"Emancipate yourself from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our mind.” - Bob Marley

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Obama, Chicago and Cheyenne - WTF?

On the day of the Supreme Court ruling in Heller v DC, we can see the followiing:

[McCain] criticized Sen. Barack Obama for not signing a bipartisan amicus brief supporting the ruling later issued by the Supreme Court, and singled out the Chicago ban in describing what the ruling should change.
Obama said if elected president, he would uphold the rights of gun owners, but he said: "I know that what works in Chicago may not work in Cheyenne."

First off, "what works in Chicago" - NOT. Gun control does not work. With one of the most draconian gun bans in the country, Chicago still rates very high in all sortds of violent crime.

But leaving that aside, what makes the comparison between Chicago and Cheyenne interesting? Was it just alliteration? Interestingly enouh, indications are that the same language appears in drafts of the 2008 Democratic platform.

I think the comparison is very interesting.

Here is information about Chicago. Here is information about Cheyenne.

Chicago, IL, population 2,842,518
Cheyenne, WY, population 55,731

OK, big difference. But is that a qualitative difference or merely a quantitative one? I say the latter.

Median household income:

Chicago: $38,625
Cheyenne: $38,856

Looks similar.

Violent Crime, 2002 (only year with stats for both):

Rate Per 100K People:

Chicago: 1,498
Cheyenne: 202

More detail from here, by way of here:

Note that these rates are per 100,000 people, so they are normalized relative to population.

Latest 2006 Crimes per 100,000 People:

Chicago, ILCheyenne, WYNational

Forcible Rape:
Aggravated Assault:610.4111.8336.5
Larceny Theft:2930.13504.52601.7
Vehicle Theft:763.8218.3501.5

Whoa, Nellie! Something's different OK.

Gun laws:

Chicago: No new handguns guns allowed to anybody since 1982, except police and politicians. Yes, politicians. "Assault weapons" banned in 1992. No Concealed Carry is allowed for non-LEO in Illinois.

Cheyenne: Wyoming state law provides for the issuance of concealed firearm permits.

So why is it OK for guns in Cheyenne?

Could this have anything to do with it?

Race in Cheyenne

Population by Race


African American3%

Native American1%




Race in Chicago

Population by Race


African American37%

Native American0%




So are Obama and the Dems actually saying that gun control needs to be in place in cities with large non-white populations, but not in cities with mainly white populations? Or does it just seem that way?

Note that I am not saying that race makes the difference in crime rates. It was Obama who named those 2 cities - not me.


OBloodyHell said...

Nicely argued.

Additionally, I'd call attention to the UK's crime stats.

1) About 10 years ago, the UK made a defacto ban on all guns, even long guns. It's hard to own one even for sport shooting (i.e., skeet, trap, etc)

2) UK per-capita violent crime has been steadily approaching, and in almost all cases surpassing that of the USA for around three decades. The gun ban had no substantial positive/reductive affect.

3) In the USA, most home-invasion robberies (about 80%) occur when the owner is away. In the UK, that figure is reversed -- most occur when the owner is HOME -- because the owner, defenseless peon that he is, is able to tell the thug(s) where the valuables are, and they are chosen for their inability to fight back(see below). While getting robbed is most unsettling at any time, doing it with you THERE, helpless, has to add substantial additional psychological trauma to the event.

4) In re, 3, above -- violent crimes are even more heavily weighted against women and old people. If the thugs don't have guns, then all they have to do is choose victims who they can physically overpower with ease -- women and seniors. Since there is no risk to them of being faced with a gun, they know they can generally win that face-off every time.

But wait -- it gets better -- lots better:
Read this.
And This.

They veer in a different direction than the basic topic, but they also relate to the question at hand: The validity and utility of gun control laws.

bobn said...

If you outlaw knives then only criminals will be able to eat steak. Or something like that.

About Me

I'm a 57 year old geek. I voted Democratic for 20 years, because I disliked the Republicans more. But now, nobody really speaks for me. I'm for Guns, for more correct government regulation of the financial world, against illegal immigration and amnesty. (in 2008 I ended up voting Republican - too many questions about Obama, and voting against anybody who voted for TARP 1.) In 2010 I voted a stright republican ticket because the Democrats have completely lost their minds.