Chicago takes leading role in national gun debate

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CHICAGO (AP) — They are counting the dead from gunfire again in Chicago, a city awash in weapons despite having one of the strictest gun-control ordinances in the nation.

After a year in which Chicago's death toll climbed past 500, the bloodshed has continued in 2013 at a rate of more than one killing a day. It was the city's deadliest January in more than a decade.

The mounting losses have put President Barack Obama's hometown at the center of the intensifying national debate over guns, especially after the death this week of a 15-year-old drum majorette who had just returned from performing at Obama's inauguration.

Both gun-rights and gun-control advocates are seizing on the city's woes — one side to push for greater access to guns, the other to seek greater restrictions.

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