To reduce shootings, look for better ideas beyond gun control

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Chicago, one of the most dangerous cities in the United States, saw a drop in homicides from 771 in 2016 to 650 in 2017. And police are thanking new technology, not gun control laws

While on its face value this seems like a victory for the city, Chicago still beats the number of killings in New York City and Los Angeles combined. Despite these cities being among the leading cities for gun control laws, they continue to remain in the top percentage of the highest homicide rates. 

Chicago Police officials say they were able to make progress in combating violence with the launch of Strategic Decision Support Centers.

These centers are data driven nerve centers that Chicago Police Department says has helped it respond faster to shootings and help officers predict where the next incident may occur. According to Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson “the six districts where police launched the nerve centers in 2017, murders and shooting incidents decreased by about 25 percent.” 

According to the Chicago Police Department website, officers are now provided with "additional cameras, gunshot detection systems, and mobile phones to officers in the field who receive real-time notifications and intelligence data at their fingertips.” Furthermore, according to new Chicago PD reports, districts in the city that have been equipped with these new technologically advanced nerve centers are seeing a decrease in overall crime, not just shootings. 

With this proven data in hand, it’s time that elected officials go where the science tells them and stop attempting to scapegoat law-abiding citizens with laws that more strictly curtail their gun rights. 

For decades now, politicians have argued that stricter gun control is the answer. Yet the data doesn’t support such a conclusion, and even at times points in the opposite direction. Year after year, there is no apparent statistical relationship between the prevalence of gun homicides and the prevailing gun policies among the 50 states. As the accompanying chart demonstrates, the widely disparate gun control approaches and gun ownership rates in pairs of states like California and Texas, Illinois and Georgia, Maryland and Tennessee, did not result in significantly different gun murder rates. This has been true in previous years, and it was true once again in 2016, the most recent year for which FBI data are available. 

It’s also important to note that the various states’ rates of other violent gun crimes, such as robbery, do not seem to depend on gun policy or gun ownership rates or state gun control laws either

There is even an argument that when law-abiding citizens are free from the grip of gun-grabbing laws, they are better able to defend themselves and their loved ones. With absurd measures of gun control out of the picture, law-abiding citizens can legally obtain firearms quicker, practice with a wide-variety of firearms, and better defend themselves through concealed and open carry

Either way, the only people who benefit from stricter gun control laws are criminals. That’s why states and cities across America should be looking for other, more promising ways to reduce crime, as they have done out of desperation in Chicago.