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Here are 4 reasons the GOP’s new favorite talking point against gun control is pure bunk

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Republicans this week have been quick to shush Democrats pushing for gun control after the latest mass shooting in Las Vegas, cynically arguing the opposition is politicizing a tragedy. In a White House press conference, Sarah Huckabee Sanders repeated a favorite talking point of Trump’s: “I think if you look to Chicago, where you had over 4,000 victims of gun-related crimes last year, they have the strictest gun laws in the country. That certainly hasn’t helped there.”

Trump made a similar claim about Chicago’s guns during the 2016 debates, and even before he entered the presidential race. He was wrong then, and he’s wrong now. As Politifact reveals, Trump and Sanders both cite outdated laws. While it’s true that Chicago’s murder rate is the highest in the nation, everything else about this claim is totally unfounded. Here’s why.

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1. It’s easy to carry a gun around in Illinois.

In 2013, the state voted to legalize concealed weapons. So no, Illinois is definitely not the hardest state in the nation to carry a gun around. Not compared to the eight states that are much stricter on concealed weapons.

2. It is actually legal to carry a gun in Chicago.

As Politifact explains, for 30 years, Chicago did indeed ban concealed weapons, which might have given the Trump camp the false idea that the city is hard on guns. But for the past five years, Chicagoans have been free to carry concealed weapons. In 2012, after some back and forth in the courts, Politifact writes, “the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the Illinois concealed carry ban as unconstitutional and the state soon after became the last in the nation to approve concealed carry.”

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3. Several other major cities with even stricter gun laws are lowering their murder rates.

New York and Los Angeles, two such cities, each had about half as many homicides as Chicago in 2016.

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4. The point is moot if guns are legal in other surrounding states.

It doesn’t really matter how strict Chicago’s gun laws are: 60 percent of its firearms came from out of state, largely from Indiana where it’s much easier to obtain a gun, as a Trace report shows.

There still are no gun stores in the city limits and background check loopholes have been regulated, so it’s clear to many that Chicago’s guns are coming from out of state. The problem, as the Chicago Tribune’s Dahleen Glanton puts it, “is Chicago being surrounded by red states that have completely surrendered to the pro-gun lobby.”

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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‘There’s an awful lot of really good Republicans out there’: Joe Biden at Cape Cod fundraiser

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Former Vice President Joe Biden defended Republican lawmakers in DC as "decent people" during a campaign fundraiser held at Cape Cod.

"There’s an awful lot of really good Republicans out there," Biden argued, according to Washington Post reporter Matt Viser.

"I get in trouble for saying that with Democrats, but...every time we ever got in trouble with our administration, remember who got sent up to Capitol Hill to fix it? Me," he said.

”Because they know I respect the other team. I do. They’re decent people," Biden claimed. "They ran because they care about things, but they’re intimidated right now.”

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Neo-Nazi ‘Atomwaffen Division’ holding live-fire militia training exercises at ‘The Base’: report

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One sign of the growing white nationalist crisis in America is a new outreach effort for paramilitary training.

"A neo-Nazi group focused on providing paramilitary-style training to far-right extremists has been conducting a massive recruitment drive and claims to have already conducted live-fire training with its members," Vice News reports.

"The Base, which is connected to extreme-right groups the Atomwaffen Division and the Feuerkrieg Division, has been promoting its growth on social media with photos announcing its presence in major cities across North America, including New York, Los Angeles, and Seattle, and in Europe, South Africa, and Australia," Vice reported. "The images often include a small contingent (typically one to three) of masked, camo-clad men holding weapons standing in front of The Base's flag, a black flag with three white lines running down the centre."

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Oklahoma police searching for man who shot Taco Bell employee in dispute over the drive-thru

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Police are searching for a man who allegedly shot a Taco Bell employee early Saturday morning.

"The employee was shot in the leg after asking the customer to pull forward in the drive-thru," KFOR-TV reported Saturday. "The customer argued, but eventually pulled forward, and that’s when he pulled out a gun and shot the employee."

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