WBEZ | guns http://www.wbez.org/tags/guns Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Panel to debate gun laws, how to reduce Illinois prison population http://www.wbez.org/news/panel-debate-gun-laws-how-reduce-illinois-prison-population-110496 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/clothes rack.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>A small panel of Illinois lawmakers meets this week with a lofty goal. It wants to find a way to reduce the prison population, cut down on recidivism, but still enforce strict laws.A small panel of Illinois lawmakers meets this week with a lofty goal. It wants to find a way to reduce the prison population, cut down on recidivism, but still enforce strict laws.</p><p>Illinois State Rep. Mike Zalewski is gathering the committee to look at the big picture on prisons. They&rsquo;ll discuss overcrowding in Illinois&rsquo; prisons and the billion dollars they cost taxpayers each year. Zalewski said he&rsquo;s tired of not doing anything about it.</p><p>&ldquo;I heard statistics somewhere that the average stay sometimes for a first-time marijuana user in the Department of Corrections is like 12 days if they don&rsquo;t get an I-bond. 12 days. That&rsquo;s insane,&rdquo; he said in an interview at his downtown Chicago law office.</p><p>But low level drug offenses isn&rsquo;t all Zalewski is looking at. He&rsquo;ll also be bringing back one proposal that&rsquo;s been debated for years, but never got enough support. A previous version of the proposal would&rsquo;ve send people convicted of certain gun crimes to prison for three years, end of story. No early release.</p><p>But even though it hasn&rsquo;t gotten enough &lsquo;yes&rsquo; votes, it hasn&rsquo;t gone away because Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy talks about it constantly.</p><p>&ldquo;Possession of a loaded firearm is not even considered a violent felony in the State of Illinois for sentencing purposes,&rdquo; McCarthy told reporters last week. &ldquo;Which is why you see the revolving door. Which is why you see people getting arrested with guns over and over again.&rdquo;</p><p>Zalewski has carried bills for Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel before. But with this gun bill, he&rsquo;s up against some strong opponents.</p><p>The National Rifle Association is one. They say lawful gun owners who improperly carry a gun and get caught would have to go away for three years.</p><p>Many black lawmakers are also fighting it, saying just locking people up doesn&rsquo;t truly address gun violence issues in their communities.</p><p>Zalewski says a negotiated version might send someone to prison for less than three years, or punish someone more on their first gun offense.</p><p>&ldquo;I think people are so worn out by my bill and by the budget problems we have,&rdquo; Zalewski said. &ldquo;And they&rsquo;re sick of seeing the Department of Corrections have these budget issues and having guys sleep in gymnasiums, there&rsquo;s just a real appetite to, &lsquo;Let&rsquo;s do something.&rsquo;&rdquo;</p><p>Art Lurigio says it&rsquo;s good to recognize that Illinois&rsquo; criminal justice system need to change. It&rsquo;s just a matter of what that change is.</p><p>&ldquo;Research suggests that it&rsquo;s not the severity of the punishment that has a deterrent effect, but the certainty of punishment,&rdquo; said Lurigio, a psychology professor and criminologist at Loyola University.</p><p>Lurigio&rsquo;s point is that research shows people with guns don&rsquo;t necessarily worry about how long they&rsquo;ll spend behind bars, it&rsquo;s whether they&rsquo;ll get caught. He said alternatives to prison can actually have more of a positive effect than locking up low-level criminals.</p><p>&ldquo;We&rsquo;re keeping a lot of money to keep people locked up in prison,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;The time that they spend in prison is time away from them ever having an opportunity to change their life trajectory unless they&rsquo;re fully engaged in services.</p><p>That&rsquo;s where Father David Kelly comes in.</p><p>Because while Rep. Zalewski and lawmakers are dealing with end of the criminal justice process - prisons - Father Kelly deals with the beginning of that process: kids who are getting in trouble.</p><p>&ldquo;These drums are used in the juvenile detention center. We do drumming circles at juvenile detention center. So I&rsquo;m the chaplain at Cook County Juvenile, as well,&rdquo; said Kelly, who runs Precious Blood Ministries in the Back of the Yards neighborhood in Chicago.</p><p>As he gives me a tour of the center, which is a former school, he shows me a clothes rack with dress clothes for the teenagers who have upcoming court appearances. Precious Blood deals mostly with teens who have already been arrested and done time.</p><p>Kelly said whatever the laws are that do pass, he wants to see more neighborhood programs.</p><p>&ldquo;Rather than harsher laws, harsher gun penalties, let&rsquo;s punish our way out of this, I just don&rsquo;t think there&rsquo;s an end to that,&rdquo; Kelly said. &ldquo; I don&rsquo;t think that will get us anywhere but fill our jails and prisons and then take the minimum resources we do have here in the community away.&rdquo;</p><p>Kelly said the young people he interacts with now are the ones statistics show are going to end up testing out the laws Rep. Zalewski is thinking of changing. And the best way to make sure they don&rsquo;t end up testing those laws and getting arrested doesn&rsquo;t come from legislators, but from getting more people in the community involved.</p><p><em>Tony Arnold covers Illinois politics for WBEZ. Follow him&nbsp;</em><a href="https://twitter.com/tonyjarnold"><em>@tonyjarnold</em></a><em>.</em></p></p> Tue, 15 Jul 2014 11:45:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/panel-debate-gun-laws-how-reduce-illinois-prison-population-110496 Compare: Illinois governor candidates' views on concealed carry http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/compare-illinois-governor-candidates-views-concealed-carry-109845 <p><p><em>Editor&rsquo;s note: This episode of the Curious City podcast includes a story about what the candidates for Illinois governor think about the state&rsquo;s new concealed-carry law. It starts 6 minutes, 30 seconds into the program. (Subscribe via <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/curious-city/id568409161">iTunes </a>or <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/CuriousCityPodcast">Feedburner</a>!) This topic was also <a href="https://soundcloud.com/afternoonshiftwbez/curious-city-gay-marriage-and" target="_blank">discussed on WBEZ&#39;s The Afternoon Shift</a>.