Thursday, June 16, 2011

Sawyer on gun registration in Chicago

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From an article by Mick Dumke at the Chicago Reader:
Roderick Sawyer, alderman of the Sixth Ward, is skeptical of that theory. "It's like buying a car," he says. "If you want one you'll find a way to do it."

Sawyer's south-side ward includes struggling, high-crime areas in Englewood as well as middle-class parts of Chatham where residents are openly talking about getting guns because of crime concerns. He says it's appropriate to have "reasonable restrictions" on gun ownership in the city, though it's also clear that many people aren't complying with the law. He recalled an evening when he offered to walk a senior citizen home after a community meeting.

"She moved her coat to the side and showed me she was packing," he recalls. "She said, 'How about if I walk you home?'" 
Yeah for context what is the theory?
John Lott, an economist who argues that gun control laws like Chicago's actually lead to higher crime, says the cost of meeting the gun application's training and registration requirements essentially discriminates against low-income black communities. In Chicago, the training and permit fees cost about $250 on top of the price of the gun.

"Those who are most likely to be victims of crime benefit the most from owning guns, and unfortunately, that is one very well defined group in our country, poor blacks who live in high crime urban areas such as Chicago," Lott wrote in an e-mail. "But these white, middle class areas can much more easily afford the fees to register their guns and to go through the training requirements."
Another theory mentioned about gun registration is that there are high rates of convicted felons in black and latino communities. Also that blacks and latinos have high levels of distrust for the police.

The pic above measures the rates of gun registration according to zipcode around the city. So 60619 and 60628 in orange are almost close percentage wise with those areas in red on the northwest, southwest, and even around downtown Chicago.

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