Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said in an interview with Dean Reynolds of CBS News that “carrying a loaded firearm is the gateway crime to committing a murder.” He said this during the course of the interview discussing how the Chicago police seize 130 “illegal” guns a week.
I don’t know about you but I have a hard time wrapping my head around McCarthy’s statement. Much of what McCarthy considers “illegal” is perfectly legal in the rest of the country. That would include such things as concealed carry, open carry, and firearms with standard capacity magazines. I see millions of Americans legally carrying a loaded firearm daily and murder does not begin to cross their minds even once.
While the state of Illinois has passed their shall-issue concealed carry law, it still is in the process of being implemented and no Illinois CCWs have been issued yet.
McCarthy points to the seizure of firearms as being responsible for the reduction in murders in Chicago this year. However, correlation is not causation especially when the police have concurrently stepped up their presence in high crime areas and put more resources into street-level intelligence gathering. If perhaps McCarthy put as much emphasis into suppressing violent street gangs as into suppressing firearms, Chicago might really see a dramatic decline in its murder rate. That would unfortunately deprive many Chicago politicians of a constituency so I doubt we’ll be seeing that.
McCarthy is pushing for a New York City-style law which provides a three year mandatory sentence for the illegal possession of a firearm. His efforts to get such a law passed in Illinois have stalled in the General Assembly.