You may hate the NRA with every milligram of your soul, but if you’re honest with yourself, you have to admit that they’re right:
Any night can explode into gunfire in the Austin neighborhood on Chicago’s West Side.
Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy knows that well. On New Year’s Eve, he went on patrol there with one of his officers, as he occasionally does, and seized an illegal gun from a car during a routine traffic stop.
It was just one in a sea of weapons the end up in Chicago’s South Side and West Side, more often then not with the serial numbers filed off.
Last year, the city hit 506 homicides, and this year, killings again are stacking up at a rate faster than one a day.
“I’ve had eight cops shot in the last year and a half that I’ve been here,” McCarthy said. “Somebody’s got to do something about it besides putting ourselves [Chicago police officers] in harm’s way.”
He and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel are in sync in their push for new gun laws and are getting support from state lawmakers in Springfield. The Public Health Committee of the state Senate rapidly approved bills that would ban the sale of semi-automatic weapons and high-capacity magazines during the lame-duck session.
“As somebody who stood by President Clinton’s side to make sure we had a ban on assault weapons, I do not want to see more weapons on the street,” Emanuel said.
However, McCarthy acknowledged aiming at assault weapons misses the mark when dealing with Chicago’s gang violence. The weapon used is generally a handgun and rarely is it purchased through legal channels. McCarthy wants to target straw purchasing, which is when legal gun buyers will purchase a weapon and then let it loose in the illegal market.
He is pushing for a law that puts the burden back on the gun owner to report if a weapon is lost, stolen or sold. Emanuel is pushing for a database of gun offenders, very similar to those established for sex offenders.
Gun rights advocates are not in their corner. Don Moran, president of the Illinois State Rifle Association, thinks new laws will not make a dent in the violence. The illegal guns are already out there. The people buying and shooting them with reckless abandon won’t even learn that the gun laws exist, let alone respect them.
Where is he wrong? Why aren’t we smart enough to look at the equation the right way around?
“Chicago has tough gun laws, but leads nation in gun violence” the headline reads. Doesn’t the arithmetic of the situation instead support a headline more like “Chicago’s tough gun laws lead to highest gun violence in nation”? It’s like the “Butterfield Effect”, in which the intrepid New York Times reporter couldn’t figure out why crimes rates dropped while incarceration rates rose.
I don’t own a gun, and I don’t particularly want to. I do accept, therefore, that I am dependent on others, both uniformed and privately armed, for my protection. What gives me the right to deprive someone of his or her Constitutional right to bear arms (well-regulated, to be sure)? And what makes anyone think that’s a good idea?
Put another way, if we disarm the law-abiding, won’t only the law-breakers be armed?
Reformed crooks say the New York newspaper that published a map of names and addresses of gun owners did a great service – to their old cronies in the burglary trade.
The information published online by the Journal-News, a daily paper serving the New York suburbs of Westchester, Rockland and Putnam counties, could be highly useful to thieves in two ways, former burglars told FoxNews.com. Crooks looking to avoid getting shot now know which targets are soft and those who need weapons know where they can steal them.
“That was the most asinine article I’ve ever seen,” said Walter T. Shaw, 65, a former burglar and jewel thief who the FBI blames for more than 3,000 break-ins that netted some $70 million in the 1960s and 1970s. “Having a list of who has a gun is like gold – why rob that house when you can hit the one next door, where there are no guns?
“What they did was insanity,” added Shaw, author of “License to Steal,” a book about his criminal career.
We are so far removed from how the world actually is, but this is the view when you have your head up your a**. We may borrow our neighbor’s snow blower, or have him over for a cookout, but find out he owns a Glock for personal protection, and he’s a monster.