John Lott, respected researcher and a resident of Swarthmore, is noting that Supreme Court decisions overturning gun-control laws in Washington D.C. and Chicago have brought about significant changes in the safety status of the those cities’ residents.
Namely, they’ve become more so.
Lott notes that in the first six months 2011, there were 14 percent fewer murders in Chicago compared to the first six months of last year when having a handgun was illegal.
“It was the largest drop in Chicago’s murder rate since the handgun ban went into effect in 1982,” he writes.
Thank you, President Bush for the judges you picked.
The same effect, by the way, can be seen closer to home. Harrisburg made “right to carry” applicable to residents of Philadelphia in 1995, a year in which there were 432 homicides. By 1999, homicides there plummeted to 292.
While there were some spikes in the ensuing years (406 in 2006) it never reached the number of the gun-ban years.
Last year, there were 306 homicides in the city. The city’s population has been stable at a little more than 1.5 million over the last 15 years.
Of course, the ability to effectively protect oneself is not the most important marker for safety. A society that sincerely holds that people are designed and loved by a creator regardless of that person’s convenience to society will be a very safe place in which few will feel need to have a gun.
Believe it or not, Philadelphia once came fairly close to that ideal. In 1958, the city — which then had population of 2 million — had just 117 murders.