There used to be a racehorse here in Chicago named Mute Gingrich. I never bet on him, and I don’t recall him every winning a race, but I certainly endorse the concept behind his name.
Especially now that Gingrich is attempting to exploit Chicago’s murders as an argument against the gun control proposals President Obama announced today.
“Well, I think it’s amazing that we’re having all this discussion about gun control,” Gingrich told CBS News. “The president’s hometown, Chicago, is the murder capital of the United States. Over 500 people were killed there last year. 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. If gun control works, Chicago ought to be safe.”
Chicago is not safe because it’s impossible for this city, or any city, to wall itself off from the gun culture that has made the United States the nation with the highest per capita firearm ownership in the world. From allowing the assault weapons ban to lapse in 2004, to invalidating the city’s handgun ban in the Supreme Court case of McDonald v. Chicago, Republicans have done everything they can to impose the values of rural gun owners on urban populations, where those values cause mayhem. As long as guns are legal everywhere, they’ll be used illegally somewhere.
If Republicans do hold hearings on gun control in Chicago, let’s hope the friends and loved ones of murder victims show up to testify that guns have destroyed more lives here than they could ever have saved.