Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

You Want to Shove That Gun Somewhere, Mayor Daley? Talk to the President.

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You Want to Shove That Gun Somewhere, Mayor Daley? Talk to the President.
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Daley's Unusual Gun Metaphor

Mayor Daley makes an unusually intimate reference to the effects of Chicago's gun ban.
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Mayor Daley believes that taking guns out of people’s hands reduces violence. At his last press conference, Daley proved his point -- in a bass-ackward way -- by demonstrating what happens when you put guns into people’s hands. They start having violent fantasies about offing their worst enemies. Next stop: the morgue.

Lately, Daley has been fulminating against the U.S. Supreme Court, which he expects to overturn Chicago’s ban on handguns in private homes. When the Chicago Reader’s Mick Dumke asked whether that ban was really effective, considering 453 Chicagoans killed other Chicagoans last year, Daley picked up a bayonet-tipped rifle seized by police.

“If I put this up your—ha!—your butt—ha ha!—you’ll find out how effective this is!” Daley said. “If I put a round up your—ha ha!”

So now we know that the gun ban has saved dozens of lives in the City Hall press corps, by preventing an armed Mayor Daley from creatively assaulting reporters who ask him unwelcome questions.

But what about those other 453 people? Why didn’t Chicago’s handgun ban save them?

There’s an analogy here, between the new Arizona immigration law that has outraged the left, and the local gun laws that outrage the right.

Like immigration, gun control is a federal issue. Illegal immigrants have to be stopped at the border, and so do illegal guns. No local law can stop a gun from crossing a state line or a city limit. Chicago street gangs arm themselves by buying guns from relatives in Mississippi, which has looser purchasing laws than Illinois. Rural gun lovers rightly point to high murder rates in big cities as proof that local gun laws don't work.

That doesn’t mean no gun laws can be effective. But we’re not going to get them from the federal government. As a state senator representing Hyde Park, Barack Obama was a staunch gun control advocate. As a presidential candidate, trying to win the gun-loving swing states of Indiana, Ohio and Virginia, he said “I have no intention of taking away folks’ guns.”

Obama’s election actually increased sales of rifles and pistols. Folks thought they’d better arm themselves before the gun-grabbing black liberal in the White House closed all the gun stores. As president, Obama has tried to reassure rural voters by signing a bill allowing guns in national parks. And he’s blown off campaign promises to bring back the assault weapons ban and close a loophole that allows gun show sales without background checks.

There is a Chicagoan who can get guns off our city’s streets, but he’s not Mayor Daley. And he’s not going to do anything to make it happen.

Daley, your beef's with Obama. Not Mick Dumke.

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