“Emanuel was flanked by Garry McCarthy and Mike Pfleger during his rail against law-abiding gun owners,” Illinois State Rifle Association Executive Director Richard Pearson observes in a news release. “McCarthy, of course, is Emanuel’s police superintendent and the guy responsible for suppressing reports of last summer’s flash mob attacks on the Mag Mile. And, we all know Pfleger as the renegade priest who called for the murder of gun shop owners and legislators who vote against gun control bills. Thus, Emanuel’s credibility on the issue of violent crime is no better than that of the joker that preceded him.” Yes, well, Emanuel’s call for a state-wide gun registry is no joke . . .
The Land of Lincoln is the only state in these here United that doesn’t allow its citizens some form of concealed carry. You can thank the City of Chicago (a.k.a., The Chicago Machine). If Cook County didn’t exist, if the Windy City didn’t dominate the State legislature, it’s entirely possible that the largely rural, right-leaning, right-thinking, gun-clinging state of Illinois would have some of America’s most “liberal” gun laws.
And so it will. In the aftermath of the McDonald decision striking down the City’s handgun ban and the increasing public clamor to reclaim their constitutionally protected gun rights, the political reality is clear: Chicago can’t put the kibosh on legally-sanctioned concealed carry forever. Chicago Mayor and former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel knows it. But he also knows how to play politics.
Behind the scenes, the battle for concealed carry has shifted, from “if” Illinois will have concealed carry to “how” that will happen. Emanuel and the Machine have a clear solution: create a system that makes it virtually impossible for any legal citizen to carry a handgun. In fact, it’s a fait accompli.
Just days after the Supreme’s smacked down Chicago’s handgun ban, the Council erected a series of hurdles that Good Twist [warning: not a supermodel] couldn’t surmount: high fees, mountainous paperwork, onerous qualifications, background checks, storage restrictions and, most importantly, registration with the police. Note: these are the regs for keeping a handgun at home.
The new City ordinance is, of course, a de facto handgun ban. But it is a city ban. The State of Illinois could eliminate all of its provisions with a stroke of a pen. And create a system whereby all Illinois residents could exercise their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. In other words, concealed carry.
Obviously, that’s not something up with which Emanuel can put. The Chicago Machine depends on a subservient populace sucking the tit of political patronage. Gun rights represent the end of the culture of corrupt craven dependency that keeps the Machine alive. Emanuel will do whatever he can to strangle the dream of accountable democracy in its crib.
It’s a two-front battle: in both the legislature and the courts. Legally, gun rights advocates are not doing to so well. Five days ago, Federal District Judge Sue E. Meyerscough dismissed a challenge to Illinois statutes prohibiting concealed carry outside the home. Moore v. Madigan was full of 2A not good:
This Court finds that the Illinois Unlawful Use of Weapons’ and Aggravated Unlawful Use of a Weapon’ statutes do not violate Plaintiffs’ Second Amendment rights. The United States Supreme Court and the Seventh Circuit have recognized only a Second Amendment core individual right to bear arms inside the home. Further, even if this Court recognized a Second Amendment right to bear arms outside of the home and an interference with that right, the statutes nonetheless survive constitutional scrutiny.”
So much for McDonald’s “incorporation” (ruling that the constitutional right to keep and bear arms trumps state law), then. Anyway, while the Second Amendment Foundation appeals the ruling, Emanuel and his minions are using the breathing room provided by the “victory” to try to lure Illinois gun rights advocates into a legislative trap called “May Issue.”
You know; like California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York. States where the state (or local authority) retains the right to just say no to armed self-defense. Where you have to prove that you have a need to carry a gun—rather than the state proving that you shouldn’t have one. States where most citizens, certainly poor citizens, have a slim to none chance of securing a concealed carry license.
Out of these relatively “gun free” (for law-abiding citizens) states, California offers the best insight into Emanuel’s plans. In the Golden State, you can secure a concealed carry license if you live in a rural area with a sympathetic sheriff. If you live in the sky-high crime zone of LA or some other urban enclave where the police maintain a monopoly on legal violence, fuhgeddaboutit. (Unless you’re a celeb or donate a lot of money to Democrats).
Emanuel and his mob want to model Illinois’ concealed carry laws on California’s. Not to put too fine a point on it, they want a Cooke County carve-out. We’ll give you concealed carry. All you have to do is make it “may issue” so we can do what we need to do to stop law-abiding citizens from defending themselves against crime. I mean, prevent criminals’ access to legal guns. Or some such thing.
If downstate legislators take the bait, Chicago will become just like LA or New York City. Only a directive from the Supreme Court of the United States will eliminate their de facto concealed carry handgun ban. And maybe not even then, given the asinine clause in the McDonald decision which authorized “reasonable restrictions” on the right to keep and bear arms.
So, does Rahm Emanuel really want a state-wide gun registry, complete with a $65 tax on every gun in its citizens’ possession? Sure! His base loves this stuff. And if Hizzoner doesn’t get a state-wide registry, it’s just another stick with which to hit gun rights advocates, so the Chicago pol can get them to “compromise” on May Issue. Emanuel can’t lose with this one.
The question is this: will gun rights advocates hang tough? After decades of gun control, after watching every other state in the union enable some kind of concealed carry, will the pro-carry forces hold out for what the State of Illinois and the City of Chicago really needs? Or will they sell the residents of Chicago down the river so that politicians can “grant” them their God-given, constitutionally protected right to armed self-defense?
Watch this space. Let’s hope that the good doesn’t become the enemy of the perfect. Otherwise we condemn millions of poor Chicago residents to more crime, violence and subservience to a system that doesn’t really care whether they live or die. As long as they protect their paymaster’s power.