12/13/2012

"Gun Decision Was Product of University of Chicago"

Edward McClelland with NBC Chicago has this claim:
. . . It was a University of Chicago professor, John Lott, who wrote the book "More Guns, Less Crime," which helped build the intellectual argument for conceal carry laws. Lott’s book was published in 1998, the year Chicago surpassed New York as the city with the most murders in the United States.

The 7th Circuit’s opinion was written by Judge Richard Posner, who has been on the faculty of the University of Chicago Law School in 1969. It has been suggested that the U of C faculty’s conservative outlook has a basis in geography: Hyde Park is an embattled island of gentility surrounded by water on one side, and poverty on the other three. It was interesting that Posner’s example of a Chicagoan who needs a gun to protect himself is a resident of Park Tower, a Gold Coast condominium where units run between $1.1 million to $5.7 million. As Posner put it, “a Chicagoan is a good deal more likely to be attacked on a sidewalk in a rough neighborhood than in his apartment on the 35th floor of the Park Tower.” . . .
I don't think that Posner is any particular friend of gun ownership.  One only has to look at his reaction to the Supreme Court's decision after Heller.  For several years while I was a law and economics fellow at the University of Chicago Law School, I lived in faculty apartments at the corner of Singleside Ave and E 60th Street, about a block west of the law school.  At least at the time, if one went a block or so further south, it was not exactly a very safe neighborhood.  One of our family friends was attacked right outside our apartment building.  He was clubbed in the head as he was trying to run away from his attackers and he was suffered severe brain damage.  I can't speak for Dick Posner, but he also lived at the University and anyone living on the South side of Chicago has to be cognizant of the crime problem.
Posner’s opinion was also an attack on federalism -- normally a cherished conservative principle. He argues that since every other state allows conceal carry, Illinois has no grounds for denying it. Is there, in the Constitution, a provision that automatically makes a law apply to every state once a certain number of states have adopted it? . . . .
Does McClelland think that the state of Illinois could ban publication of the Chicago Tribune or Sun-Times?  The 14th Amendment to the Constitution contains what is known as the incorporation clause, which applies the Bill of Rights to the states.  The idea of constitutional protections was that a majority of voters can't deny Americans certain rights.  McClelland doesn't seem to understand that defending constitutional protections is not inconsistent with being conservative.
There is a unique characteristic of criminal activity in Illinois: We have the city with the most murders in the United States. Murders are up over 25 percent this year. We surpassed the 2011 total on Oct. 29. That guns are responsible for this would be evident to anyone with an awareness of the streets of Chicago. But maybe not to someone whose Chicago is confined to the U of C Law Library.
McClelland ignores the ability of people to also use guns to protect themselves.  My research shows that poor blacks who live in high crime areas such as the South side of Chicago are the very people who benefit the most from having guns to protect themselves.

Here are some recent crime reports from an area one block from where we lived.  I would guess that the  University of Chicago has cleaned up the area a little since I lived there.  Click on the picture to make it larger.

Here are the crimes from a block going south down to Drexel.

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1 Comments:

Blogger Chas said...

Concealed carry is a weird thing. It used to be the province of criminals who would conceal the gun before and after a robbery to avoid the incriminating eyes of witnesses. Honest men carried their guns openly.
We carry concealed these days, with our licenses reminiscent of the slave tags worn by slaves. In lieu of metal, they may be paper or plastic these days, for the sake of economy, but there is still the representation of control by some governmental authority. That idea is anathema to a freedom loving American. We carry our guns by right as Americans, not by virtue of some piece of paper bestowed by some bureaucracy, for a price. Freedom isn’t free, but to put a small dollar value on it is deplorable. Like charging people to vote, with the old poll tax. Despicable!

12/14/2012 5:12 PM  

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