Chicago: Poster Child for Failed Gun Control

The headline says it all:

13 people shot and wounded in 30 minutes of Chicago violence, including 8 on a single street


I grew up in the Chicago area, so I am more than a little familiar with the city’s insane policies on guns. Illinois is the only state left in the nation where citizens have no ability to legally carry a gun for self-defense. In order to buy a gun, or even ammunition, an Illinois resident must produce a current FOID (Firearm Owners Identification) card. Shades of “your papers are not in order” from those old movies about the Nazis.

Chicago residents have more bureaucratic hoops to jump through, even after the city’s outrageously restrictive gun laws were rebuked by the Supreme Court in the 2010 McDonald decision, which affirmed the fundamental right to bear arms:


And if anyone expected things in Chicago to change after Mayor Richard M. Daley retired and Rahm Emanuel took over, they were sadly mistaken. In spite of a rash of shootings over the Summer, the new mayor’s approach is little more than a rehash of Daley’s “blame the guns” stand.

But what is really astonishing about most of Chicago political and civic leaders is their steadfast refusal to confront reality. No matter how obvious the failure of their anti-gun programs, no matter how many gang shootings shatter the night, their response is always the same – “we need more gun laws.”

It’s as if they live in some alternate universe – apparently, none of the city’s politicians have ever watched the History Channel’s illuminating series, “Gangland” which makes it abundantly clear that inner city gangs (including Chicago’s) are as heavily armed as ever. In fact, these street thugs merely laugh at gun laws, even boldly showing their guns to the interviewer, right on camera!

In stark contrast to Illinois and Chicago is the remarkable success of so-called “concealed carry laws” that are now the rule in 49 states. State after state has implemented “shall-issue” laws that allow residents to carry handguns for self defense. And contrary to the dire predictions of the anti-gun cabal, the experience of these states has been uniformly, and overwhelmingly, positive – permit holders turn out to be MORE law-abiding than the average citizen, not less.  It is a testament to their effectiveness that not a single state has ever repealed its carry law.

Yet time and again, whenever the citizens of Illinois, especially those in Chicago, even attempt to make it easier for the innocent residents to be able to defend themselves, the knee-jerk reaction from the political class is the same. They hysterically proclaim that letting the “good guys” carry guns will only result in “more blood in the streets” or similar irrational nonsense – seemingly ignoring the almost daily carnage that is the result of gangs who have absolutely no respect for any laws.

When I left Illinois in 1995 to move to Minnesota, I predicted (correctly) that Illinois would be the very last state to be dragged, kicking and screaming, to enact a handgun carry permit law. The reason is simple – Illinois is not run by the people of Illinois, it is run by Chicago. Why do you think Rahm Emanuel decided to run for that office instead of governor? After all, Emanuel could have easily coasted to a victory as governor.

But Emanuel knows that the most powerful person in Illinois is not the governor – it is the mayor of the city of Chicago. Because by controlling the massive bloc of voters that Chicago represents (alive and dead), the city dominates the state. And since my childhood in the 1950’s (and even before), Chicago has been run, and ruined, by Democrats.

So unless and until the citizens miraculously wake up from their decades-long Democrat stupor, nothing will change, and the people of Chicago will continue to be at the mercy of violent street gangs and mentally deranged shooters.