Why haven't Democrats sought to help the 59 dead of gun violence in Chicago?

Why haven't Democrats sought to help the 59 dead of gun violence in Chicago?
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After the horrific shooting in Las Vegas that left 59 dead, congressional Democrats are calling for action. There is universal agreement among Democrats, the mainstream media, and the bicoastal cultural elites that 59 corpses mark a historical milestone; that now is the time to act. But what actions will they take, and with what result? They could start by stopping the murders in their own cities.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi wrote to Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanIs Joe Biden finished? Krystal Ball previews fifth Democratic debate Former Speaker Boehner's official portrait unveiled MORE, "The epidemic of gun violence in our country continues to challenge the conscience of our nation."

Sen. Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyDem senator says Zelensky was 'feeling the pressure' to probe Bidens Lawmakers spar over upcoming Sondland testimony Johnson: Whistleblower 'exposed things that didn't need to be exposed' MORE, (D-Conn.), tweeted, "To my colleagues: your cowardice to act cannot be whitewashed by thoughts and prayers. None of this ends unless we do something to stop it." 


Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenFive takeaways from the Democratic debate As Buttigieg rises, Biden is still the target Leading Democrats largely pull punches at debate MORE (D-Mass.) was among the most eloquent. “Thoughts and prayers are NOT enough. Not when more mothers and fathers are going to have to bury children this week. Not when more sons and daughters are going to grow up without parents.”


And I agree with them. As a dyed-in-the-wool, rock-ribbed conservative, Tea Party adherent, Trump volunteer, I can agree that 59 corpses are too many: too many families riven by violence, too many grieving mothers. Yet in this case, only Democrats can stop it. Republicans are powerless. It won't stop. It will happen again this month and next month, as it has for many years.

Because the 59 murders in this case are those that took place in Chicago during the month of September 2017 alone. 59 mostly young men, mostly black, cut down, in a bitterly ironic twist of fate, in exactly the same number of dead from the Las Vegas shooting.

Only Democrats can pass any laws to stop this carnage, because only Democrats control Chicago. But their proposed solutions for the nation — which boil down to taking guns from the people who don’t misuse them — did nothing to prevent the 59 murders in Chicago last month. Or the five murders in the first three days of October. But why would America want to live under the gun laws that have produced 59 gun homicides in a single month, just in Chicago?

Senate Minority Leader Chuck SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerTensions rise in Senate's legislative 'graveyard' 2020 Republicans accuse Schumer of snubbing legislation Schumer: Leadership trying to work out competing surprise medical bill measures MORE (D-N.Y.) said, “What Congress can do, what Congress must do, is pass laws to keep our citizens safe. And that starts with guns, especially laws that help prevent guns, especially the most dangerous guns from falling into the wrong hands.” 

But which guns are the most dangerous? Which gun was most dangerous to Antwon Green, a 15-year-old boy who was shot in the back after getting into an argument on the sidewalk near his home? Or to Steven Reid, or Tyson White, Dominic Morris or Jacquell Mosley? Incidentally, something else these murders have in common is that they are likely to remain unsolved, unpunished; the last sentence of over 50 of the 59 news reports is the same: “No one was in custody.”

Most of those victims are black or Hispanic. Do black lives really matter to Chicago mayor Rahm Emmanuel, safe in his home in Ravenswood, protected everywhere by armed guards?

The problem with all those calls to action is not only that they have proven futile everywhere they have been tried, but that they target people who are not breaking the law. Schumer wants to prevent guns “falling into the wrong hands.” Which hands are the right hands, and why would he take guns away from them?

Compare gun policy proposals to policies to prevent drunk driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an estimated 850 people died in September alone from alcohol-impaired driving. Will the senators call for action against drivers who have never driven drunk? Then why call for action against gun owners who have never misused their guns? Why do they protest the institution that sponsors the most gun safety courses in the nation, the NRA? We never hear about any NRA members or concealed-carry permit holders engaging in a terrorist attack or a mass shooting. So why do liberals blame those horrible acts on the NRA?

Liberal “solutions” always involve limiting gun ownership. But a chart developed by Mark J. Perry at the American Enterprise Institute shows unmistakably that as gun ownership in America increased by 56 percent from 1993 to 2013, gun homicides fell by 49 percent. Economists call that a negative correlation.

Democrats are correct that murders should stop. But do they care as much about the murders in Chicago as those in Las Vegas? Did their solutions prevent the 59 gun murders in September? No, thank you, senators. Your actions do more harm than good, and your solutions don’t work. Democrats should demonstrate success in stopping murders in Chicago before imposing the same gun laws on the rest of the nation.

Bart Marcois (@BMarcois) was the principal deputy assistant secretary of energy for international affairs during the Bush administration and was previously a career foreign service officer. He is a director at the Richard Richards Foundation.