9/22/2011

So what happened to Chicago's Murder and Violent Crime rates after the Supreme Court decision in June 2010 striking down Chicago's gun laws?

In DC, the change in gunlock laws as a result of the Supreme Court decision meant that about a third of adults already had registered long guns that they were now allowed to legally load and fire for self defense.  In Chicago, very few new guns have been allowed and that gun ownership is essentially restricted to relatively well to do areas (see below).  Yet it is the poorest parts of the city where crime is the worst and where people need guns the most for self protection.  One would thus expect a much bigger change in crime rates from the Heller than the McDonald decisions.  Still, for Chicago, the change in the law has not had the bad effect that many had predicted.



This data is available here. Since murder and other crime rates vary over the course of the year, it is important to compare the same months in 2010 and 2011. Data for other months is available here. I had some discussion on the data for the last half of last year here.

A discussion on what happened in DC after the Heller decision is available here (also here).




Predictions:

District of Columbia Mayor Adrian Fenty had his own prediction: "More handguns in the District of Columbia will only lead to more handgun violence."


Or this:

Chicago's Mayor Richard Daley predicted disaster. He said that overturning the gun ban was "a very frightening decision" and predicted more deaths along with Wild West-style shootouts and that people "are going to take a gun and they are going to end their lives in a family dispute." . . .


Crime was a central concern among the dissenters in the Heller case.
If a resident has a handgun in the home that he can use for self- defense, then he has a handgun in the home that he can use to commit suicide or engage in acts of domestic violence. If it is indeed the case, as the District believes, that the number of guns contributes to the number of gun- related crimes, accidents, and deaths, then, although there may be less restrictive, less effective substitutes for an outright ban, there is no less restrictive equivalent of an outright ban. . . . In my view, there simply is no untouchable constitutional right guaranteed by the Second Amendment to keep loaded handguns in the house in crime-ridden urban areas.
—Justice Stephen Breyer, dissenting in District of Columbia v. Heller, June 26, 2008


The possible harm from guns was central to his dissent, and the words “crime,” “criminal,” “criminologist,” “homicide,” “murder,” “rape,” “robbery,” "suicide," and “victim” were used a total of 122 times in forty-four pages.

I like this justification by then Mayor Daley about his request for five round the clock armed police bodyguards for after he retires:

"The safety of my family comes first,” said Daley, who leaves office on May 16. “I’ve been mayor for 22 years, and my wife has made a commitment [to the city]. … Former mayors received security appropriately. … It’s appropriate for every former mayor. Yes, it’s always appropriate.”


A couple follow up articles on who gets handguns in Chicago http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/chicago-gun-registration/Content?oid=4066384">here. From Mick Dumke's article in the Chicago Reader:

John Lott, an economist who argues that gun control laws like Chicago's actually lead to higher crime, says the cost of meeting the gun application's training and registration requirements essentially discriminates against low-income black communities. In Chicago, the training and permit fees cost about $250 on top of the price of the gun.

"Those who are most likely to be victims of crime benefit the most from owning guns, and unfortunately, that is one very well defined group in our country, poor blacks who live in high crime urban areas such as Chicago," Lott wrote in an e-mail. "But these white, middle class areas can much more easily afford the fees to register their guns and to go through the training requirements."

Roderick Sawyer, alderman of the Sixth Ward, is skeptical of that theory. "It's like buying a car," he says. "If you want one you'll find a way to do it." . . .

UPDATE: Here are the crime data for Chicago in 2011.



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3 Comments:

Blogger Grouchy1 said...

I'm not buying the argument here. It would be expected (and it has been argued) that home gun ownership is a deterrent to burglaries, but burglaries increased in this latest period. Murders by firearm dropped 10% in the period, but murders by other means dropped 28%, so firearms are picking up some of the slack. While the numbers do show that the predicted "bloodbath" has not materialized, they don't support the argument that more guns are leading to less crime.

10/08/2011 4:29 PM  
Blogger Developer said...

I buy it, murder has dropped it has not increased hence the old wild west fallacy again... Does not serve well here. If the handgun killing have decreased, then what argument is there for the ban. Plain and simple, what is the argument here?

4/22/2012 8:25 PM  
Blogger Rick Drew said...

Er, do you actually live in the city? There is not a single gun store. It's next to impossible to purchase a gun in the area, and 90% of the gun stores in neighboring commmunities were forced out of business. There is no concealed carry in Illinois. The law was struck down, but people still can't buy guns.

2/27/2013 2:38 PM  

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