Wisconsin’s Lax Gun Laws Impacts Crime Nationally

Some interesting data is contained in a newly released report from the City of Chicago which underscores what many have known for a long time.  Not only do certain gun dealers who operate in a very slimy fashion contribute to a high percentage of gun-related crimes, but neighboring states with lax guns laws also must share in the blame, too.

According to this year’s Gun Trace Report, 40% of “crime guns” are from parts of Illinois outside of Chicago, but a sizable 20% of those guns come from neighboring Indiana.   For a precise definition the report defines a crime gun as a firearm recovered by the Chicago Police Department that was illegally possessed, used, or suspected to be used in furtherance of a crime.  These guns, sadly, make the news on a daily basis.

The failed argument that some pro-gun advocates use is that even in Chicago, where there are strong gun laws, crimes associated with guns seems out of control.  So goes their claim that gun laws do not work.  What those people miss, however, and what this latest report proves, is that the number of soulless gun dealers who work to evade sales laws combined with neighboring states with weak gun laws allows for the funneling of guns into places with strong gun laws!

According to this report in Chicago, almost 25% of crime guns came from just 10 gun stores, and over 50% of their guns came from out of state.  Those numbers are impossible for pro-gun forces to deny.

Source States

Those who have squeezed the numbers and poured over the data are seeing that in the states with the strongest gun laws, the percentage of crime guns that were originally sold in-state is at least 20 percentage points lower than in states with the weakest gun laws.  Therefore it is easy to determine that Wisconsin, with lax gun laws, is part of the problem in making the streets of Chicago much more dangerous.

Gun Laws

The numbers for Wisconsin are not good, regardless of how one tries to position them.  In fact, they prove what two of the problems are with too many guns in circulation, and the ease with which they can be purchased.  In 2016, Wisconsin was the source state for 3,772 guns used in crimes in our country.  Of those, 2,944 guns were recovered in Wisconsin. Wisconsin’s weak gun laws enable gun traffickers, and other criminals and dangerous individuals to purchase, possess, and use guns in crimes in cities, towns, and neighborhoods outside Wisconsin.  

We all know instances when shootings in predominately black neighborhoods in Chicago makes the national news.  We also are aware of the types of remarks made from a certain demographic in this nation to such reports.  Some of it is bigoted and totally wrong.  But how many times do those same people recognize the role our state plays in making the streets of cities like Chicago unsafe?

With this report there is at least reason to hope that more people will be educated as to the way weak gun laws impact places far beyond one’s political borders.

Trump’s Russian Scandal Vs. Nixon’s Watergate

There was no way to watch the events unfold in Washington this morning and not think back over the decades, and mentally land in the 1970’s with President Nixon dealing with Watergate.   After all, there has been nothing as troubling to the nation, or the presidency, since those dark days when the country came to know of the existence of a taping system at the White House and then the evidence of Nixon working to obstruct justice.

With the news today that President Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his former business partner Rick Gates were indicted from the investigation of Special Counsel Robert Mueller we now know there is a most serious intention to get to the facts.   All are aware that Manafort is not the end game, but the means to the end.  There will be strong attempts to alert him to the wisdom of coming clean and providing information about the bigger fish up-stream.  And the Mueller team, as has been noted this summer on CP, has employed some men who excel at this very thing.

While it is easy to skip many months ahead in my thinking and see the legal quagmire getting closer to the Oval Office, I am also fully aware these investigations can be a many-year effort at a painstakingly and tedious pace.  But as I sift through the news reports flowing today I can not help but think what might happen as the end of Trump’s days in office draw closer.  That is why my mind takes me back to 1974 and it is a point worth considering.

For all of Nixon’s darker sides, which have been well-documented and written about, it also needs to be said at the end of the day he still believed in the rule of law.  Nixon did the right thing when some wondered if there would be a truly horrific Constitutional crisis should the Supreme Court order to turn over the tapes not be met with complete obedience.  He knew by turning over the tapes his presidency was over.  Yet he complied with the rule of law.

Meanwhile President Trump has shown his disdain for the Constitution, his lack of understanding or faith in our judicial system, and his hatred by troubling attacks on reporters in this nation.  Those characteristics all lead me to think when Trump is surrounded and facing his last legal stand before falling from power we all may wish to have someone like Nixon in office.  Nixon, after all,  at the end of his hold on power always knew the will of the people, as demonstrated through the legal and political process, is what had to be adhered too.

I do not think Trump will have the same temperament as Nixon had when being forced to leave the White House.

There is another stark difference between Nixon and Trump at the time of their legal troubles, and that has to do with the way their perceptions of their role in the world varies.

Nixon was most aware of the limitations he could make in the arena of international affairs as the lawyers and congress investigated Watergate, and even knew resigning would be best for American interests.  He certainly felt he had the brains and concepts to make the world a better place but also realized how his situation was also posing problems for ongoing policy goals.

Meanwhile Trump is dismissive of the role Russia played in the 2016 election, in the face of overwhelming evidence.  He pretends that his own image is more vital than the needs of America.  Even today former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper  stated that no matter how much Trump rants about the “Russia hoax,” the 2016 hacking was not only real and aimed at electing Trump but constituted a major victory for a dangerous foreign adversary.

Nixon would have been deeply concerned about such a fact.  But then Nixon had a higher calling to the country he served.  He proved that by listening to the words from the Supreme Court.