L. Neil Smith once said (and yes, I quote him a lot because he’s articulate and insightful), “People accuse me of being a single-issue writer, a single- issue thinker, and a single- issue voter, but it isn’t true. What I’ve chosen, in a world where there’s never enough time and energy, is to focus on the one political issue [gun rights] which most clearly and unmistakably demonstrates what any politician — or political philosophy — is made of, right down to the creamy liquid center.” We can see no clearer an illustration of this than what is going on right now in Chicago. . .
Politicians almost invariably show you who they really are, at some point. And faced with the ‘imminent’ hosting of both NATO and G8 summits, Mayor Rahm and the the rest of the Chicago Machine are hard at work displaying their true anti-rights, authoritarian colors. The UK’s Guardian notes:
In record time, Emanuel successfully exploited the fact that Chicago will host the upcoming G8 and Nato summit meetings to increase his police powers and extend police surveillance, to outsource city services and privatize financial gains, and to make permanent new limitations on political dissent. It all happened – very rapidly and without time for dissent – with the passage of rushed security and anti-protest measures adopted by the city council on 18 January 2012.
Sadly, we are all too familiar with the recipe by now: first, hype up and blow out of proportion a crisis (and if there isn’t a real crisis, as in Chicago, then create one), call in the heavy artillery and rapidly seize the opportunity to expand executive power, to redistribute wealth for private gain and to suppress political dissent.
The Machine’s initial proposal was a positively draconian increase of fines and fees, plus labyrinthine changes to parade permitting, but huge public outcry has forced them to back off. A little. Their new ‘response’ (to problems that have not yet occurred) include some tightening of restrictions on parade permitting, smaller than initially proposed increases in various fees and fines, shortening the hours in city parks to prevent protesters from using them as staging areas and increasing video surveillance in the city.
All of this with the stated purpose of cracking down on protests. Note that they did not initially say they wanted to crack down on violence, or crime or hooliganism. Their original statements were that they were looking to crack down on protests. Oddly enough, however, there is no sunset provision to roll back most of these restrictions after the summits.
We “gun nuts” are often accused of various naughty things like ‘paranoia‘:
There must always be a THEM out there somewhere, intent upon taking away one’s guns and one’s freedom (which are one and the same of course)
or fomenting ‘Insurrectionism‘:
When gun enthusiasts talk about the importance of an expansive reading of the Second Amendment to the defense of freedom, they are referring to freedom in a general sense, but they also have something more specific in mind–freedom from government oppression.
But it’s not the NRA who is acting to limit the right of people to peacefully assemble in Chicago. It’s not the Second Amendment Foundation or Gun Owners of America who are limiting the right of people to speak freely. It’s neither ISRA nor JPFO restricting the right of people to petition for redress of grievances.
No, the ones trampling these rights are the same City of Chicago politicians and bureaucrats that ‘gun rights’ groups have been warning people against for years – trying to sound the alarm that a government which does not honor the Second Amendment can not be counted on to honor any of them – and frequently being called paranoid and anti-government for our trouble.