Is Chicago proof that gun laws don’t work?

Is Chicago proof that gun laws don’t work?

Chicago suffered record-breaking violence in 2016: 4,331 shootings and 762 homicides. That’s more deaths than in New York and Los Angeles combined. Gun rights groups say Chicago’s strict ordinances prove gun laws don’t work–they just add to lawlessness and violence. But gun-control advocates argue New York and L.A. actually have stricter gun laws, and lax gun laws in nearby states flood Chicago with guns. Critics also say we need to address the underlying causes of gun violence. What do you think? 

PERSPECTIVES

As gun rights advocates have argued for decades, criminals don’t care about laws–and Chicago’s out-of-control gun violence proves it.

Strict gun-control policies have failed to deliver on their essential promise: that denying law-abiding citizens access to the means of self-defense will somehow make them safer….The simple, undeniable truth is that gun control does not work.

Chicago does have some of the more restrictive gun ordinances in the country. Gun shops and civilian gun ranges are banned, as are assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. But more than 15,000 of the guns traced by the police in the last decade came from just outside the city limits in neighboring towns that permit gun stores. 

Gun control advocates argue Chicago’s laws can’t make up for the easy access to guns in the rest of Illinois, Wisconsin, and Indiana. Gun violence is a collective national problem, not a local one that can be reduced to debates over a single city’s gun laws.

People who’ve studied violence in Chicago say the laws actually do work to an extent, and the violence would be much worse if restrictions weren’t in place. But there are other aspects to gun violence, including poverty, racism, and unemployment

End the racial and economic violence, and the demand for retributive physical violence falls as well.

Others say stricter laws are not the answer.

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Published at Sat, 10 Jun 2017 00:00:34 +0000