Chicago is a dangerous town, but gun control hasn’t made it better. The city forbids the law-abiding from having guns, leaving the bad guys to rule the streets. The result is one of the highest murder rates in the country. President Obama’s plan isn’t to reverse from a failed course, but to apply federal gun registration and confiscation of certain weapons nationwide.
Addressing students at Hyde Park Academy last week, Mr. Obama recalled the recent murder of Hadiya Pendleton, a teenager. “It’s not unique to Chicago,” he said. “It’s not unique to this country. Too many of our children are being taken away from us.”
The rising homicide rate actually is unique to the president’s hometown. The 506 murders last year reflected a 16 percent increase over the previous year. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, this happened while the rest of the country saw a 2 percent decrease in homicides; the national rate is at its lowest point since 1963.
Mr. Obama reiterated his legislative priorities: bans on the so-called assault weapon and high-capacity magazine, and background checks for every private gun exchange. However, it’s not as if the president really believes these bills would do anything to reduce crime or prevent mass shootings.
The National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action acquired a research document prepared last month by the Justice Department’s research arm, the National Institute of Justice. The report, titled “Summary of Select Firearm Violence Prevention Strategies,” explains that a “complete elimination of assault weapons would not have a large impact on gun homicides.” It further noted banning guns with certain scary-looking features “could be effective” if the government outlawed all existing firearms, and bought them all.
Similarly, the Justice report asserts that the only way to achieve the “goal to reduce the lethality of guns” with a ban on magazines over 10 rounds would be by a “massive reduction in supply.” It recommends not “grandfathering” the hundreds of millions of existing magazines, but implementing an “extensive buyback” program. Even then, it would “take decades to realize.”
In a speech on Thursday, Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association said the president’s true agenda with his “universal background check” proposal was “the national registration of every single gun owner in the country.” The Justice Department memo recommends the creation of a national gun registry to make background checks for private gun sales useful for the government.
The report says registering every gun purchase in the country would “increase owner responsibility,” enable “monitoring” of multiple gun purchases in a short period of time and “improve law enforcement’s ability to retrieve guns from owners” prohibited from possessing firearms. That’s code for confiscation.
The National Institute of Justice did not respond to questions about who in the administration asked for the research and whether it was given to the White House.
The document puts the administration’s plans into context. Mr. Obama and his allies want to know who owns every single gun in this country, and if they think a gun is scary looking, they will take it away.
Emily Miller is a senior editor for the Opinion pages at The Washington Times.