The Washington Times had a big headline Sunday that’s grabbed the attention of some in the gun rights world – as well as those who aren’t so fond of gun ownership rights.
Chicago crime rate drops as concealed carry applications surge
By Kelly Riddell – The Washington Times – Sunday, August 24, 2014
An 86-year-old Illinois man with a concealed carry permit fired his weapon at an armed robbery suspect fleeing police last month, stopping the man in his tracks and allowing the police to make an arrest.
Law enforcement authorities described the man as “a model citizen” who “helped others avoid being victims” at an AT&T store outside Chicago where he witnessed the holdup. The man, whose identity was withheld from the press, prevented others from entering the store during the theft.
Police said the robber harassed customers and pistol-whipped one.
Since Illinois started granting concealed carry permits this year, the number of robberies that have led to arrests in Chicago has declined 20 percent from last year, according to police department statistics. Reports of burglary and motor vehicle theft are down 20 percent and 26 percent, respectively. In the first quarter, the city’s homicide rate was at a 56-year low.
We’ve seen a host of gun blogs latching onto that and trying to make something of it.
We say: “Not so fast!”
First off, the first Illinois concealed carry licenses were mailed out in March and plenty more didn’t get theirs until months after that. Cook County, as of sometime in July, had issued about 17,500 licenses for the 5.24 million people living there (not counting illegal aliens). That works out to .33% of the population.
If you round that off to the nearest whole number that’s zero percent of the population has permits.
Furthermore, Chicago police have been called out on their “massaging” of the crime numbers and statistics to create the appearance of falling crime rates, when in reality, crime is steady to rising. Read the excellent stores in Chicago Magazine The Truth About Chicago’s Crime Rates and The Truth About Chicago’s Crime Rates: Part 2.
In short, you can’t trust Chicago’s crime data in recent years.
This is why we weren’t splashing this story about – simply because we didn’t think a tiny segment of Chicago’s population having a carry license for a month or three has reduced the number of robberies that have led to arrests by 20% and burglaries and motor vehicle theft by 26%. There’s no way.
Sure, some of these CCW holders have used their firearms to thwart crimes. Some you might have even read about in the media.
But reducing robberies by 20%? Nope.
As much as we’d like to claim credit, we don’t feel it’s merited.
A far more likely scenario is that Chicago Police Department’s internal stats unit is fudging the numbers.