&nbsp;</em></p><p>Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford of Elgin, Ill., had a perception about guns and violence that made her curious about the crop of primary candidates vying to be the state&rsquo;s governor. Her suspicion? The more that people carry guns in public, the higher the likelihood of gun violence.</p><p>With this highly-debated viewpoint in hand, she sent Curious City this question, just in time for the March 18 primary:</p><p style="text-align: center;"><em>What would the candidates for Illinois governor do to prevent gun violence once thousands of residents are granted concealed carry permits?</em></p><p>There&rsquo;s a lot to unpack here, including some basic information about the state&rsquo;s concealed carry law.</p><p>First, Illinois was the last state in the country to adopt concealed carry and, even then, the lawmakers didn&rsquo;t act on their own; they were forced to pass a bill &mdash; any bill &mdash; by a federal judge who had ruled it&rsquo;s unconstitutional to not allow people to carry concealed guns in public. The legislature approved such a bill in May 2013.</p><p>The timing&rsquo;s not lost on Cheryl, who tells us she once appreciated that Illinois had not allowed concealed carry, and she feels the policy was foisted on the state.</p><p>But now, she said, &ldquo;The way our elected officials respond is going to be crucial.&rdquo;</p><p>Cheryl&rsquo;s onto something here. The first few thousand applicants have just begun receiving their concealed carry permits from the Illinois State Police. That means that &mdash; between the primary and November&rsquo;s general election &mdash; state residents will have a better idea of what living in a state with concealed carry really feels like.</p><p>And there may be pressure, one way or another, to rework the policy.</p><p>So how would the candidates respond?</p><p>To the best of our ability, we let the<a href="#views"> candidates themselves speak to this</a>. But since several of them cite studies about the relationship between violence, crime and concealed carry policy, we also compared their statements to what&rsquo;s being said about concealed carry by academics. While answering Cheryl&#39;s question, we found the bottom line is that the lack of consensus among the candidates is pretty much reflected by a lack of consensus in the research.</p><p><strong>Good guy gun ownership, bad guy gun ownership</strong></p><p>So what effect do concealed carry laws have on violence? It&rsquo;s important to tease out because politicians often cite research to back their positions. And &mdash; as you&rsquo;ll read and hear below &mdash; the academic findings run the gamut..</p><p>(A clarification: Cheryl asked about positions related to concealed carry and violence. Researchers we reached out to look at violent crime, but other types of crime, as well.)</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Tio%20H%20from%20campaign.jpg" style="margin: 5px; height: 190px; width: 285px; float: right;" title="Tio Hardiman is challenging Governor Quinn in the Democratic Primary. (Photo courtesy of the Tio Hardiman campaign)" /><a href="http://www.press.uchicago.edu/Misc/Chicago/493636.html" target="_blank">John Lott</a> has studied the effects of concealed carry laws on crime rates. He wrote a book called More Guns, Less Crime, which pretty much sums up where he stands.</p><p>&ldquo;The fact that a would-be victim might be able to defend themselves also deters crime,&rdquo; Lott said in a phone interview with WBEZ.</p><p>Lott&rsquo;s research of municipal crime data from across the country suggests crime drops after concealed carry laws take effect, and the more concealed carry permits that are issued, the more it drops.</p><p>&ldquo;You know, all sorts of claims about &lsquo;Bad things are gonna happen, you know, blood in the streets?&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;A year from now, everybody&rsquo;s gonna say, &lsquo;What was this debate all about?&rsquo;&rdquo;</p><p>That&rsquo;s particularly true for Illinois, Lott said, because strict requirements on obtaining a concealed carry permit may limit the number of people who get them.</p><p>But here&rsquo;s where things get a little complex, if not outright confusing.</p><p><a href="http://www.law.stanford.edu/profile/john-j-donohue-iii" target="_blank">John Donohue</a>, a professor at Stanford, has also studied the effects of concealed carry laws on crime rates, and his research suggests the exact opposite of what Lott found.</p><p>&ldquo;If I had to bet my house, I&rsquo;d say more likely that they have adverse impacts than that they have a beneficial impact,&rdquo; Donohue said, adding the caveat that the current available research models aren&rsquo;t perfect.</p><p>Still, Donohue said he&rsquo;s doing preliminary work with a new research model that suggests right-to-carry laws lead to more aggravated assaults.<img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/4655925819_1f5bc72c99_o.jpg" style="margin: 5px; float: left; height: 183px; width: 275px;" title="Incumbent Pat Quinn advocates for firmer restrictions on concealed carry. (Flickr/Chris Eaves)" /></p><p>And then there&rsquo;s a third position held by other researchers about what happens to crime rates in right-to-carry states, as expressed by Prof. <a href="http://www.criminology.fsu.edu/p/faculty-gary-kleck.php" target="_blank">Gary Kleck</a> from Florida State University.</p><p>&ldquo;Other things being equal, nothing happens,&rdquo; Kleck said. &ldquo;Good guy gun ownership has crime-reducing effects and bad guy gun ownership has crime-elevating effects.&rdquo;</p><p>The reason there are so many contradictory opinions is that none of these folks can agree on what data they should be looking at or how they should be looking at it. Kleck said this gets into differences over the minutiae of crime research models.</p><p>&ldquo;There may be only one right way to do it, but there&rsquo;s like a million different wrong ways to do it. And yeah, if you&rsquo;re a layperson, you&rsquo;re just &lsquo;Joe Regular Guy&rsquo; trying to figure it out, you&rsquo;re doomed,&rdquo; Kleck said. &ldquo;I mean, there&rsquo;s nothing I can say to help you out because you&rsquo;re not gonna be qualified to see those ... flaws in the research.&rdquo;</p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/AP463233027879.jpg" style="margin: 5px; height: 303px; width: 450px;" title="The GOP candidates, from left to right, state Sen. Bill Brady, state Treasurer Dan Rutherford, state Sen. Kirk Dillard, and businessman Bruce Rauner prepare to debate. (AP Photo/Chicago Tribune, Terrence Antonio James, Pool)" /></div><p><strong>Where the candidates stand</strong></p><p>All this is to show that concealed carry is a complicated, controversial issue. But we wanted to illustrate that even among the experts &mdash; the folks whom politicians are citing &mdash; there&rsquo;s not a consensus.