By Kevin Robinson in News on Jun 6, 2007 1:50PM
If there is one thing that you can say about Mayor Daley, it’s that he’s a tenacious motherfucker. With one eye always on expanding his influence beyond the borders of the city, he’s been taking on the state legislature for some 15 years now over the issue of gun control. Often at odds with those that represent Illinoisans outside of urban areas, Da Mare has been defeated in the General Assembly more than once in his attempts to restrict access and ownership of firearms. First it was a ban on assault weapons, defeated by one vote in the House. Then it was a bill to limit handgun purchases to one per month, failing by a 34-20 vote in the Senate. Then it was a bill that would require licensing for handgun dealers.
After the recent killings in Chicago, Daley is renewing his attempts to get wider gun control measures enacted in the state. In an exclusive interview with CBS2, he discussed his thoughts on gun violence not only in Chicago, but around the nation. This, coupled with his announcement on Monday that he'll soon appoint a commission to target gun laws and gun makers. The question that remains unanswered, however, is whether any of these measures – changing gun laws or targeting gun manufacturers will actually have any positive effect on the gun violence that plagues Chicago.
If the shootings in the city, if not in other parts of the nation are any indication, these laws will simply tie the hands of responsible, law-abiding citizens. Certainly the people that open fire on a basketball court or a city bus aren’t exactly lining up to apply for a state-issued Firearm Owners Identification Card. Even if they were, what impact would it have on the level of gun violence in the city?
While we generally agree that most legitimate sportsmen don’t need semiautomatic assault weapons or large capacity ammunition feeding devices, we also recognize that the concept of ordered liberty and a free society is predicated on an armed populace. And while the right to keep and bear arms is guaranteed in the Constitution, we also recognize that the state has a compelling interest in regulating the transportation and sale of firearms. We just wish that lawmakers would approach gun control sensibly, instead of taking the easy way out. As Daley is so fond of pointing out when it is convenient, you can’t address issues like this on a city, county, or state level. If we really want to make sure that firearms don’t find their way into the hands of people that have no legitimate use for them, the government needs to find a reasonable way to address the issue. And frankly, part of the responsibility for that change falls on society as a whole. As long as we continue to sweep gun violence under the rug by simplistically defining the issue as “guns are bad”, we can expect more of the same.
Image via Target Culture