months of the year.


  1. JBS on January 30, 2013 at 8:48 pm

    I’ll make a wild guess and say that is drugs in these cities that are drawing large numbers of criminals together.
    Criminals who are afraid of other criminals — and want more power and control — and want to be armed. Criminals who want to kill criminals and don’t care if innocents get in the way.

  2. joe_m on January 31, 2013 at 7:38 am

    In a word, corruption. Prohibition gave way to organized crime and political corruption. The drug trade has continued and expanded on this. There is more money in the drug trade than in most legitimate businesses and most importantly, it is not taxed. Corrupt politicians and police do little to round up gang members and ?actually do something about the “war on drugs”.
    Let’s not leave out the banks, HSCB paid a fine for laundering drug money, not one criminal conviction, not one jail sentence.
    Chicago is a prime example of corruption out of control.

  3. Plainvillian on January 31, 2013 at 8:55 am

    Would it be inconvenient and/or politically incorrect to study the demographics of both the perpetrators and the victims rather than the weapons?? Could that be why we concentrate on guns?

  4. Lynn on January 31, 2013 at 5:39 pm

    Gangs are running ?amok in Chicago.?

    • JBS on February 1, 2013 at 10:16 am

      Is that anything? new since, I don’t know, when?
      I have never heard of a rural gang.

  5. Dimsdale on February 1, 2013 at 10:53 am

    I think one thing we can agree on is that disarming law abiding people is no solution to violence.? I have pointed this out in a previous post.? It is the death of morality, moral relativism if you will, and a numbing of the citizenry, particularly children, to violence and the sanctity of life, all of which I lay at the feet of our progressive brothers and sisters.


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