</p><p>We posed Cheryl&rsquo;s question to all six major party campaigns, but we had to track down responses in very different ways. In three cases we were able to ask candidates directly, either at press conferences or via phone calls. For the others, we had to search for answers through other avenues. In some cases, we extrapolated a position based on the candidate&rsquo;s previous statements on concealed carry, crime, violence and guns.</p><p><strong>Democrat Tio Hardiman</strong></p><p>He is the only candidate who acknowledged the conflicting research that we encountered.</p><p>&ldquo;I cannot penalize, not with a good conscience, penalize legal gun owners for the violence problem in Illinois. There&rsquo;s no data to back it up. So if people would like to exercise their right to the Second Amendment, they should be able to do so.&rdquo;</p><p><strong>Republican State Sen. Bill Brady</strong></p><p>&ldquo;We also have to understand that this is about public safety and driving down crime. We know that in every state where concealed carry took place, crime went down. And we need to give our citizens the opportunity to protect themselves and watch crime go down.&rdquo;</p><p><strong>Republican State Sen. Kirk Dillard</strong></p><p>&ldquo;Illinois is the last state in America to allow people to protect themselves. It took the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to force the state of Illinois to allow people to have the same right they had in all 49 other states, let alone keep the criminals guessing. I take a wait and see approach. I think we ought to wait and see how this law unfurls for a while before we make any changes, pro or con, to it.&rdquo;</p><p><strong>Republican businessman Bruce Rauner</strong></p><p>We didn&rsquo;t get a direct response from Bruce Rauner, but he addressed themes in Cheryl&rsquo;s question during a debate.</p><p>&ldquo;I think concealed carry was long overdue. Gun ownership is an important constitutional right. We should end the approach that many politicians take in Illinois and that is to blame our crime problems on gun ownership. Our crime problems are one of, crimes about inadequate police staffing, high unemployment and horrible schools, not about gun ownership.&rdquo;</p><p><strong>Republican State Treasurer Dan Rutherford</strong></p><p>In previous statements, including this one from a debate in northwest suburban Hoffman Estates, he&rsquo;s said he wants the Illinois State Police to oversee gun licenses efficiently.</p><p>&ldquo;If I was king of the forest or if I was the governor and I was able to help influence it, it would be a different bill than what it was. I think what we need to be very, very sensitive to, though, is the evolution of this. The evolution could be, as you suggested, perhaps making it better and more enhancing. But as well an evolution could also put us backwards if we don&rsquo;t have the right people in the governor&rsquo;s office, we don&rsquo;t have the right people in the General Assembly. One of the performance reviews that I will be doing is with regards to State Police. Why does it take so long to process a FOID card? Why does it take so long to process the application for your concealed carry? Those are unacceptable.&rdquo;</p><p><strong>Democratic incumbent Gov. Pat Quinn</strong></p><p>The governor didn&rsquo;t seem to like any part of the process of negotiating the concealed carry bill last year, and he <a href="http://www3.illinois.gov/PressReleases/ShowPressRelease.cfm?SubjectID=2&amp;RecNum=11323" target="_blank">vetoed parts of it </a>in the name of safety. Those changes were overridden by the General Assembly.</p><p>&ldquo;This is about public safety. I think that public safety should never be compromised, never be negotiated away. The governor, that&rsquo;s me, my job is to protect public safety and I think that&rsquo;s what I&rsquo;m doing here with these common sense changes. I think we need to repeat that over and over again. The things I&rsquo;ve outlined today that have changed this bill are all about common sense and public safety and I think the General Assembly and the members should put aside politics and focus on people and their safety.&rdquo;<a name="views"></a></p><p><iframe frameborder="0" height="400" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/playlists/26501739&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><em>Tony Arnold covers Illinois politics for WBEZ. Follow him <a href="http://twitter.com/tonyjarnold">@tonyjarnold</a>.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wbez.org/users/akeefe">Alex Keefe</a> is a political reporter at WBEZ. You can follow him on <a href="https://twitter.com/WBEZpolitics">Twitter</a> and <a href="https://plus.google.com/102759794640397640028">Google+</a>.</em></p><p><em>This report received additional support through <a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/front-center">Front &amp; Center</a>, an occasional WBEZ series funded by The Joyce Foundation.</em></p></p> Wed, 12 Mar 2014 19:02:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/compare-illinois-governor-candidates-views-concealed-carry-109845 Morning Shift: Festival spotlights teen playwrights http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2014-01-10/morning-shift-festival-spotlights-teen-playwrights <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/stage Flickr carolineskywalker.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The 27th annual Young Playwrights Festival is set to hit the stage at the end of the month, and we&#39;re joined by an organizer and one of this year&#39;s writers for a look behind the scenes. Plus, we find out about the most fraudulent philanthropies.&nbsp;</p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-teen-playwrights-see-their-work-come/embed?header=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-teen-playwrights-see-their-work-come.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-teen-playwrights-see-their-work-come" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: Festival spotlights teen playwrights" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Fri, 10 Jan 2014 08:23:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2014-01-10/morning-shift-festival-spotlights-teen-playwrights Chicago Police: 6,500 guns seized so far this year http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-police-6500-guns-seized-so-far-year-109337 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/AP758722197507.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Chicago Police say they have seized more than 6,500 illegal firearms this year.