Unsurprisingly, Chicago’s handgun ban was ruled unconstitutional today. I’m actually sympathetic to Mayor Daley, at least insofar as I don’t think he was posturing—his bizarre statements about the Supreme Court and our own Mick Dumke led me to believe that he really did think it was effective, and perhaps he had a point—in 2008, Reader contributor Robert Loerzel pointed out in Chicago Magazine that illegal guns are expensive and somewhat difficult to come by. Obviously this hasn’t cured the scourge of gun violence, but perhaps it’s kept some borderline cases from turning into more shootings than the city’s already had.
So what’s next? My guess would be what most government bodies do when they want to get rid of something they can’t ban: tax the shit out of it. It’s the one solution that’s shared by two of America’s most respected thinkers, Gary Becker and Chris Rock.
In related news, Mike Quigley, who filed an amicus brief on behalf of the ban, is now pushing towards stricter regulation of gun shows.