President Obama singled out “street corners in Chicago” as locations that will benefit from the gun-control legislation he proposed today. That’s questionable, to say the least.
All of the president’s proposed legislation that can be classified as gun-control, per se — limiting ammunition magazines, reinstating the assault-weapons ban — target weapons like rifles and shotguns, not handguns, which are used to commit the vast majority of gun-related crimes in Chicago.
According to the Chicago Police Department’s 2011 Murder Analysis report, the most recent on record, 351 of the city’s 362 gun murders were committed with handguns — almost 97 percent. Of the remaining eleven homicides, six were carried out with rifles or shotguns, and the type of gun used was undetermined in five. The statistics for preceding years are 98 percent in 2010 and 94 percent in 2009.
In the first weeks of 2013, Chicago is outpacing its 2012 murder rate, with a reported 21 gun homicides thus far. Unfortunately, the president’s proposals are unlikely to do anything to address the problem.