The first rule of politics: if there’s a problem, blame someone else. It’s always preferable to deflect responsibility onto your political opponent(s) but anyone will do in a pinch.
Chicago has become known by some as Chiraq for its seemingly intractable crime rate and the number of daily incidents involving gunfire. That crime problem and the attendant high number of murders in the Windy City, was a major factor in Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s decision to announce that he won’t be running for reelection.
One of those vying for the city’s top job as a result of that impending vacancy is Gery Chico. Showing he’s able to think outside the box, the former chief of staff to Mayor Richard M. Daley is advocating a new approach to Chicago’s gun-related crime problem.
Crain’s Chicago Business has this . . .
“We can no longer take this,” he said at a recent candidates’ forum at Steinmetz College Prep on the Northwest Side. “I’ve said, if we can’t get Indiana and Wisconsin to work with us, we sue ’em, and that includes the Cabela’s gun shop right in . . . Hammond, Ind.”
What do you suppose “work with us” means, exactly?
Just as New York’s former Mayor Michael Bloomberg loved to blame Virginia, of all places, for his city’s gun problems, Chicago pols constantly point the finger at Indiana. And now Wisconsin, too. Chico’s hardly alone in that.
In a 2015 appearance before police chiefs in Chicago, then-President Barack Obama said: “There are those who criticize any gun safety reforms by pointing to my hometown as an example. The problem with that argument, as the Chicago Police Department will tell you, is that 60 percent of guns recovered in crimes come from out of state. You’ve just got to hop across the border.”
Yes, well what America’s Greatest Gun Salesman and candidate Chico can never seem to account for is the drastically lower crime rates in places like Indiana and Wisconsin. If guns are so easy to get in states bordering Illinois, why don’t those states have the same out-of-control crime problems?
But let’s not confuse Mr. Chico with details like that. He’s on a roll. As the Chicago Tribune makes clear, his three top policy proposals are…
1) Appoint a cabinet level director of public safety and create a Mayor’s Office of Violence Prevention and Reduction; 2) Repurpose 50 closed schools into community centers, affordable housing, retail, mental health centers and job training sites; 3) Sue Wisconsin and Indiana for failure to enforce their gun laws.
If Chico’s successful in his campaign, soon Chicagoans will be facing an entirely new landscape, a fresh beginning…morning in Chicago, as it were.