The Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling that defined the Second Amendment as the right to keep handguns in homes is ironic. This case, McDonald vs. Chicago, comes from the city with one of the highest gun crime and murder rates in the country, driven by a growing gang violence problem. Coming on the tail of a week in which nine Chicago residents were murdered and 20 injured in gang-related shootouts, broader access to handguns seems injurious, if not downright diabolical. Chicago police recovered or confiscated 7,234 guns in the first 10 months of last year when the ban was effective, a number they estimate accounts for one gun per every 14 of the estimated active gang members in the Chicago metropolitan area. Police no longer have the right to confiscate any of those that are legally attained handguns. As a Chicago native, I know I feel safer already.
As William A. Collins notes in his recent OtherWords column “Gotta Get Me a Gun,” handguns are particularly devastating to families, where children can and do stumble upon Daddy’s “hidden” cabinet, or where caustic marital flare-ups become lethal. Mayor Daley has promised more laws making the purchase of guns more difficult in their jurisdiction. Best of luck to him and the Chicago PD. It’s a tough task to fight escalating violence in already crime-ridden cities when our federal government shoots our local governments in the foot.