Chicago Murder Rate at Lowest Level in 50 Years after Concealed Carry

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. He is completing a book on the international challenges America faces in the 21st century.


Even Chicago isn’t hopeless. Just its politicians.

In July of 2013, Illinois became the last state in the union to enact a concealed carry law. In January of this year, the state began accepting applications for permits. This week, Chicago police announced that the city’s first quarter murder rate was the lowest since 1958.

The first three months of the year saw 6 fewer murders than the same time frame in 2013–a 9 percent drop–and 55 fewer murders than 2012, according to a statement from Chicago Police.

There were 90 fewer shootings and 119 fewer shooting victims, drops of 26 and 29 percent respectively, according to police statistics.

Compared to the first quarter of 2012, there have been 222 fewer shootings and 292 fewer shooting victims. Overall crime is down 25 percent from last year, and police said more than 1,300 illegal guns were recovered in the last three months.

There’s no obvious explanation for the decline. Much of Chicago gun violence is gang driven. There’s no new administration or policy in place. And the economy isn’t exactly in great shape.

  • IrishMutt

    Uh, might not weather be an obvious explanation? Chicago had a near all-time record cold winter. I’m pro-CC, but let’s wait until the third quarter’s numbers are out before attributing a decline, if there is one, to CC.

    • JackSpratt

      It should follow the empirical results of the states, which saw significant drops in violent crime upon passage of their CCW’s.

      • IrishMutt

        No doubt it will, in time. But, to my knowledge, CC does not produce immediate and precipitous drops in gun violence in the first few months of implementation, during a period in which applications are merely being accepted and (who knows how quickly; it’s Chicago) processed. Besides, the article itself provides evidence this recent drop is far less than the drop from first quarter 2012 to first quarter 2013:

        “The first three months of the year saw 6 fewer murders than the same time frame in 2013–a 9 percent drop–and 55 fewer murders than 2012, according to a statement from Chicago Police.”

        Since first quarter 2014 had 6 fewer murders than Q1 2013 but 55 fewer than Q1 2012, then Q1 2013 had 49 fewer murders than Q1 2012. In other words, the drop in Q1 2013 was fully EIGHT TIMES this trumpeted drop in Q1 2014 (49 versus 6). If anything, taking this premature data seriously implies passing concealed carry SLOWED the ongoing reduction in Chicago murders prior to concealed carry permits. That’s not a conclusion I want people to come to.

        Far better, from my perspective, to admit the data is early, and that CC is too young in Chicago to draw any conclusions, than to highlight this recent statistical blip as proof of anything and then watch opponents validly (if you’ve already conceded this scant data is significant) draw attention to the same numbers I just pointed out.

  • SoCalMike

    It shouldn’t be rocket science but maybe it is.
    If a burglar knows any house he might break into possibly has an armed homeowner inside, then he will make sure no one is home before trying to break in. If he’s sure no one is armed, then he has nothing to worry about.
    So those home owners who don’t own a gun benefit from the knowledge that home owners are allowed to own because the intruder has a greater likelihood of getting shot in an area where guns are permitted as opposed to an area where ownership is restricted. Criminals know this without the benefit of an academic study.
    The same principle occurs with CC. If you don’t know whose packing and who isn’t, you might think twice before attacking or robbing someone or “playing knockout.”

    Compare California and Arizona. People from Arizona are a lot more polite.
    Weapons proliferate more in AZ than in CA where people are a lot less polite.
    But you can still own in CA so home intruders still face the same risk if they decide to break in.

  • truebearing

    This drop follows the exact same pattern throughout the country. Criminals are buliies and bullies are cowards. When a potential victim can shoot back, the criminal moves on to a weaker target. Obama and the Left work the same way, and so do Muslims, come to think of it. Bullies are bullies, or whatever stripe.

    The Left wants our guns because they don’t want to be the targets of reprisals as they impose Marxist revolution. They know people will reach a breaking point eventually, so eliminating gun ownership is all about their safety, and no one else’s.

    In old England, the kings knew that taxation rates that went over 25% could cause peasant rebellion. It seems that starving people feel they have nothing to lose in rebelling. We are well over 25%, for those who actually pay taxes, and have been for a long time, but the Left avoids the consequences of rioting peasants by stealing from the productive and handing out free bread. It works, but not forever. Eventually, the entire population is destitute and the government collapses, but that is no comfort to anyone. If there is any hope, it is in immediate, unified, and strong action. Time is our enemy in fighting the Left.

  • chicagorefugee

    Nah, I think this one’s due to the coldest Chicago winter of modern times. CCW is great, but very few permits have yet been approved and the reality hasn’t quite sunk yet in among the predator population. As a matter of fact, on the Second City Cop blog they just, reported the first (legal) use of a weapon for self-defense of the new era!

    Besides, I think CCW’ll be more effective at deterring forcible robbery and flash mob beat downs than murder, simply because the bulk of the murders are gang-on-gang or gang-on-innocent bystander scenarios. But we shall see.

  • tagalog

    It’s early to say yet, but this early report suggests that Chicago is the latest exemplar of John Lott’s “more guns, less crime” thesis.

  • JackSpratt

    Doesn’t and wouldn’t matter, gun control is not about crime control, it’s about people control. The left knows that at some point along their scheme to make this a communist country and create a World Government, people are going to take up their guns and settle this thing with a bang.