“Well, The strategy was to tell the truth. And that’s my honest opinion. The biggest [lie] is this idea around guns and violence and kids. You never find anyone who says, “We don’t value our kids. We don’t care about them.” But I don’t listen to words. I look at actions. And the truth is, we’ve raised a generation of kids on mass shootings and gun violence. During my seven and a half years running Chicago Public Schools, we had a kid killed every two weeks, on average, due to gun violence, which is a staggering rate of loss. Then Sandy Hook happens. And nothing. Zero. This just doesn’t happen in other countries. You know, England, Canada, Australia have basically solved this.”
Want some truth, Mr. Duncan? Are you sure?
Here’s some truth. Chicago has strong gun control laws. In fact, the Supreme Court ruled the city’s handgun ban unconstitutional. The city denied an older black man in a bad part of town the right to have a small-caliber handgun for personal protection.
In spite of that, Chicago has not only the highest murder rate of any of the ten largest American cities but, according to the Gun Violence Archives, it has as many mass shooting incidents as every state but California and Florida.
Despite politician protests and evasions about guns flowing into the city, ATF trace data indicates that the largest share of guns recovered in Illinois came from Illinois. Wisconsin accounted for less than 5% of recovered guns traced by the ATF.
What gun laws do you want to pass? Background checks? According to a study of inmates in the Cook County Jail, the vast majority of offenders got their guns from thefts, black-market sales and friends and family. None of those involve presenting the Illinois Firearm Owner Identification Card required for all legal transfers, including private sales.
The Chicago police announced that 90% of crime guns were seized from people other than the last person of record.
How about registration? Do you honestly believe criminals are going to register their guns? Compared to that, belief in the Tooth Fairy is absolutely rational.
If guns are the problem, why do 15 out of Chicago’s 77 neighborhood, primarily on the west and south sides of the city, account for 80% of the homicides? Chicago has recorded more than 500 homicides so far this year but not one of them has been in the downtown business district and only one was committed in the neighborhood where Mayor Rahm Emanuel lives.
As of December 12, Chicago had had more murders than the four largest cities in Texas combined and nearly as many as New York and Los Angeles reported for all of 2017.
This phenomenon repeats itself year after year.
The Chicago Police Department’s homicide clearance rate runs the gamut from embarrassing to abysmal. They are hampered by the fact that the communities most at risk don’t trust them and won’t cooperate with investigators.
Do you think it was an accident that the Black Lives Matter movement got its start in Chicago?
Yes, Chicago has a problem — a huge problem. But it isn’t guns. It’s a corrupt and uncaring government and a tradition of venal administrations that have allowed serious social problems, such as de facto racial segregation, lack of economic opportunity and other woes to fester for years, if not decades. It’s politicians that try to cover their own shortcomings and failures by playing the Wizard of Oz and telling everyone to pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.
You want truth, Mr. Duncan? In the words of Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men, “You can’t handle the truth!” Because the truth is that your own words say you’re part of the problem.