Gun Control in Chicago

Glossary

Unconstitutional- Violates the tents of the US Constitution.

Saga- Long tail of stories.

Extinguish- Put an end to something.

Ordinance- Local law.

Cynical- Believe the worst possible thing about human nature.

Cliques- Group of close people.

How frequent is the violence, involving guns, in Chicago?

Chicago has the one of the worst crime rates in the United States. The city averages around 7.3 shooting attacks everyday, but not all the these attacks end in murder. Most victims are wounded and sent to the hospital. 2017 has just started and The Chicago Tribune Breaking News staff reported, “368 shooting victims in 2017. While there were 4,367 shooting victims in 2016.” The violence in Chicago is only getting worse as the years go by and how often shootings are becoming is terrifying. According to CNN, 2016 was the deadliest year Chicago has seen since 1997 with a scary high number of 762 murders involving guns, which is a 158.75% increase from 2015. Most of these shootings come from weapons that are illegal, meaning they are not registered with the state. These weapons are really hard to trace making them a criminal's favorite weapons.

Where are these illegal weapons coming from?

Illegal firearms are nearly impossible to trace. If a gun is not registered then the serial number is not on file either, meaning the farthest an investigator can go is ballistics analysis which can only tell you the type of gun a bullet was fired from. This analysis can also tell you if a specific gun was used in previous crimes. Gun smuggling is common between states, in fact, according to USA Today, 60% of all illegal guns come from bordering states. If a Chicago gang member has the right connections, then they can easily get their hands on nearly impossible to trace weapons. Chicago has the worst crime rate in the United States making it a prime location for weapon smugglers to sell guns to criminals. With these constant transactions Chicago law enforcement will always have to find a way to trace an illegal weapon. After the recent surge of violence, the ATF's violent crime and intelligence division stated, “7,000 plus guns they had traced mostly came from gangs because these people have very easy access to firearms.” Lawmakers are implementing measures to help reduce the increasing surge of violence.

What measures are being taken to try to stop the issue?

While violence sweeps the streets of Chicago, lawmakers are working tirelessly at trying to make laws that will help slow down the increasing amount of attacks throughout the city. Lawmakers have tried to make guns harder to access, according to Jon Street, writer for The Blaze, said, “Lawmakers have enforced a ban on handgun sales to all citizens.” With this measure citizens could only purchase a firearm depending on where they lived and if they passed a thorough background check. Lawmakers have also restricted where shooting ranges can be located and restricted the age at which you can enter; Sarah Johnson, writer for PBS, stated, “Chicago lawmakers have restricted the age at which you can enter firing ranges, which is now 18. Firing ranges are not to be into city ordinances either.” With all these restrictions the violence frequency should’ve gone down, but it has only gotten worse. The lawmakers in Chicago are still trying to figure out why these restrictions are not helping the increasing violence rate.

Have these restrictions actually worked?

With all these new laws or restrictions, Chicago lawmakers would have thought the violence rate would have gone down but it has only gotten worse. Some of the bans that the city has tried to enforce got the attention of the federal government. For example there was a Supreme Court case back in 2010 that was on the banning of handguns, Jon Street stated, “The United States Supreme Court called the banning of handguns to citizens unconstitutional after the McDonald v. Chicago case in 2010.” Firing ranges are also fighting the laws that were enforced. Ranges are unhappy with the laws that are being put upon them because they are seeing a decrease in sales, according to Aamer Madhani ,writer for USA today, “Sales at firing ranges have plummeted 16% because of restrictions of city ordinances. Ranges are starting to fighting back because the city has restricted firing ranges from being near residential areas, schools, and places of worship.” If these laws are not helping to the issue or people are retaliating in response to these laws, then lawmakers will have to make new laws in order to help decrease the amount of violence in the city in the long run.

What will lawmakers try to do to solve the issue in the long run?

Chicago lawmakers are in the process of trying to figure out new ways to help decrease the amount of violence in the city. This is still an ongoing issue but as of February 3, 2017 lawmakers have proposed the idea of military presence in the city to help contain the issue, according to William Bigelow, author for CNN, stated, “Chicago lawmakers are wanting the National Guard to come and help contain the recent murder spike in Chicago.” The hope is having the National Guard in the city would put fear into the criminals of a military power in their “territory.” As of January 30, 2017 lawmakers are looking towards trying to help stop the trafficking of illegal weapons. They are working with law enforcement and seeing if there is anything they can to do to help stop the spread of illegal weapons. In an article by the Chicago Tribune, Tom Vanden Berk said, “Lawmakers are working closely with police officers and the organized crime division of the FBI in trying to stop the trafficking of weapons through the city in an effort to limit criminals’ access to weapons used in most homicides.” The violence may never leave the city but if lawmakers and law enforcement are able to bring the violence rating down, then the city of Chicago may become a safer place for everyone.

Work Cited

Chicago Suntimes Editoral Board. “Editorial: Enact gun laws that make a real difference.”Chicago Sun-Times, 23 Aug. 2016, chicago.suntimes.com/opinion/editorial-enact-gun-laws-that-make-a-real-difference/.

Chicago Tribune Breaking News staff. “Crime in Chicago -- Chicago Tribune.”Shootings -- Crime in Chicagoland -- chicagotribune.Com, Chicago Tribune, 3 Feb. 2017, crime.chicagotribune.com/chicago/shootings/.

"Editorial: Enact gun laws that make a real difference."Chicago Sun-Times. Sun-Times Editorial Board, 23 Sept. 2016. Web. 24 Jan. 2017.

Hawkins, Steven. “How We Can Stop Gun Violence and Save Lives.”Human Rights Now, Amnesty International USA, 26 June 2014, blog.amnestyusa.org/us/how-we-can-stop-gun-violence-and-save-lives/.

Park, H., & Fessenden, F. (2016, May 28). Chicago's murder problem. New York Times Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/1792115688?accountid=42214

Services, Tribune news. “Appeals court rules restrictions to gun ranges in Chicago are unconstitutional.”Chicagotribune.com, 19 Jan. 2017, www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-chicago-gun-range-restrictions-20170118-story.html?scrlybrkr=b602d2c9.

Street, John. “Chicago gun control advocates dealt yet another major blow.”TheBlaze, TheBlaze Inc, 19 Jan. 2017, www.theblaze.com/news/2017/01/19/chicago-gun-control-advocates-dealt-yet-another-major-blow/?scrlybrkr=9de1be40.

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