For Chicagoans looking for relief from the nation's highest murder rate, 2013 has already begun to disappoint. The 2013 homicide tracker is already on pace to surpass last year's 500+ murders. Both local and national story lines have shifted towards action on gun control in the near future.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel recently announced a proposition to move forward with a gun control effort that would ban assault weapons in the state. During the lame duck Illinois General Assembly session, the legislative body failed to produce an assault weapons bill, much to the chagrin of the mayor and advocates alike.
Mayor Emanuel is not alone in his efforts as Vice President Joe Biden announced today that he will put forth recommendations for federal enforcement of new gun laws this coming Tuesday. The vice president had engaged in a round of talks with the nation's largest gun advocates, lobbies, and manufacturers in order to come to some sort of tentative agreement to put an end to continued gun tragedies across the country. This comes on the heels of the Newtown massacre in Connecticut and then again a shooting in California school today.
The national narrative has certainly shifted in favor of more gun control measures and President Obama is looking for a narrow opening to introduce a bill amid the congressional budget talks. It is tough to see any of these proposed measures taking effect either in Chicago, or nationwide. However, this may be the one window with which to move forward on decades old gun reforms.