Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Chicagoans Deserve a Fighting Chance

by Stacy Dittrich

The United States Supreme Court got it right. In an overwhelming decision on June 28, 2010, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of McDonald v. The City of Chicago, ending the toughest gun restriction laws in the country. Justices noted that "the plight of Chicagoans living in high-crime areas'' was highlighted by the legislators, who had compared the number of people murdered in Chicago to the number of soldiers killed in Afghanistan and Iraq, while also noting the majority of victims were minorities.

For 28-years, the city of Chicago refused to allow its citizens to honor the second amendment of our own Constitution which gives all citizens the right to bear arms. Residents of Chicago were allowed to have one shotgun in their home and it had to be locked up. They were allowed one handgun, but it wasn’t permitted to be loaded. What the heck is the point? For the unfortunate residents of Chicago that happen to be living among a cesspool of thugs, rapists, burglars, and home invaders their chances of protecting themselves were dismal at best.

“Excuse me, sir? You want to break into my home, rape my wife, and steal my belongings? Oh, can you wait a minute while I look for the key to my shotgun locker and find the bullets to load my handgun?”

It’s ridiculous.

“Readily available” is the point of having firearms inside your home. Chicago seemingly refuses to see that. Now that the Supreme Court has demolished their gun ban, they are going to great lengths to circumvent the ruling. Unveiling a new ordinance just days after the ruling, Mayor Richard Daley (pictured right) relented, but he continues to be a pain in the rear. The new ordinance requires owners to register their guns with the city, undergo an eyesight exam, be fingerprinted, go through extensive training, and keep all but one gun locked up—rules that typically are required for Concealed Carry laws, not owning a gun to keep in your home. Chicago’s crime rates are among the highest in the nation. With a population of over 2 million people, your chances of becoming a victim of a violent crime is 1 in 82—a horrific stat. Mayor Daley claimed the Supreme Court took a cheap shot at his city, which boasts a murder rate so far this year three times higher than New York City.

"To suggest that Chicago's elected officials haven't done enough to protect our city residents shows that many of our highest-level officials don't understand that gun violence pervades America and not just Chicago," Daley said. "Across the country, cities are struggling with how to address the issue. Common sense tells you we need fewer guns on the streets, not more guns."

“We don’t need more guns on the streets” is the repeated mantra. This is what I simply don’t get. It’s not rocket science here folks! The people we fear with guns are the same ones that possess them illegally. They are the crooks—the bad guys. They are the ones that couldn’t pass a background check to save their lives. You can turn a blind eye to the fact that they may, or may not, get their hands on guns, but the hardened truth is they are—and they will continue to do so. Why in the world would we not give John the banker or Susie the homemaker a fighting chance at survival if they find themselves facing some street thug with a handgun?

As a police officer, who do you think I was more leery of: John the banker who readily announces, “I have a concealed carry permit, ma’am,” or Ricky the robber who has outstanding arrest warrants and points an AK-47 at my face?

Perhaps our nation’s founding fathers were slightly more astute then we give them credit for. They drafted the Constitution during an era where people still said, “Please, thank you, and God.” Perhaps—just maybe, they saw our country’s future society dwindling and in great need of firearms for protection; the right to bear arms. Please, Mayor Daley, read the Constitution since you clearly haven’t as yet, and take your head out of the sand. The Supreme Court recognized that your city is in crisis, why haven't you?

Give your citizens a fighting chance.

1 comment:

Mary said...

Crooks and killers will always be able to find, carry and use guns. Honest people will find it difficult if not impossible to find, own and carry a gun.
Exactly who is being protected by these laws?
Giggles and Guns