</p><p>The department routinely leads the nation in the number of guns seized by a wide margin. The latest totals put the force on pace to confiscate about 7,000 illegal guns for the year.</p><p>Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy has said that the seizure of illegal firearms is part of a crime fighting effort that has resulted in a significant drop in the number of homicides and shootings this year. In 2012 the city&#39;s violence &mdash; and a total of more than 500 homicides &mdash; caught the attention of the national media.</p><p>In a news release, McCarthy reiterated his contention that even tougher state and federal gun laws are needed to reduce those numbers.</p></p> Tue, 10 Dec 2013 10:46:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-police-6500-guns-seized-so-far-year-109337 Bill to increase Illinois prison sentences for gun crimes gets watered down http://www.wbez.org/news/bill-increase-illinois-prison-sentences-gun-crimes-gets-watered-down-109102 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/capitol_flickr_jason_dunnivant - Copy.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Illinois lawmakers are whittling down legislation that would increase the minimum prison time for some people convicted of illegal gun use. The bill has been weakened a lot this week through negotiations, but the idea is still to put those caught using a gun illegally behind bars for longer periods of time.</p><p>In its latest form, the mandatory minimum bill would primarily affect convicted felons or known gang members, requiring them to serve four years if found guilty of gun crimes.</p><p>The National Rifle Association successfully lobbied to remove a part of the bill that would have required prison time for first-time offenders.</p><p>&ldquo;I think we made significant, substantive concessions in this bill while keeping the spirit of the bill, which is protecting the state - public safety,&rdquo; said State. Rep. Michael Zalewski, D-Riverside. &ldquo;We&rsquo;re going to&nbsp; get a bill that goes after violent criminals with guns and that&rsquo;s what we wanted.&rdquo;</p><p>Meantime, a spokesman for Illinois&rsquo; prison system said the new bill would still be expensive.</p><p>And some African-American lawmakers also spoke against the proposed mandatory minimums bill, saying it shifts the cost and political responsibilities of Chicago&rsquo;s violent crime problem onto the state.</p><p>&ldquo;I don&rsquo;t believe that this proposal will, in any way, be the answer for gun violence, especially in the City of Chicago,&rdquo; said Rep. Art Turner, D-Chicago.</p><p>Another critic of the bill, John Maki with the prison watchdog group John Howard Association, said the political power behind the bill should have been turned on judges who assign sentences, not toward legislation addressing sentencing guidelines.</p><p>&ldquo;All the political pressure that I&rsquo;ve seen put into this bill, from the City of Chicago to Springfield, put it on the judges, then,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;If the judicial system is as broken as everyone says it is, focus this energy on that.&rdquo;</p><p>After hearing some criticisms during Wednesday&rsquo;s hearing, an exasperated Zalewski, who has negotiated the bill with both the NRA and Chicago area Democrats who say mandatory minimums don&rsquo;t reduce crime, vented his frustrations to the House Judiciary Committee.</p><p>&ldquo;It becomes increasingly, increasingly difficult not to take it personally at that point when the goal line keeps being moved,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>The committee approved his latest version of the bill, 12 to 2. After the vote, Zalewski said he didn&rsquo;t know if it would be called for a vote in the full House, or what the bill&rsquo;s future would look like in the Senate.</p></p> Wed, 06 Nov 2013 18:33:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/bill-increase-illinois-prison-sentences-gun-crimes-gets-watered-down-109102 Daley Academy students illustrate effects of gun violence http://www.wbez.org/news/daley-academy-students-illustrate-effects-gun-violence-109013 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Screen Shot 2013-10-25 at 5.29.18 PM.png" alt="" /><p><p>On September 19th, 2013, 13 people were wounded in a shooting at Cornell Square Park in Chicago&#39;s Back of the Yards neighborhood. Directly across from that park is Richard J. Daley Elementary Academy &mdash; a school that&#39;s been affected by gun violence not just in the park, but all over the neighborhood.</p><p>This week, Daley Academy hosted a special art show in partnership with the Illinois Coalition against Handgun Violence. WBEZ Reporter Lauren Chooljian visited the one-day-only exhibit, where a group of 25 seventh graders stood proudly behind their works, done in marker and ink, and all inspired by gun violence.</p><p><a href="http://www.wbez.org/users/lchooljian-0">Lauren Chooljian</a> is a WBEZ reporter. Follow her <a href="https://twitter.com/laurenchooljian">@laurenchooljian</a>.</p></p> Fri, 25 Oct 2013 17:20:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/daley-academy-students-illustrate-effects-gun-violence-109013 Where can you hunt in Chicago? http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/where-can-you-hunt-chicago-108954 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Hunting%20Topper.jpg" title="Hunting has been a tradition for generations of Chicagoans. (Courtesy of Chris Rollins)" /><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/115791960&amp;color=ff6600&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>Curious citizen Andrew Eubank&rsquo;s hunting experience consists of exactly one unsuccessful Wisconsin expedition in pursuit of squirrel.</p><p>&ldquo;I shot nothing,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;We saw one squirrel, and it got away.&rdquo;</p><p>It&rsquo;s a different story for the Lincoln Square resident&rsquo;s downstate relatives.</p><p>His grandfather graduated third in his class from the University of Illinois, but decided to raise hogs back home in Willow Hill, Ill. &mdash; a village of 300 people. Andrew&rsquo;s father, Arthur Eubank, has fond memories of shooting squirrel, rabbits and quail downstate. They still visit their Jasper County relatives for holidays.</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s that kind of cultural dissonance from here to down there and back,&rdquo; Eubank said. &ldquo;When one of my friends sees a rabbit in the park, they say &lsquo;It&rsquo;s a cute little bunny rabbit!&rsquo; And I kind of think of how it would taste in a stew.