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Former Chicago Mayor Daley Pens Gun Control Op-Ed In Financial Times

By Chuck Sudo in News on Feb 28, 2013 5:15PM

Former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley has been largely quiet while his successor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy take the heat for the spike in the city’s homicide rate last year, which has also contributed to the current debate on gun control, which a majority of Americans favor in recent polls.

Daley broke his silence on the subject by penning an op-ed in the Financial Times and says the nation should not pass up this opportunity. Daley cites his nearly 40 years in public service and 22 years as mayor for giving him a clear perspective on the subject and condemns the gun lobby for using the Second Amendment “as cover for its effort to increase profits.”

Daley writes, ”If thousands of young people were harmed each year by household products, Americans would clamour for regulation. We chide other nations for landmines, child labour and sex trafficking. But when it comes to guns, we have a blind spot.”

Chicago passed a sweeping handgun ban early in Daley’s mayoralty that was eventually ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 2010. A federal appellate court ruled Illinois’ concealed carry ban unconstitutional last December and hearings are ongoing in Springfield on drafting a new bill that meets the standards set forth in that decision. Besides pleading with readers by citing the city’s homicide rate and tragedies like the Newtown, Conn. shooting, Daley’s op-ed also lists numbers from recent studies to back his position and lists the legislation he favored during his tenure as mayor, including criminal background checks to own a handgun and a bill requiring gun dealers to obtain licenses to operate.