Chicago: That Violent Town

By Dave Workman

Chicago, the third largest city in the United States (behind New York and Los Angeles), has the distinction of being the murder capitol of the country, and under the control of liberal, anti-gun Democrats for generations.

At the end of October, WBBM, the local CBS affiliate, reported that there had been 78 murders in just that one month. The total for the year at that point had passed 600 slayings. The Chicago Tribune reported that at least 638 people had been murdered as October wrapped up.

Chicago, and the state of Illinois, boasts some of the most restrictive gun laws in the nation. The Windy City has fought tooth and nail to maintain strict gun control even after the 2010 Supreme Court ruling in McDonald v. City of Chicago — a case brought by the Second Amendment Foundation — essentially nullified the city’s 30-year-old handgun ban.

Turn your attention to the FBI Uniform Crime Report for 2015. The city with tough gun laws has piled up more corpses this year than entire states did in all of 2015. Let’s take a brief tour: In 2015, Alaska racked up 57 murders of which 39 were committed with firearms. Arizona posted 278 murders, of which 171 involved guns. Colorado tallied 176 slayings including 115 that were done with firearms.

Oklahoma, where gun ownership is about as common as blue jeans and cowboy boots, had 233 murders in 2015, of which 149 involved guns. Washington, where more than 560,000 people are licensed to carry concealed handguns, logged 209 slayings last year, and 141 of them were committed with firearms, the FBI data said.

Anybody can read down the entire list and quickly conclude that Chicago is hardly the example that gun prohibitionists want to trot out when they talk about how this or that gun control law can make the streets safer. Indeed, on the final weekend of October, Chicago posted 17 homicides, which nearly matched the number of criminal slayings (18) that had occurred in Seattle for the entire year at that point.

WBBM estimated that if the violence continued at its current pace, by the end of the year, as many as 726 people will have been murdered. That’s more than three times the number of people murdered in all of Wisconsin in 2015, when 238 slayings were posted, according to the FBI data.

The carnage is so bad that the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms did a news release that bluntly said Chicago is essentially municipal “living proof” that gun control has been a failure.

Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson reportedly said the state needs a tougher sentencing law for recidivist violent criminals. Welcome to the early 1990s, when gun rights organizations championed a little strategy called “Hard Time for Armed Crime” out in Washington State. Liberals criticized the idea, but everybody else — with the possible exception of armed thugs — seemed to warm right up to it.

They’re Buying Guns By The Bushel

A story out of western Pennsylvania caught our attention because it reflected something that is common knowledge except among gun control lobbying groups.

Gun dealers there have been selling lots of firearms, and many of their clients are first-time buyers. A passage out of the story, which appeared in the Valley News Dispatch, had this to say: “Gun license approvals in Allegheny, Armstrong and Westmoreland counties are on track to rise again this year. Licenses to carry concealed firearms in the first 10 months of the year in the three counties are up 39 percent, rising by 8,741 to 31,011, according to data from sheriff’s departments, which conduct criminal background checks and issue the licenses.”

Perhaps by no coincidence, Sturm, Ruger & Company recently announced its third quarter net sales of $161.4 million and diluted earnings of $1.03 per share. That eclipsed the third quarter net sales of $120.9 million and diluted earnings of 62 cents per share in 2015. This was reported by The Outdoor Wire, which also noted that for the first nine months of 2016, net sales hit $502.5 million, significantly surpassing the $398.7 million in net sales posted during the first nine months of 2015.

Ruger this year has introduced several new models, and one that caught our attention was the newly-re-designed Mark IV semi-auto chambered for .22 Long Rifle. It is the simplest of all the models to disassemble and reassemble, and in both the Hunter and Target versions, it is very accurate.

The LCP II is also a re-design of the original LCP semi-auto chambered in .380 ACP, according to the report.

NICS Checks Set Another Record

The National Instant Check System (NICS) racked up another record for the number of background checks conducted during the month of October.

For the month, according to FBI statistics, there were 2,333,539 NICS checks conducted, which is the most ever for the month of October in the history of the system. The FBI, which runs the NICS system, was careful to note that “The number of NICS checks in a month do not represent an exact count of gun sales for a number of reasons. For instance, many states require a NICS checks for those applying for gun carry permits, and many states do not require NICS checks for sales between private parties.”

By the end of October, there had been 22,206,233 NICS checks reported.

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