Chicago Residents Arming Themselves Despite Gun Ban

The evidence that Chicago residens are tooling up—in defiance of the city’s ban on handguns—is anecdotal. But according to cbs2chicago.com, the killing of African American Chicago cop Thomas Wortham IV was the final straw for more than a few previously law-abiding, non gun-owning Windy City residents. it may have been the circumstances of the killing: “Wortham was shot in the head. His dad, a retired Chicago police sergeant, saw the attack from his porch, retrieved his weapon from his home and shot two of the suspects, just yards away.” Or it may be a straw-broken camel’s back deal. Either way, the TV people are sticking to their guns on this one. “Now some want to do more than simply call 911 or march for peace in the streets,” the station reports. “They want their own gun . . .

Mike Robinson, who runs basketball camps, is hearing it.

“I’ve heard parents in my basketball camps express that very fervently, just over the weekend, that they want the right to protect themselves,” Robinson said.

Estella Jernigan, works at a seniors center in Chatham, talked to an older man here who’s taking a job for one reason.

“He said he was going to apply for a security guard so he would be armed.” Jernigan said. “So he could carry a gun.”

South Side resident and local school council member Shawn Gowder said, “I’m hearing that all over town – South Side, West Side.”

Gowder, who said his mother had always been in favor of gun control, has now changed her mind.

“My mother, who is in 60s, now feels she needs to have a gun and she needs to take lessons so that she will be qualified in case somebody kicks in her door,” said Gowder.

If the Supreme Court overturns Chicago’s handgun ban this summer, as seems likely, and the Daley machine thwarts both the ruling of the court and will of the people, there could be some major political fallout come November. Meanwhile, at the sharp end, as always, people are doing what they have to do to survive. And protect the ones they love.

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