Gun Laws & Legislation

Poll: Most Chicago residents aren’t blaming access to guns for spike in violence

Alex Pappas Political Reporter
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While liberal activists like the Rev. Jesse Jackson are calling for more gun laws in response to the spike in violent crimes in Chicago, a poll indicates that residents are largely not blaming the violence on the notion there are too many guns on the streets.

The main reason for the spate in crime, they say, are gangs.

Asked by Illinois-based pollster Michael McKeon to finger the major cause of the increase of violent crimes in Chicago neighborhoods, 20 percent of Cook County, Ill., residents blamed gangs as the major reason for violence in a poll conducted of 629 residents Aug. 15-17.

Thirteen percent blamed a lack of parental guidance, 12 percent blamed a lack of economic opportunities, eight percent blamed the need for more police officers and seven percent blamed young people having nothing to do.

The option that polled the least is the notion that there are too many guns. Only six percent of those polled blamed the violence on access to guns.

McKeon, a political consultant, argues the poll shows that Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and other activists pushing gun control are devoted to the wrong solution.

“If you want the community to believe you want to help address the problem, see the problem they see not the one you do,” McKeon told The Daily Caller.

In June, Jackson — who leads the Rainbow PUSH Coalition and has protested the violence in Chicago — called on Congress to enact more gun-control measures, including reviving the ban on assault weapons.

“Far more African-Americans are killed on our streets than on foreign battlefields,” Jackson said. “If a foreign foe took these lives, we would mobilize armies and armadas to stop them.”

There have been hundreds of people killed in the city this year. “Almost all the violence we’re seeing now is from the gangs,” Sgt. Matt Little of Chicago’s Gang Enforcement Unit said.

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