When Republicans are shrugging off the need for any kind of rational gun policy — not that they ever consider it — they enjoy mentioning the high murder toll in Chicago and pretend that doing so proves their argument.
“I think if you look to Chicago, where you had over 4,000 victims of gun-related crimes last year, they have the strictest gun laws in the country. That certainly hasn’t helped there,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Oct. 2, drop-kicking the issue in the wake of the Las Vegas massacre.
“The most stringent gun laws in the U.S. happen to be in Chicago,” Donald Trump tweeted in 2014. “and look what is happening there!”
What is happening here is that Chicago — though banning gun sales but not gun ownership — is ringed by suburbs pumping guns into the city and by states whose lax gun laws provide a direct pipeline to the city’s streets.
Legal gun sales are a big part of the problem. The Sun-Times outlined that situation again last week. According to the second “Gun Trace Report,” the work of the Chicago Police Department and the University of Chicago Crime Lab, more than half of the 27,500 guns recovered by CPD between 2013 to 2016 came legally from 5,000 federally licensed gun shops in Illinois and other states; almost a quarter from Indiana.
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