We’re already seeing differences between new police superintendent Garry McCarthy and his predecessor, Jody Weis.
First of all, McCarthy will earn $50,000 less than Weis (although he’s still the highest-paid city employee).
But it’s in his approach to the teenage punks terrorizing downtown Chicago, and his attitude toward gun control, that we see a contrast with Weis.
McCarthy -- already dubbed “Super G” by a popular police website -- has been dispatching undercover cops to CTA stations and other “choke points” with the goal of busting up flash mobs before they can swarm another hapless tourist noodling on his iPad.
Weis would have formed a task force, then held a summit with flash mobsters. The ex-G Man would have sent out a text with the location of the park fieldhouse where the meeting was to take place, then waited for the punks to swarm up the steps.
McCarthy’s attitude toward gun control also differs from Weis -- or at least from Weis’ boss, the Second Former Mayor Daley.
“My goal is to bring the gun debate back to the center,” McCarthy said during his City Council confirmation hearings. “I think that we have abolitionists on one side and I think that we have NRA and those kind of folks on the other side, and frankly it’s too polarizing a debate, and 95 percent of the country is somewhere in between.”
That is not something that would have been uttered by a Chicago public official a month ago. Daley was a relentless advocate of tough gun control laws—one of the “abolitionists” McCarthy referred to—and he tolerated no open dissent in city government.
After the Supreme Court overturned Chicago’s handgun ban, Daley railed against the “money and influence” of the “gun industry” and the National Rifle Association, which he often called the “most powerful lobby” in the nation.
McCarthy could just be acknowledging the reality that Daley’s abolitionist gun stand has been deemed unconstitutional. It’s interesting, though, that McCarthy’s first big challenge as a police superintendent involves shutting down gangbangers who aren’t carrying guns. Gun control isn’t the only solution to the city’s crime problem.
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