Chicago - The Problem Isn't Guns

Monday’s Supreme Court decision overturning Chicago’s idiotic ban on handguns in the home is not likely to persuade Mayor Richard M. Daley to change his fanatical commitment to disarming Chicago citizens. The Mayor’s recent comments have shown just how far out of touch with his own city’s problems Mr. Daley is.

Yet he, of all people, should know better. The City of Chicago may not do many things right, but the Chicago Police do one thing really well – they collect the most comprehensive and detailed statistics on violent crime of any city in America, particularly when it comes to homicide. And they publish the results of their analysis every year. You may download the Adobe file of the latest volume, entitled “2008 – Murder Analysis in Chicago” here.

The study includes a tracking of all murders from 1991 to 2008, and it is a treasure trove of facts and figures about murder in the Windy City. They break down homicides by geographic location, type of location (i.e. home, business, on the street, etc) month, day of the week, time of day, and method of killing.

And they don’t stop there – the investigators break down killings by age, sex, race and criminal background of both the victims and the offenders, and even the motives for the killings.

Once you digest the graphs, maps, and pie-charts, a familiar pattern begins to emerge. For example, it is hardly a surprise that murders occur most often in the same neighborhoods year after year, or that 91.5% of homicides are committed by an offender with a criminal record. But many people are surprised to learn that 72% of  homicide victims also have criminal records.

Even more interesting than the report itself is the fact that neither Mayor Daley nor his sycophants in the media seem willing to talk about the conclusions that the study drew regarding the typical victim and the typical offender:

“In 2008, the typical murder victim was 17 to 25 years of age, male, black, and had a prior arrest history.”

By the way, if you’d like a day by day tally of the latest carnage in Chicago, you can go to:


Even more interesting, and disturbing, is that in spite of a gradual drop in total murders in recent years from the peak in the mid-’90s, the over-representation of young, black, males in both the victim and offender groups has not substantively changed in more than 40 years. Whites represent 42% of Chicago’s population, and commit only 4% or the murders, while blacks represent 37% of the city’s population, yet commit 76% of the murders.

Now, you can endlessly debate the sociological factors involved in this situation – that is a subject for another day – but the one undeniable fact is this: Chicago’s murder problem is most definitely not a “gun” problem.

John Caile