The city’s handgun ban was an important step in the right direction toward a broader effort of violence reduction and harm reduction. We know that too many crimes and interpersonal conflicts end in deadly violence began of the ready availability of handguns. The ease with which a fight or a burglary or a robbery can turn to acute violence is directly impacted by the proliferation of guns in our communities and in our streets. That said, I would instruct our legal department to go back to the drawing board to find other pathways to legally institute restrictions on the proliferation of handguns – particularly illegal handguns that come into the possession of those at risk of using them for harm and violence. At the same time, we need to aim to foster a civic dynamic across the city that reduces the perception that inadequate public safety can be mitigated by the proliferation of hand guns.
Conservatives have argued that conceal-and-carry laws reduce crime. That is nonsense. Smart policing and civic programming combined with economic dynamism and employment opportunities that offer alternatives to the underground are vastly more effective drivers in crime reduction.
Mayor Emanuel’s plan to videotape gun sales and prevent gun sales near schools seems more theatrical than substantive. The June City Council ordinance to restrict gun sales was insufficient.
Tougher sentencing for crimes that include guns as well as outreach and education programs designed to stop violence before it starts and make people less interested in possessing weapons.