&rdquo;</p><p>So Andrew wanted to know:</p><p style="text-align: center;"><em>What are local policies on urban hunting?</em></p><p>It&rsquo;s generally assumed that hunting in your backyard is something you need to give up when you move to the city. As distant as city life may at times seem from the rural lifestyle, food is one thing that unites the two &mdash; a trend explored at great depth in <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/02/books/new-breed-of-hunter-shoots-eats-and-writes.html?_r=0" target="_blank">the recent wave of books in which previously unlikely sportsmen rediscover hunting</a>. Still, as Andrew points out, there is a cultural gap. But you don&rsquo;t have to travel to Jasper County to find out.</p><p><strong>Huntable lands</strong></p><p>So where can Chicagoans hunt? Well, <a href="http://fpdcc.com/preserves-and-trails/rules-and-regulations/" target="_blank">you can&rsquo;t hunt in any of the Cook County Forest Preserves</a>. And Chicago&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/front-center/island-gary-guns-or-laws-which-protects-us-better-106538" target="_blank">gun laws seem to constitute a de facto ban</a> on hunting in the city. But we wanted to know what was actually on the books.</p><p>Roderick Drew with the city&rsquo;s Department of Law <a href="http://chicagocode.org/8-24-050/" target="_blank">dug this up</a> from the city&rsquo;s municipal code (Prior code &sect; 193-32; Amend Coun. J. 5-16-90, p. 15819):</p><p style="text-align: center;"><em>&ldquo;Any person licensed to hunt under the provisions of The Illinois Wildlife Code, as amended, may hunt or kill game birds in the open season as provided by the laws of the state, within the following prescribed districts and portions of the city: upon Wolf Lake and along the shores thereof; upon Lake Calumet and along the shores thereof; and upon the Calumet River and along the banks thereof.</em></p><p style="text-align: center;"><em>Provided, however, that no weapons shall be used for the purpose of&nbsp;hunting such birds, or killing or wounding, or attempting to kill or wound such birds, other than a shotgun, and that such shotgun shall not be discharged anywhere within 750 feet of (1) any building or structure used or intended for human habitation or employment, or to be used as a barn or stable; or (2) the centerline of the right-of-way of Stony Island Avenue.</em></p><p style="text-align: center;"><em>Any person violating any of the provisions of this section shall be fined not less than $100.00 nor more than $250.00.&rdquo;</em></p><p>So, there are only two public hunting areas within city limits: <a href="http://dnr.state.il.us/lands/landmgt/parks/r2/wmpow.htm" target="_blank">William W. Powers State Recreation Area </a>on the Illinois-Indiana border, and Lake Calumet just to the west. You have to get a <a href="http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/pages/gettingstarted.aspx" target="_blank">state permit</a>, obey state hunting season and limits, and you can&rsquo;t hunt there with anything except a shotgun.<img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/WEB%2082-70-27.jpg" style="height: 233px; width: 400px; float: left;" title="Duck hunting at Wolf Lake has been a tradition for decades. (Photo courtesy of Chris Rollins)" /></p><p>Andrew could also take a boat onto Lake Michigan, where Chicago&rsquo;s jurisdiction only goes out one mile.</p><p>Better known as Wolf Lake, the state acquired the William W. Powers site in 1947. About half of its 800 acres lie in Illinois, where the state&rsquo;s Department of Natural Resources presides. (You can&rsquo;t hunt on the Indiana side.) In total you&rsquo;ve got 419 acres on which to shoot waterfowl.</p><p>As on most public lands, <a href="http://dnr.state.il.us/lands/Landmgt/hunter_fact_sheet/R2hfs/wlpw.htm" target="_blank">hunting on and around Wolf Lake is heavily regulated</a>. (Check <a href="http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/Documents/HuntTrapDigest.pdf" target="_blank">IDNR&#39;s annual hunting digest</a> for comprehensive information.) There are 26 duck blinds &mdash;&nbsp;huts built onshore or out in the lake, which is quite shallow throughout, and camouflaged with reeds and sticks. Hunters set up shop early in the morning during duck season, using duck calls and decoys to lull their game into a false sense of security, and fire from the blind.</p><p>Each blind has a direction &mdash; the local Illinois Department of Natural Resources officials regulate this to make sure hunters aren&rsquo;t firing toward one another. Access to the park is restricted each day during duck hunting season until 1:00 p.m., when hunting ends.<img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/WEB%20IMG_1434.jpg" style="height: 116px; width: 175px; float: left;" title="A duck on Wolf Lake being shot, for now, by a photographer. (Courtesy of Chris Rollins)" /></p><p>The blinds are reassigned each year by public drawing. Anyone 16 years or older with a valid hunting license can apply, but there&rsquo;s more demand than supply &mdash;&nbsp;this year there were about 100 entrants. If a blind is unoccupied and you&rsquo;ve got your state permit in order, it&rsquo;s fair game to use a blind even if you didn&rsquo;t win the public drawing. But those hunters who did get priority.</p><p><strong>Southeast side oasis</strong></p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s kind of one of those sportsman&rsquo;s secrets,&rdquo; said Chris Rollins, who manages Wolf Lake for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Rollins grew up in Quincy, Ill., where he hunted waterfowl. &ldquo;I thought I&rsquo;d seen a lot of ducks in my day,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;Here there&rsquo;s mergansers, teal, golden-eye ducks &mdash; lots of species.&rdquo;</p><p><a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/what-happened-nike-missile-sites-around-chicago-105087" target="_blank">Once a Cold War-era Nike missile base</a>, William Powers is now part of a pastiche of natural areas and industrial sites that stretches from Chicago&rsquo;s far South Side into northwest Indiana.<img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Bentley pic Chris Rollins DNR.jpg" style="height: 212px; width: 320px; float: right;" title="Chris Rollins manages Wolf Lake for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. He said the waterfowl hunting in this area is among the best in the state. (WBEZ/Bentley)" /></p><p>&ldquo;At Wolf Lake not only was the idea to preserve a natural environment, because a lot of the environment has been impacted by human activity, but it was also to preserve a way of life here,&rdquo; Rollins said. &ldquo;A lot of folks living on the southeast side are avid outdoorsmen. They&rsquo;re just as big on the outdoors as any northwoods guy you&rsquo;re gonna find.