But Clarke disregards murder rates in his home county, which mirrors Chicago's numbers
There should be no doubting about whether Chicago experienced a surge in violence this year. More than 750 murders took place in the Windy City this year, attributable to a rise in gang violence.
“It’s time Democrat (sic) ghetto hellholes like Chicago pay attention to what’s happening in their pro-gun controlled cities instead of learning the hard way that criminals don’t care what laws are on the books,” Clarke wrote.
There is, of course, some glaring problems with Clarke’s assertions – namely, that it isn’t Chicago’s gun laws that are at fault. In truth, Chicago’s notorious gun restrictions have been watered down substantially over the past five years. And similar assertions by Donald Trump – who said Chicago has the toughest gun laws “by far” – were deemed false by Politifact earlier this year.
What’s more, Chicago’s rate of murder is almost exactly what the city of Milwaukee’s rates are. For every 100,000 citizens in Chicago during 2016, there were approximately 27 murders. That’s a gruesome number, to be sure – but the rate in Milwaukee during 2016 was approximately 25 murders for every 100,000 citizens. *
Clarke doesn’t have an answer for why the murder rate is so high in his home county – he doesn’t even acknowledge it in his op-ed. Nor does he acknowledge other gun control successes, like New York City’s low murder rate of 3.8 murders per 100,000 this year, a city that has more restrictive gun laws than Chicago.
Clarke’s main assertion, that Chicago’s problems stem from its gun laws, is flawed. Milwaukee has much less restrictive gun laws, but you are nearly as likely to be murdered there as you are in Chicago.
The Milwaukee County Sheriff needs to step off of his high horse, recognize the problems happening in his own home county, and stop trying to score political points off of the tragedies that are occurring elsewhere. His solutions have proven to be failures – and if he wants to be part of the conversation on what can be done to help, he needs to offer something much more constructive.
* Numbers on murder rates are based off of projected population growth, and approximate statistics on murders obtained for Milwaukee, Chicago, and New York.