Researcher John Lott says Chicago has lessons to learn from D.C.’s relaxed gun control laws, which resulted in reduced crime rates after one year.
The District of Columbia’s murder rate plummeted by an astounding 25 percent last year, much faster than for the US as a whole or for similarly sized cities.
If you had asked Chicago’s Mayor Daley, that wasn’t supposed to happen. The Supreme Court’s 2008 decision to strike down DC’s handgun ban and gunlock requirements should have lead to a surge in murders, with Wild West shootouts.
The Supreme Court might keep Daley’s predictions in mind today as they hear the oral arguments on Tuesday in the Chicago handgun ban case.
Everyone in DC now knows that murder rates rose after the handgun ban and fell after they were removed. Unfortunately, Chicago never learned that lesson.
The forthcoming third edition of More Guns, Less Crime shows that in the 17 years after its ban on new handguns went into effect, there are only two years where Chicago’s murder rate was as low as it was in 1982.
Chicago’s murder rate fell relative to other largest 50 largest cities prior to the ban and rose relative to them afterwards. For example, Chicago’s murder rate went from equalling the average for those other cities in 1982, to exceeding their average murder rate by 32 percent in 1992 and by 68 percent in 2002.
There is no year after the ban that Chicago’s murder rate fared as well relative to other cities as it did in 1982. Read more
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