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New York vs. Chicago on guns

Monday, May 30, 2016

* New York Times

The homicide rate in Chicago is just a little higher than in New York when guns aren’t involved. But when it comes to shootings, both fatal and not, Chicago stands out, suggesting a level of armed interaction that isn’t happening in New York.

…And Chicago is more lenient about illegal handguns than New York, prescribing a one-year minimum for possession versus three and a half years in New York. An attempt to match the New York law in 2013 was rejected by the Illinois legislature out of concern for skyrocketing incarceration rates for young black men.

The whole thing is worth a read.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Truthteller - Monday, May 30, 16 @ 12:21 pm:

    The article points out that NYC has more cops per capita. As I recall, Emanuel made a big deal out of cutting positions from the CPD budget early in his administration. Perhaps not such a wise move on his part. NYC has higher taxes and a lower murder rate. What’s better? The NY way or the Chicago way

  2. - DuPage - Monday, May 30, 16 @ 12:35 pm:

    Don’t toughen the laws against carrying illegal guns because of concern about people being locked up for carrying illegal guns? Insane!

  3. - Hit or Miss - Monday, May 30, 16 @ 12:37 pm:

    If you read the whole article you find that the words “concealed carry” do not appear. Proponents of concealed carry have given crime reduction as one of the main reasons they back the concept. The current increase in deaths using guns started about the time concealed carry started in Illinois. Concealed carry certainly did not cause the increase in gun deaths but one needs to ask why it did not stop or reduce the killings. Has concealed carry failed it promise to the citizens of Chicago?

  4. - Liberty - Monday, May 30, 16 @ 12:42 pm:

    So FOID cards don’t keep illegal guns out of the hands of criminals. I’m shocked.

  5. - Anon - Monday, May 30, 16 @ 12:45 pm:

    The end of the article points out the basic reason for the difference between Chicago and New York - Chicago’s problem with segregation and extreme pockets of poverty:

    But segregation in New York is nothing like in Chicago: The perfectly isolated neighborhood – where every man, woman and child is the same race – is rare in New York. Less than one percent of the population lives in such areas, and most of them are white. In Chicago, 12 percent of the black population is in a census block group that is 100 percent black.

    Racially segregated minority neighborhoods have a long history of multiple adversities, such as poverty, joblessness, environmental toxins and inadequate housing, Professor Sampson said. In these places, people tend to be more cynical about the law and distrust police, “heightening the risk that conflictual encounters will erupt in violence.”

    “The major underlying causes of crime are similar across cities, but the intensity of the connection between social ills and violence seems to be more persistent in Chicago,” Professor Sampson said. “You don’t get that kind of extensive social and economic segregation in many other cities.”

  6. - Interested observer - Monday, May 30, 16 @ 12:51 pm:

    Lengthy mandatory sentences did not lead to NYC’s stunning drop in murder. NY changed its law in 2006 to make illegal gun possession a 4.5 year mandatory minimum, after gun homicides had already dropped in NYC by 90% from a high in the 1990s. What’s more, after NYC changed the law the New York Times found that “fewer than half the defendants who had been arrested for illegal possession of a loaded gun in New York City received a state prison sentence.” This goes to show that there is nothing mandatory about mandatory minimums. All they do is transfer discretion from prosecutors to judges, which is where discretion belongs.

    In Chicago, the Sun Times found that the median sentence handed out by judges was four years for illegal gun possession by a felon. Chicago’s problem is not that the law fails to allow for lengthy prison sentences–it does; and it’s not that Cook County judges are afraid to sentence gun offenders to lengthy prison time–they do. Compared to NYC, Chicago’s problem–or at least a big part of it–is that there are significantly more guns on the street in the hands of people who shouldn’t have them.

  7. - Amalia - Monday, May 30, 16 @ 1:02 pm:

    NYC neighborhoods are WAY different than those of Chicago! there is an entire swath of the super rich and it keeps moving up into Harlem. Staten Island is literally an Island. Brooklyn is getting more and more millennial. it is truly a land of rich and poor and there are fewer poor there all the time. besides, what is the name of that beach town in Queens with the racially motivated beatings? so they are far from perfect. do think that the gun crime time law makes a difference, but with fewer legislators from poor neighborhoods than we have in Chicago, we get the wrong kind of time for crimes here and they have a better law.

  8. - Anonymous - Monday, May 30, 16 @ 1:19 pm:

    So it appears the root cause is segregation and poverty, which leads to gangs. Solve that and you should reduce the gangs. But that is going to take a stable environment, a consistent plan, tons and tons of money and generations of time.

    It also appears that, at least in NYC, additional police can have a deterrent effect. That also takes a stable environment, a consistent plan and tons of money.

    What does Illinois, and Chicago, lack?

    A stable environment, a consistent plan, and enough money.


  9. - RNUG - Monday, May 30, 16 @ 1:19 pm:

    1:19 pm was my comments

  10. - Amalia - Monday, May 30, 16 @ 1:40 pm:

    rough look at State Representatives in NYC districts….66 of 150 in legislature. of the 66 representing NYC, about 17 African American, 1 Asian American, 9 Hispanic, 39 white. But NYC is not the only place in New York with representatives of color though clearly the reps in NY state have no problem with increasing penalties. why is it different in Illinois?

  11. - DOI Chef - Monday, May 30, 16 @ 3:01 pm:

    So, if guns are the problem, why isn’t this whole state one giant OK Coral? This State has pandered to the criminal element for too long and always want to try to make them out as the victim, especially if the police are involved. If you don’t want to tangle with the police, don’t break the law! It is not the law abiding gun owner that is the problem, it is those that have a total disregard for others and will do what they want, when they want. And what does our State do? Pass more firearm restrictions for the law abiding citizen because we all know that the gangs will comply once they realize how sophisticated we’ve become.

  12. - Empty Suit - Monday, May 30, 16 @ 3:20 pm:

    In the 70s,80s, and early 90s the homicide rate in Chicago was, many times, close to double what it is today.

  13. - Formerly Known As... - Monday, May 30, 16 @ 3:39 pm:

    CPD Supt Johnson also wrote about the revolving door this month

    =For years, repeat offenders with violent criminal records have been able to continually cause harm in our communities with minimum consequences. Offenders tell me that as long as they can get out of jail in a matter of months for carrying a gun, they are going to do it again. And Martinez, the alleged offender in last week’s murder case, is the perfect demonstration: in 2014, he was sentenced to three years in jail on a gun charge, but walked free just over a year later.=

    =By our count, about 1,300 individuals — or less than one percent of the city’s population — are responsible for the vast majority of violence we’ve seen in recent months.=

  14. - Todd - Monday, May 30, 16 @ 4:03 pm:

    would have been nice to see a comparison of gangs and members between the two

  15. - RNUG - Monday, May 30, 16 @ 4:09 pm:

    The report noted that there were both Hispanic and black gangs, but the problems are primarily with the black gangs in Chicago. So maybe the question should be: why are black gangs in Chicago more violent?

  16. - Last Bull Moose - Monday, May 30, 16 @ 7:22 pm:

    Has anyone considered whether NYC has a better organized drug market. If Chicago has a more competitive illegal drug trade, there will be more violence as gangs fight for turf and market share.

    One of the arguments for state controlled distribution of less harmful drugs is to take funding from the illegal private drug distributors. A side effect is less violence.

  17. - Anonymous - Tuesday, May 31, 16 @ 4:07 pm:

    Who’s the second city now?

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