Chicago has stood for years as proof positive that restrictive gun control laws don’t make anyone safer. But that hasn’t stopped Windy City politicians from blaming pro-gun states for their incompetence even while failing to enforce their own gun control laws on the wealthy and well-connected.
The latest evidence comes courtesy of Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot. The mayor has failed to quell violent rioting and looting in recent weeks, and the city has seen a 50 percent increase in homicides compared to last year along with the nation’s leading number of homicides in any major city so far this year (433).
Lightfoot believes the problem lies not in Chicago but in Mississippi. She has consistently blamed states with less restrictive gun control laws for Chicago’s violence, and this week she traveled down south in her cross-country blame-shifting trip.
“Sixty percent of the illegal guns that come into Chicago every year are from out of state, from Indiana, from Mississippi, from other states that have lax gun laws,” she said in an interview on MSNBC.
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Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves wasn’t having any of Lightfoot’s nonsense, calling her “conspiracy theory” “bizarre and pathetic.”
“No serious person could think that murders are out of control and people are burning police cars in Chicago because of Mississippi’s commitment to the Constitution,” he told Mississippi blog Y’all Politics.
He has a point, of course: many pro-gun states see far less violence than Chicago, and other cities surrounded by pro-gun states don’t suffer from the same homicide rates as the Windy City.
Fortunately for the rich and well-connected, Chicago’s draconian gun control laws don’t apply to everyone.
Illinois State Rep. Curtis Tarver II was arrested in November during a traffic stop in Chicago after officers discovered his concealed carry license wasn’t valid. He insisted that his license was valid because he had recently renewed his Firearm Owners Identification Card (FOID). He said in a statement that he expected his CCL to renew automatically after he renewed his FOID, according to the Chicago Sun Times.
But a spokesman for the Illinois State Police said Tarver was mistaken.
“In order to reactivate the CCL due to an expired FOID, the person should submit a Request for Concealed Carry License Review form, which should be received with their notice of revocation,” state police told the Sun Times. “It does not automatically become valid once the FOID is valid/renewed.”
Tarver may have made a simple mistake, but it’s a mistake that would have landed any average gun owner in prison.
But not Tarver. The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office decided to drop his charges due to a “clerical error.”
“I am grateful the correct decision was made to dismiss all charges against me,” Tarver told Politico. “l look forward to making the full story of my treatment by the Chicago Police Department public.”