&rdquo;</p><p>So our question asker Andrew Eubank doesn&rsquo;t need to traverse the state to plumb the depths of that &ldquo;cultural dissonance&rdquo; he associates with hunting.</p><p>One Chicago-area hunter, Kraig Kaatz, told me he comes to Wolf Lake in part to escape the hustle of Chicago and its sprawling suburbs.</p><p>We went out on the lake one morning in his 12-foot metal boat, joined by his wife Arlene and four-year-old retriever Buddy. It wasn&rsquo;t hunting season yet (that starts Oct. 19), so Kaatz tested his duck calls and decoys while Buddy splashed around.</p><p>&ldquo;You&rsquo;re in the rural culture more than in the city culture,&rdquo; he said. Kaatz grew up in northeastern Wisconsin, so it&rsquo;s easy to see which one he prefers. &ldquo;The hum of a motor is a lot better than the honk of a horn at a stoplight.&rdquo;</p><p>On our way back to shore, Kaatz said he thought Wolf Lake could stand to have more hunters.<img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Bentley%20pic%20Buddy%20and%20blind.jpg" style="height: 200px; width: 320px; float: left;" title="Buddy the dog and a duck blind on Wolf Lake near the Illinois and Indiana state border. (WBEZ/Chris Bentley)" /></p><p>&ldquo;Years and years ago everyone hunted,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;Not having a place to hunt is obviously the biggest deterrent. People hear bad things about public hunting areas, and if they don&rsquo;t experience it for themselves they don&rsquo;t know.&rdquo;</p><p>The number of hunters in the U.S. is actually up after years of decline, <a href="http://wsfrprograms.fws.gov/Subpages/NationalSurvey/2011_Survey.htm" target="_blank">according to the U.S. Fish &amp; Wildlife and Wildlife Service&#39;s latest report</a>. If the trend continues, urban hunters may have to go farther afield than the southeast side. Rollins said the number of duck blinds at Wolf Lake isn&rsquo;t likely to change soon.</p><p><strong>Other options</strong></p><p>So there isn&rsquo;t much hunting in Cook County. But Chicago isn&rsquo;t very far from several public hunting areas in the region. To name a few: <a href="http://www.dnr.state.il.us/lands/landmgt/PARKS/R2/Chaino.htm" target="_blank">Chain O&rsquo; Lakes</a> in Spring Grove; <a href="http://dnr.state.il.us/Lands/landmgt/parks/R2/MAZONIA.HTM" target="_blank">Mazonia/Braidwood</a> in Grundy County; and Will County&rsquo;s <a href="http://dnr.state.il.us/lands/landmgt/PARKS/I&amp;M/EAST/DESPLAIN/Park.htm#Shooting" target="_blank">Des Plaines Conservation Area, which offers the largest pheasant hunting (by permit only) facility</a> in the state.&nbsp;<a name="HUNTINGMAP"></a></p><p><iframe frameborder="0" height="475" src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/wbez-assets/curiouscity/hunting/HuntingEmbed.html" width="610"></iframe></p><p>Northeast Illinois hunters made <a href="http://dnr.state.il.us/lands/landmgt/programs/Hunting/Iphar/10Table2.pdf" target="_blank">more than 35,000 trips on public lands during the 2010-2011 season</a>, according to IDNR records, bagging more than 27,000 animals. The bulk of that (71 percent) was pheasants.</p><p>Until December Wolf Lake&rsquo;s steward Chris Rollins was the regional land manager for IDNR, meaning he watched over state sites in Cook, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will Counties.</p><p>&ldquo;Hunters have some wonderful choices here in the Chicagoland region,&rdquo; Rollins said. &ldquo;Man, I would stack this region up against any region in the state as far as waterfowl hunting goes, for the people who would seek it out.&rdquo;</p><p><strong>The kicker: Trapping</strong></p><p>Andrew also wondered about trapping, and for Chicagoans the situation is similar to hunting &mdash; in the city your options are limited, but you don&rsquo;t need to go too far. In Northeast Illinois there are three IDNR areas that allow trapping: <a href="https://dnr.state.il.us/lands/landmgt/hunter_fact_sheet/R2hfs/dsp_archerydeer.htm" target="_blank">Des Plaines Game Propagation Center</a>, <a href="http://dnr.state.il.us/lands/landmgt/parks/i&amp;m/main.htm" target="_blank">I &amp; M Canal State Trail</a>, and <a href="http://dnr.state.il.us/lands/landmgt/parks/r2/kankakee.htm" target="_blank">Kankakee River State Park</a>.</p><p>Trapping requires a state permit separate from hunting. The state issues limited licenses for &ldquo;nuisance animals,&rdquo; say a bat caught in your attic, and&nbsp;there are plenty of private animal control firms that will do that work for you, too &mdash; <a href="http://web.extension.illinois.edu/wildlife/professionals.cfm#nwco" target="_blank">the state maintains a list of licensed operators</a> by county.</p><p>But it&rsquo;s a different story if you want to keep the trapped animal to eat. IDNR regulations &ldquo;prohibit commercialization or other use of animals taken under authority of a Nuisance Animal Removal Permit.&rdquo;</p><p>Chicago&rsquo;s Department of Animal Control can trap animals, but they won&rsquo;t set a trap for rabbits pillaging your backyard garden; only if it&rsquo;s a direct threat to public health or safety &mdash; like coyotes behaving aggressively.</p><p><em><a href="http://cabentley.com/">Chris Bentley</a> reports for Curious City. Follow him at <a href="http://twitter.com/cementley">@cementley</a>.</em></p></p> Thu, 17 Oct 2013 11:28:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/where-can-you-hunt-chicago-108954 Morning Shift: Food for thought (and a chocolate croissant, too) http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-08-21/morning-shift-food-thought-and-chocolate-croissant <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/CSA-Flickr- Edsel L.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>We critique some new breakfast options at Starbucks, and offer new ways to deal with your Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) provider. And, a shooting on a CPS &quot;safe passage&quot; route raises questions as the new school year approaches.&nbsp;</p><p><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-48/embed?header=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-48.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-48" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: Food for thought (and a chocolate croissant, too)" on Storify</a>]</noscript></p></p> Wed, 21 Aug 2013 08:41:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-08-21/morning-shift-food-thought-and-chocolate-croissant 113th annual Grand American Trapshooting Championship takes place this week in Sparta, Illinois. http://www.wbez.org/news/113th-annual-grand-american-trapshooting-championship-takes-place-week-sparta-illinois-108312 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Trapshooting.