For decades, Chicago has been the laboratory for liberal experiments in gun control.

It bore exactly the sort of fruit reasonable minds expected, which is to say that Chicago’s crime rate and specifically its murder rate went through the roof and stayed there.

Then on July 9 last year, a minor miracle happened and the Illinois state Legislature affirmed gun owners’ right to carry a concealed weapon.

It made Illinois the last of 50 states to allow concealed carrying of a gun.

Gun control freaks, well they freaked out and predicted doom and an ever higher murder rate.

But now the crime statistics from the first quarter of 2014 have been released, and Chicago appears to be in the midst of a crime downturn the likes of which cities don’t normally experience without the intervention of Batman.

This year’s first quarter has seen Chicago’s lowest murder rate since 1958.

There were six fewer murders than this same time last year, and 55 fewer than in 2012.

Also, there were 119 fewer shooting victims than last year, and 292 fewer shooting victims than in 2012.

Crime across the board is down 25 percent from last year.

The new concealed carry law can’t be conclusively identified yet as a major contributor of the crime plunge. Police in the first quarter  confiscated more than 1,300 illegal guns. That’s got to have some effect.

It’s possible that just the news that victims could be armed deterred some criminals, but the first concealed carrying permits weren’t issued until February.

However, the liberals made a prediction, that letting legal gun owners legally carry their weapons would raise crime, and the exact opposite happened.

And let’s not forget that it was their fixation on the idea that gun control could decrease crime that got Chicago in its position as one of the nation’s bloodiest cities in the first place.

As Second Amendment defenders have always suggested, it only stands to reason that because the police can’t be everywhere, the best way to prevent crime is to empower the victims to defend themselves.

Illinois has finally tried something different from the usual liberal dogma, and there have been immediate results. The logical thing to do is to keep the experiment going and give Chicago’s citizens a chance to reclaim their city.

The orderliness of a society depends in part on the ability of good people to protect themselves and their communities.

Liberal policies just make everyone into a victim.