By Mike Bauman
The City of Chicago has some of the most restrictive gun control laws in the nation. Up until a few months ago, it was illegal for a private citizen to own or possess a handgun anywhere within the city, including in one’s own home. For 2010, Chicago also holds another distinction. More Chicago Police Officers were killed by gunfire this year than any other police agency in the nation. The city also boasts one of the highest violent crime rates in the country, with 1 in 89 residents being victims of violent crime last year.
According to the Officer Down Memorial Page, Inc., the City of Chicago had five police officers killed in the line of duty this year. Four of those were killed by gunfire. This, despite the fact that until June of this year, Chicago did not allow the licensing of handguns. In order to lawfully possess a handgun in Chicago, a citizen was required to have a license. In effect, the Chicago law banned having any type of handgun.
In June, the Supreme Court ruled Chicago’s ban violated its citizens’ Second Amendment Rights. Long-time Chicago Mayor, Richard Daley, and the Chicago City Council, then reworked the city’s laws, making it possible, but extremely expensive and difficult, to obtain a handgun license, clinging desperately to the hope that strict gun control laws would decrease crime in their city. When asked by Mick Dumke, of the Chicago Reader, if the city’s firearms restrictions had helped, given the city’s high rate of violent crime, Daley picked up a rifle from a news conference display and responded, “If I put this up your—ha!—your butt—ha ha!—you’ll find out how effective this is!”
In this case, it would appear more restrictions on firearms do not equal a safer community.