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The 113th annual Grand American Trapshooting Championship takes place Wednesday in Sparta, Illinois.</p><p>The event lasts 11 days and is expected to draw as many as 3,000 participants per day.</p><p>Trap shooters use shotguns to shoot clay saucers, called pigeons, in the air. Traps are the devices that shoot these saucers into the air.</p><p>Art Ashbrook is the executive director of the World Shooting and Recreational Complex. He says the championship is one of the oldest and largest trap shooting competitions in the world.</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s just a good, competitive game that anybody can do.&rdquo; Ashbrook said, &ldquo;We have a machine, a gun, that you work with. It equals the playing field. All it takes is just a little practice and time, and everyone can compete.&rdquo;</p><p>Ashbrook says the facilities in Sparta, Illinois, can accommodate as many as 600 trap shooters at a time.</p><p>Vendors will also be selling guns, shooting accessories and food during the event.</p><p><em>Lee Jian Chung is a WBEZ arts and culture intern. Follow him @jclee89.</em></p></p> Tue, 06 Aug 2013 17:37:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/113th-annual-grand-american-trapshooting-championship-takes-place-week-sparta-illinois-108312 The data behind Chicago's gun crimes http://www.wbez.org/news/data-behind-chicagos-gun-crimes-108092 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/chicagounderthegun.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Chicago&#39;s City Council&nbsp;unanimously approved two measures to <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-updates-assault-weapons-ban-108086"><em>toughen </em></a>Chicago&#39;s gun laws on Wednesday, in an effort to tamp down gun-related violence.</p><div><table align="left" border="1" cellpadding="5" cellspacing="5" style="width: 620px; margin-right: 15px; margin-top: 15px; margin-bottom: 15px;"><tbody><tr><td colspan="2" style="background-color: rgb(204, 204, 204);"><strong><a name="chart"></a>Chicago&#39;s shooting problem</strong></td></tr><tr><td style="background-color: rgb(204, 204, 204);"><a href="http://llnw.wbez.org/ShootingsHeatMap.gif" target="_blank"><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/ShootingsHeatMap.gif" style="width: 350px; height: 638px;" /></a></td><td rowspan="2" style="vertical-align: top; width: 255px; background-color: rgb(204, 204, 204);"><p>About this map:</p><ul><li><span style="font-size:10px;">Chicago&#39;s overall shootings, sans homicides, have dropped from <strong>4,176</strong> in 2002 to <strong>1,887</strong> last year. That&#39;s more than a <strong>54%</strong> drop.</span></li><li><span style="font-size:10px;">The areas that were the former location Chicago housing projects such as <strong>Cabrini Green</strong> and the <strong>Robert Taylor Homes</strong> have seen dramatic drops in shootings, however shooting activity has spread to adjacent areas.</span></li><li><span style="font-size:10px;">Shooting activity was more widespread on the North Side, but now is only really prevalent in Uptown and Rogers Park.</span></li><li><span style="font-size:10px;">The Near South Side, which includes the South Loop neighborhood has experienced a drop in shootings from a 2003 high of <strong>15</strong>, and now has about <strong>1</strong> annually.</span></li><li><span style="font-size:10px;">Areas with a lot of economic and real estate development such as West Town and Logan Square saw some of the greatest decreases in shootings.&nbsp;</span></li><li><span style="font-size:10px;">Logan Square dropped from <strong>91</strong> shootings to <strong>13</strong>, or <strong>85%</strong> from 2002 to 2012. West Town dropped <strong>75% </strong>from <strong>108 </strong>to <strong>27 </strong>shootings that same period.</span></li><li><span style="font-size:10px;">Areas such as Kenwood and Hyde Park are largely insulated from some of the South Side violence to its western boundaries, but crimes do occur there. The<a href="http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2013/01/30/mayor-emanuel-gets-emotional-after-shooting-claims-life-of-teen/"> murder of Hadiya Pendleton </a>this year in Kenwood gained national attention.</span></li></ul></td></tr><tr><td style="background-color: rgb(204, 204, 204);"><strong><a href="http://llnw.wbez.org/ShootingsHeatMap.gif" target="_blank"><span style="color:#ff0000;">Click to download this animated map &raquo;</span></a></strong></td></tr><tr><td colspan="2" style="background-color: rgb(204, 204, 204);"><p><em>Source: <strong><a href="https://data.cityofchicago.org/Public-Safety/Shootings-between-2002-2012/w435-t7xh">data.cityofchicago.org</a></strong></em><br /><em>Crime data reflects only aggravated batteries (shootings) with a gun or firearm from 2002-2012. Homicide data as divided by guns vs. stabbings, etc., is not readily available before 2006, and was not included in this map.</em></p><p>&nbsp;</p></td></tr><tr><td colspan="2" style="background-color: rgb(204, 204, 204);"><script type="text/javascript" src="//ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/static/modules/gviz/1.0/chart.js"> {"dataSourceUrl":"//docs.google.com/a/chicagopublicradio.org/spreadsheet/tq?key=0AoxVpL8Zenp3dGVseEZVQlJHWWlHcDhHS2hSVXlIX1E&transpose=1&headers=1&range=A2%3AG4&gid=0&pub=1","options":{"vAxes":[{"useFormatFromData":true,"title":null,"minValue":null,"logScale":false,"viewWindow":{"min":null,"max":null},"maxValue":null},{"useFormatFromData":true,"minValue":null,"logScale":false,"viewWindow":{"min":null,"max":null},"maxValue":null}],"titleTextStyle":{"bold":true,"color":"#000","fontSize":16},"booleanRole":"certainty","title":"Handguns vs. other firearms in 2012","animation":{"duration":0},"backgroundColor":{"fill":"#d9d9d9"},"domainAxis":{"direction":1},"legend":"in","theme":"maximized","hAxis":{"useFormatFromData":true,"minValue":null,"viewWindowMode":null,"viewWindow":null,"maxValue":null},"isStacked":true,"width":620,"height":291},"state":{},"view":{},"isDefaultVisualization":true,"chartType":"ColumnChart","chartName":"Chart 1"} </script></td></tr><tr><td colspan="2" style="background-color: rgb(204, 204, 204);"><script type="text/javascript" src="//ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/static/modules/gviz/1.0/chart.js"> {"dataSourceUrl":"//docs.google.com/a/chicagopublicradio.org/spreadsheet/tq?key=0AoxVpL8Zenp3dGVseEZVQlJHWWlHcDhHS2hSVXlIX1E&transpose=1&headers=1&range=A2%3AG5&gid=0&pub=1","options":{"vAxes":[{"useFormatFromData":true,"minValue":null,"viewWindow":{"min":null,"max":null},"maxValue":null},{"useFormatFromData":true,"minValue":null,"viewWindow":{"min":null,"max":null},"maxValue":null}],"titleTextStyle":{"bold":true,"color":"#000","fontSize":16},"booleanRole":"certainty","title":"Chart title","animation":{"duration":500},"legend":"right","hAxis":{"useFormatFromData":true,"minValue":null,"viewWindow":{"min":null,"max":null},"maxValue":null},"width":605,"height":226},"state":{},"view":{},"isDefaultVisualization":true,"chartType":"Table","chartName":"Chart 2"} </script><br /><em>Firearm/gun data for homicides was not readily available, but media accounts would indicate that they are mostly caused by handguns.