chicagotribune.com reports that the City Council has enacted Mayor Daley’s gun control legislation package lock, stock and barrel. This they did at a special meeting by a unanimous vote: 45 to zero. The numbers are in semi-stark contrast to the 1982 vote that ushered in the original (now defunct) handgun ban; the Council passed the “freeze” by a margin of thirty to eleven. Speaking after today’s special meeting, Mayor Daley reassured the more than 100,000 Chicago residents who own illegal handguns (and those aspiring to legal ownership) that the ordinance “places reasonable regulations regarding who should and should not be able to possess a handgun in their home for self-defense.” Cough bullshit cough . . .
With this law, we’re supporting adults who legitimately want a gun in their home for self-defense. At the same time, we’re trying to keep guns out of the hands of gangbangers and drug dealers who only want to terrorize our communities.
Explain to me again how regulating legal firearms controls illegal firearms. In fact, several aldermen dared to suggest the laws would do nothing of the sort.
“You cannot legislate criminals. They are going to be criminals no matter what,” said Ald. Ed Smith, 28th. “The people who intend to do crime, they are going to do it in whatever manner they can. They are going to get a gun wherever they can, and they are going to use it. They are not going to register their gun.”
After making a similar acknowledgement, Ald. Deborah Graham, 29th, issued a plea: “I also would encourage gangbangers who get those guns unlawfully to stop getting them unlawfully. We’re going to increase the penalties to make sure our communities are safe.”
Hang on; is Alderman Graham suggesting that gangbangers should get their weapons legally? Problem. A lot of people who run with gangs have criminal records, which prohibits them from purchasing firearms. Just teasin’.
Anyway, all this Russian around—I mean, rushing around is down to the Mayor’s desire to have the new restriction in place when the old restriction—an outright ban—gets swept into the dustbin of history. Although the Chicago City Council voted in the ban by a large margin, the longest continually serving alderman from a single ward in Chicago history is telling the world that regrets, he has a few.
Ald. Edward Burke [above], 14th, who in 1982 shepherded the gun ban through the council, said maybe the council got it wrong in the first place.
“Perhaps I and some of the others that voted in favor of this ordinance exhibited too much ardor for the ban, and we perhaps should have been more sensitive to weighing the rights of legitimate citizens to have weapons,” Burke said.