Chicago’s Awful Alibi

From America’s 1st Freedom:

In a Nov. 2 feature titled, “Watch How Chicago Gets Flooded with Thousands of Crime Guns,” The Trace tries to make the argument that Chicago’s crime is caused by guns from other states. It’s one of the newer pro-gun-control arguments that assumes the shaky premise that guns by themselves inevitably cause crime—and disease, and increased aggression, and accidental discharges, etc.

The Trace has even produced evidence its editors must think proves that point: They have a map.

This map has lots of dots that are supposed to represent individual guns flowing into Chicago from around the country. To help you understand how important this is, there is a prompt to view it full screen, where you expect to find additional facts to support their argument. However, all you get are animated dots that flow into Illinois from neighboring states, while a counter rolls up a total of “10,406 imported crime guns.” One can’t help but think, “I went full-screen for this?”

The Trace likens guns to cockroaches that spread from gun-plentiful areas to gun-scarce ones. The dots on its map are designed to mimic this infestation, as if six-shooters had six legs.

The unsubtle message of the map is that Chicago is not to blame for its intractable plague of gun homicide; neighboring suburbs and states that respect gun rights are the problem. If only they were more like Chicago, then Chicago would be more like Mayberry.

The authors stumble from one misleading statement to another. The subhead states, “88 percent of guns recovered in Illinois were seized in Chicago.” This is relevant data? Does anyone think they were recovered in Champagne-Urbana?

“While the Windy City outlaws gun stores, straw purchasers can pick up firearms in neighboring suburbs that have track records of failing to police the gun sellers within their borders.” (Emphasis ours.) The Trace is referring to gun sellers with a track record of following all state and federal laws—but that just isn’t good enough, apparently.

The Trace names 15 neighboring states that they blame for being the source of Illinois crime guns. Oddly, not one city in those states suffers from rampant criminal violence on a scale like Chicago’s. If these guns carry a contagion of criminal violence, why do they have to travel to Chicago before they infect anyone?

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