From the Illinois Mirror: On the heels of a new subpoena from a federal grand jury in Chicago seeking records about Gov. Pat Quinn’s (D-Ill.) botched 2010 anti-violence program, the Neighborhood Recovery Initiative, a new poll from YouGov reveals that Chicago – one of the most heavily regulated cities in America when it comes to guns – is seen as the most dangerous city in America. It’s followed closely by New York City, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., three other cities that are also known for their strict gun control laws.
The safest cities? Dallas and Houston, where concealed carry permits are easy to get, gun ownership is high, and there are no restrictions at all on long-barreled firearms.
The latest research from YouGov shows that according to the public, America’s three largest cities are also its most dangerous. Chicago, the third most populous metro area in the country, is seen as the most dangerous, with 53% of Americans saying that the city is ‘unsafe’ while only 33% say it is ‘safe’. New York City is the seen the second most dangerous, followed by LA and DC. Texas’ two largest cities, Dallas and Houston, are seen as being safest.
Isn’t that a strange coincidence?
Just a year ago, Illinois finally became the last state in the nation to legalize concealed carry, albeit at a heavily regulated, watered-down basic level. In addition to stipulating dozens of gun-free zones, the Illinois law also prices permits at $600 and requires 16 hours of training – adversely affecting people in low-income areas that are most susceptible to crime and gun violence (vs. $70 for those below the poverty line and four to six hours of training in Texas).
Still, very few in the Illinois media have bothered to report that the Chicago crime rate has dropped while conceal-carry permits have surged – directly contradictingpredictions that the opposite would happen. The city’s homicide rate has now plummeted to a 56-year low since the concealed-carry law was enacted:
Since Illinois started granting concealed carry permits this year, the number of robberies that have led to arrests in Chicago has declined 20 percent from last year, according to police department statistics. Reports of burglary and motor vehicle theft are down 20 percent and 26 percent, respectively. In the first quarter, the city’s homicide rate was at a 56-year low.
“It isn’t any coincidence crime rates started to go down when concealed carry was permitted. Just the idea that the criminals don’t know who’s armed and who isn’t has a deterrence effect,” said Richard Pearson, executive director of the Illinois State Rifle Association. “The police department hasn’t changed a single tactic — they haven’t announced a shift in policy or of course — and yet you have these incredible numbers.”
As of July 29 the state had 83,183 applications for concealed carry and had issued 68,549 licenses. By the end of the year, Mr. Pearson estimates, 100,000 Illinois citizens will be packing. When Illinois began processing requests in January, gun training and shooting classes — which are required for the application — were filling up before the rifle association was able to schedule them, Mr. Pearson said.