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Don't Talk About Gun Control, Because It Doesn't Work In Chicago, Says White House Press Secretary

By Stephen Gossett in News on Oct 2, 2017 7:55PM

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Sept. 11, 2017 / Getty Images / Photo: Win McNamee

In the wake of the horrific mass shooting in Las Vegas, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders cited the city of Chicago on Monday as an example of how gun-control legislation can fail, claiming dubiously that Chicago has "the strictest gun laws in the country."

"One of the things that we don’t want to do, is try to create laws that wont stop these types of things from happening," Sanders said at a press conference. "I think if you look to Chicago where you had over 4,000 victims of gun-related crimes, they have the strictest gun laws in the country and that certainly hasn’t helped there.

Sanders had said that Monday was a day of reflection and mourning and not a time for policy discussion.

"There’s a time and place for political debate. But now is the time to unite as a country... It would be premature for us to discuss policy when we don’t know all the facts or what took place last night,” Sanders said.

The debate over gun control ramped up on Monday after at least 58 people were killed and 500 were injured when suspected gunman Stephen Paddock opened fire at a country-music festival in Las Vegas. The attack is the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history.

Gun-control opponents and skeptics often point to Chicago, given its strict gun legislation, yet recent stretch of violent crime.

But as many, including CNN's Jake Tapper, referenced, experts have noted that Indiana's lax gun laws allows for a steady flow of illegal firearm trafficking into Chicago:

"In six years, 3,824 guns taken off Chicago gang bangers that were used in crimes came from our next door neighbor: Indiana," the Tribune reported.

About 60 percent of firearms recovered in connection with an arrest between 2009 and 2013 came from out of state, according to a study conducted by Philip Cook, of the University of Chicago Crime Lab.

Rep. Robin Kelly said on Twitter that more than half of the guns used in Chicago crimes come from out of state.

And the perception that Chicago has the strictest gun laws in the country is something of a canard as well.

Roseanna Ander, executive director of the University of Chicago Crime Lab, told DNAinfo in 2015 that Chicago's gun-control legislation is comparable to other major cities, including New York and Los Angeles.

Sanders in June attracted criticism in June when she said that crime in Chicago is "probably driven by morality more than anything else."

The Trump administration has of course made frequent damning reference to Chicago crime, from Attorney General Jeff Sessions' ongoing back-and-forth in Chicago's legal battle against the Department of Justice, which sought to withhold federal grants from sanctuary jurisdictions, to the Commander in Chief himself, who has rephrased the question "What the hell is going on in Chicago?" myriad ways, from the magic cop narrative to his preferred Twitter blasts.

Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) was among the Illinois legislators who called for increased gun control on Monday. "Back home in Chicago, our city has seen close to 500 people murdered by guns so far in 2017," she said in a statement. "As a country, we cannot accept this as the new normal. Gun violence is a scourge and an epidemic, and it requires bold legislative action. We cannot continue to make excuses. Federal comprehensive gun safety legislation must be a national priority.”