Teri Merrill said in her commentary on Aug. 7 that people should vote for Democratic candidates this November who will “support common-sense gun laws.” Let’s test that assertion. The cities with the strictest gun laws in America include California, Illinois, Maryland. These states also happen to almost vote predominately for candidates on the Democratic ticket. You would expect that the cities in those states are some of the safest in the country.
According to the 2017 Los Angeles Police Department Homicide report, the percentage of firearms used in homicides by gang members rose in 2017 from 72 percent to 93 percent. In Baltimore in 2018, crime statistics released by the FBI place Baltimore’s homicide rate well above that of any other large American metropolis.
The state of Illinois has more than one murder per 1,000 residents, which is a murder rate 21.3 times the national average. Chicago, the third largest city in the United States, had 561 homicides between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2018. I will add that the majority of these murders are black-on-black and Hispanic-on-Hispanic crime, not murders committed by “white nationalists.” The Los Angeles Police Homicide report stated that “the overwhelming majority of homicide victims in 2017 were of Hispanic and Black descents” and “of the Suspect (perpetrators) descents 52 percent were of Hispanic descent, and 40 percent were of Black descent.”
If guns are so difficult to obtain in California, Illinois and Maryland, why is there still so much violence in those cities? How did the perpetrators obtain their firearms? Is it possible they were obtained illegally? How would you improve the prevention of those from obtaining guns illegally?
In 1920 the temperance movement succeeded in getting the 18th Amendment passed to make the sale of alcohol illegal. Millions of Americans were willing to drink alcohol illegally, which gave rise to the illegal production and sale of alcohol and illegal, secretive drinking establishments, both of which were run by organized crime. It was such a colossal failure that Prohibition was repealed in 1933, but the organized crime spawned by Prohibition stayed around far longer.
If the ultimate dream of gun-control advocates comes to fruition all it will do is make the entire country like Baltimore, with law-abiding citizens being at the mercy of criminals who will obtain guns any way necessary — and there will always be other criminals who will be happy to supply them.