Gingrich Calls Chicago “Murder Capital of U.S.”

Chicago's reputation precedes itself.

Former House speaker Newt Gingrich on Tuesday pointed to murder rates in President Barack Obama's hometown as the gun control debate pushes on across the country.

Gingrich called Chicago "the murder capital of the United States" in an interview with CBS and said he wants House Republicans to hold hearings in the city.

"Over 500 people were killed there last year," Gingrich said in the interview. "Vice President Biden doesn't seem to want to go there. I'm trying to get the House Republicans to hold hearings there. It's illegal to have all the guns that are killing people in Chicago."

The city marked 516 homicides in 2012, a dubious distinction that hasn't occurred since 2008, when it ended the year with 512 murders.

When the 500th murder was recorded in December, Mayor Rahm Emanuel called the total "an unfortunate and tragic milestone, which not only marks a needless loss of life but serves as a reminder of the damage that illegal guns and conflicts between gangs cause in our neighborhoods."

Since then Emanuel has laid out plans to propose new gun control measures that would broaden a requirement for gun owners to report the loss, theft or sale of firearms to include all of Cook County. He also told city pension funds this week to divest from gun manufacturers.

"I will not wait when it comes to protecting our neighborhoods, our communities, our children [and] our residents of the city of Chicago," the mayor said last week.

Gingrich is on board. "If gun control works, Chicago ought to be safe," he said.

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