Criminals commit 87% of Chicagoland murders; Mayor still has it out for law-abiding gun owners

by Gerard Valentino

Chicago Mayor Richard Daley announced months ago that he would not seek reelection but that hasn't stopped him from continuing to attack gun rights whenever possible. Daley used the Arizona tragedy that left Representative Gabby Giffords fighting for her life and the Fort Hood massacre as a reason to call for more gun control.

Nothing seems to get in the way of Daley's anti-gun crusade – not even the fact that gun control has failed in Chicago and everywhere else.

With Daley moving on, there is now a slim chance that Illinois will become the 49th state to allow legal concealed carry. It remains unlikely because the Chicago Democratic machine is rabidly anti-gun and carries an inordinate amount of clout in the state legislature.

The more rural areas of Illinois have broken with the Chicago machine and many sheriffs and police administrators are on record as fully supporting legal concealed carry. Due to the huge shadow Daley casts on politics in Illinois, he single-handedly made sure the citizens of Illinois remained disarmed while the criminal population in Chicago is armed to the teeth.

Maybe the best we can hope for is, with Daley leaving office, a rational debate on concealed carry can finally take place in Illinois that can begin by looking at Chicago's crime statistics.

Based on the Chicago Police Department's own numbers, nearly 60% of murders in 2010 were gang- related. But, more startling is that 87% of murderers had prior criminal records, and 80% of murder victims had prior convictions as well. These numbers back up the fact that most murders are criminals shooting each other and that lifestyle choices have a huge effect on whether someone becomes a victim of violent crime.

The fact remains that criminals are going to kill each other and there is very little anyone can do about it.

In contrast, protecting the truly innocent is a priority, and few initiatives are better at protecting law- abiding citizens than legal concealed carry.

You can find the 2010 murder rate and statistics here:

If a prior conviction doesn't stop Chicago's murderers from committing yet another crime, Mayor Daley's pet gun control schemes are sure to fail as well.

Somehow, the fact that criminals are responsible for 87% of the murders in Chicago is never mentioned during Daley's anti-gun tirades. He fails to mention it because the numbers disprove his argument that gun control laws will help lower the murder rate. By admitting that criminals are responsible for an average of 350 murders in Chicago each year, Mayor Daley is forced to admit he is wrong about the effect of anti-gun laws.

If we are to believe Mayor Daley's premise, we need to believe that convicted criminals, who broke the law by merely possessing a gun, and then committed murder, which is also illegal, would have followed a law banning private ownership of guns.

Calling such a premise farfetched is one of the greatest understatements of all time. Yet, Mayor Daley and his anti-gun comrades expect us to simply accept their word that a public policy initiative devoid of logic or any chance of success is in everyone’s best interest.

Based on Daley's past actions, he clearly believes in his own infallibility when it comes to the gun issue because he does everything in his power to destroy anyone who dares to question him. Reports have surfaced that he bullied Professor John Lott, a proponent of private gun ownership, and during a press conference he also threatened to shoot a reporter who dared to question his anti-gun policies.

To be fair, Daley's threat was all bark and he later apologized for bad judgment, but it still shows how far Daley will go if anyone questions his anti-gun viewpoint.

When asked in a press conference why gun control isn't more widespread, the good Mayor claimed the gun lobby is more powerful than Google, the oil industry and President Obama, which shows how unhinged he becomes at the mere suggestion that gun control is a failure.

Luckily, as he leaves office, Mayor Daley lost the U. S. Supreme Court battle over whether Chicagoans can own and use handguns for home defense. A failure that is sure to irritate him as he moves on to the next phase of his life.

We can only hope that in Daley's absence, the residents of Chicago will stop being persecuted for wanting to own a gun for self-defense. In a perfect world, without Daley’s opposition, the Illinois state legislature will be able to have a rational debate and finally allow legal concealed carry for law- abiding Chicagoans and other Illinoisans.

Gerard Valentino is a member of the Buckeye Firearms Foundation Board of Directors and the author of "The Valentino Chronicles – Observations of a Middle Class Conservative," available through the Buckeye Firearms Association store.

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