</em></td></tr></tbody></table></div><p>Whether or not the new restrictions will make a difference in Chicago&#39;s gun crime is yet to be seen.</p><p>One of the new laws clarifies which types of assault weapons qualify as banned, under &nbsp;the city&#39;s restriction of high-capacity magazines. &nbsp;Meanwhile, the vast majority of Chicago&#39;s gun-related crimes are committed using handguns.&nbsp;</p><p>The other new measure creates school safety or &quot;Safe Passage&quot;&nbsp;zones, defined as the area within 1,000 ft of a school.</p><p>&quot;We all have a role to play in building safe communities, and that includes keeping weapons designed for the battlefield off our streets and punishing those who carry or use weapons around school children with stiff penalties,&quot;&nbsp;Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a statement.</p><p>The city&#39;s move follows the state&#39;s vote to&nbsp;legalize carrying concealed weapons&nbsp;last week.&nbsp;A federal appeals court found Illinois&#39; previous concealed carry ban unconstitutional. The state was the last in the U.S. to impose such a prohibition.&nbsp;</p><p><a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-police-confirm-500-murders-2012-104615">Depending on who you ask</a>, the city&#39;s homicide numbers can vary, but according to the RedEye, there were&nbsp;<strong>516&nbsp;</strong>homicides last year,&nbsp;<strong>441</strong>&nbsp;of them inflicted by guns. And while gun crimes and homicides have become almost synonymous in Chicago, the&nbsp;number of <a href="http://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/2013-chicago-murders/timeline?mon=7">deaths</a> often masks the city&#39;s overall problem.&nbsp;</p><p>According to police data,&nbsp;the number of shootings&nbsp;<a href="https://data.cityofchicago.org/Public-Safety/2012-shootings/24f8-4jii">totaled&nbsp;<strong>1,887</strong>&nbsp;last year</a>.&nbsp;</p><p>The data also show assaults with guns &ndash; when a person is threatened with a weapon but not shot &ndash;&nbsp;<a href="https://data.cityofchicago.org/Public-Safety/Assaults-with-guns-in-2012/sq6s-sdyy">totaled&nbsp;<strong>2,077</strong></a>&nbsp;last year.&nbsp;<a href="https://data.cityofchicago.org/Public-Safety/Chicago-Robberies-for-2012/nbaj-2wmy">Armed robberies</a> alone topped&nbsp;<strong>5,389</strong>. There were&nbsp;<a href="https://data.cityofchicago.org/Public-Safety/Sexual-Assaults-for-2012/4ji5-jzpn"><strong>1,334&nbsp;</strong>sexual assaults</a>, <strong>101&nbsp;</strong>of which were committed at gunpoint.</p><p>Where does unlawful possession or use of a gun fall under? Well, the city keeps tabs on weapons violations &ndash; arrests for using guns or other firearms unlawfully and/or&nbsp;possessing a banned weapon. That total rounded to&nbsp;<strong><a href="https://data.cityofchicago.org/Public-Safety/2012-Weapons-violations/jzkm-qabk">2,929</a>&nbsp;</strong>reported incidents.</p><p>As the City Council grapples with how to address assault weapons in a post-Newtown political setting, the legislation still doesn&#39;t seem to address Chicago&#39;s overall gun violence problem, or the issues that contribute&nbsp;to it &ndash; education, high unemployment and stagnant economic mobility.</p><p>The Chicago Police Department has repeatedly made the case that overall crime has been declining historically, which is true, but some of that decline can be attributed to the overall drop in the city&#39;s population the past two decades. Regardless, shootings in Chicago dropped from a 2001 high of<strong> 4,176</strong> aggravated batteries with a gun/firearm to<strong> 1,887</strong> last year.</p><p>Chicago&#39;s crime data does distinguish handguns from other firearms, but it doesn&#39;t specify whether the &quot;other firearm&quot; involved was an M16 assault rifle or, say, a hunting rifle.</p><p>Of the city&#39;s 5,389 armed robberies, only 98 of them were with a firearm not classified as a handgun. All of the city&#39;s sexual assaults at gun point were done with a handgun.</p><p>While automatic and assault rifles have been the focus of federal legislative efforts, Chicago largely has a handgun problem. And that handgun problem goes well&nbsp;<a href="http://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/2013-chicago-murders/timeline?mon=7">beyond the homicide numbers</a>. &nbsp;</p><p>Last year&#39;s homicides totaled 516, with <strong>441 </strong>of those resulting in a death by gunshot. There were still <strong>11,886</strong> gun related crimes in Chicago that didn&#39;t end in a homicide.</p><p><em style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;">&mdash;Elliott Ramos is a data reporter and Web producer for WBEZ. Follow him on Twitter&nbsp;<a href="http://www.twitter.com/ChicagoEl" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-size: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; text-decoration: none; color: rgb(0, 104, 150); outline: 0px;">@ChicagoEl</a>&nbsp;email:<a href="mailto:eramos@wbez.org" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-size: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; text-decoration: none; color: rgb(0, 104, 150); outline: 0px;">eramos@wbez.org</a>.</em></p><p><strong><a name="map"></a>Gun Crimes in Chicago</strong><br /><em>The map below shows crimes in Chicago that involved guns. The homicide data was created and cleaned up by <a href="http://homicides.redeyechicago.com/">Tracy Swartz of the Chicago RedEye</a>. Obtaining homicide data often involves combining Chicago Police and Cook County Medical Examiner data to obtain location and cause of death. Such a data set is not released by the CPD or city via the public data portal and must be obtained&nbsp;</em>separately&nbsp;<em>and cleaned up manually. Sortable map template available via <a href="http://derekeder.com/searchable_map_template/">Derek Eder of Open City</a>.</em></p><p><iframe frameborder="0" height="1350" scrolling="no" src="http://interactive.wbez.org/maps/gun-crimes/" width="960"></iframe></p></p> Wed, 17 Jul 2013 12:01:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/data-behind-chicagos-gun-crimes-108092