Chicago Police make an arrest. Image via
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I have been close to gun violence my entire life. Growing up on the South Side of Chicago, I’ve seen my classmates carry firearms to keep themselves and their families safe from harm. And I later represented some of those same individuals in court—being prosecuted for firearm possession—when I started work as a public defender.

The people I knew growing up, and now the people I fight for in court, are also victims of gun violence themselves. I see those same people get arrested, prosecuted, and caged for the simple act of possessing a firearm—something protected and even exalted elsewhere in our country.

Last week, the United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the first major Second Amendment case in over a decade. The New York State Rifle and Pistol  Association (NYSRPA) is calling on the court to strike down New York’s restrictive gun laws that allow people to be arrested, prosecuted, and imprisoned for possessing guns. Meanwhile, on the other side, New York was joined by progressive organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund (LDF) in fighting to uphold the gun restrictions.

Yet spectators who expected to see the familiar, purely partisan divide on this highly charged issue would likely have been surprised to hear Paul Clement, former solicitor general for George W. Bush and the attorney for the NYSRPA, invoke an amicus brief during oral arguments by an unlikely ally: NYC public defenders. New York City defenders rightfully argued on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of people they represent that New York’s gun laws should be struck down because of their disproportionate and devastating impact on Black and brown communities.

As the leader of the Cook County Public Defender’s Office, which represents the majority of people accused of criminal offenses in Chicago and its suburbs, most of whom look like me, I stand with those defender offices. While I support policies that actually stem the flow of guns, prevent violence, and heal those who have been harmed, I also support ending the way we criminalize gun possession. I do this because there is no Second Amendment on the South Side of Chicago.

Despite the Second Amendment’s claimed protections—that have only expanded in the last 60 years—Black and brown men in New York, Chicago, and other localities around the country aren’t protected like white gun owners: We’re arrested, prosecuted, and warehoused in prisons. The questioning by Supreme Court Justices in the oral arguments underscores a major reason why: Guns in the hands of Black and brown people are seen as a threat to public safety, while in the hands of white gun owners they are viewed as an essential means of self-defense—a constitutional right. Embedded in the justices’ inquiries—full of racially coded language and myths about “high-crime areas” and “muggings”—was a false assumption that police keep communities safe and a dangerous distinction between “these people with illegal guns” (read: Black people living in cities) and “ordinary hardworking people” who have to commute home every night (read white people in the suburbs).

— Sharone Mitchell, Jr. at There’s No Second Amendment on the South Side of Chicago

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  1. Amen, Brother! Chicagoans need to be able to defend themselves. It is all but impossible for the common guy to get a carry permit in Murder City USA. But that doesn’t stop the gang bangers and thugs. The other thing that is needed is enforcement against those who cause the harm. Kim Foxx took an oath when she was elected, maybe someone should look into the Treasonous way she conducts business.

  2. Where do the majority of these violations of human and civil rights occur? In jurisdictions under control of the fascist left as represented by the democrat party.

    • This Hitler worshiping mind corpse still hasn’t learned the definition of the word ‘fascist’. Typical right wing loser lol 🖕🤡.

      • No, nameless, brainless troll, it is you lying Leftist/fascist @$$holes who constantly misrepresent the meaning of “fascist”. We here at TTAG get a daily view of it, every time you, dacian the stupid, and MinorIQ post your idiot, Leftist/fascist drivel.

        But continue your stupidity – you’re fun to insult. Go pound salt in your @$$.

        • Lol, what? Who are you, anyway? As several people have already pointed out, you really need to take a remedial writing course. You’re just embarrassing yourself…

        • avatar Geoff "A day without an obsessed, obviously brain-damaged and mentally-ill demented troll (who deserves to live in New Jersey) PR

          “You’re just embarrassing yourself…”

          Take your own advise, pee-gee2.

          What a loser… 😉

      • Today’s left/Dem/progressives don’t get to redefine words like fascist, or Marxist, or Nazi. Go back to CNN for new talking points.

      • the positioning of your reply indicates it is directed to jwm, right?Perhaps YOU should read a book or three… fascism is defined as government control of privately owned means of production. With the DummyCrat party long in contorl of Chicago, they’ve been hard at work to keep the workers (part of the means of production) disarmed, the easier to control them (one o of the operations of fascism, remember?) So WHO needs to partake in a bit of remedial reading? Don’t forget,”nazi” is a contraction of two german words.. national socialist.

      • Nah… I would say he pretty much nailed it. And in a surprising coincidence, with twenty seven words!

    • Nope, it isn’t Democrats being in charge. New Hampshire and Vermont are both largely under Democrat control, yet they have some of the lowest crime numbers in America.

      Maybe if you read through the 2021 NYPD Crime and Enforcement Activity Report you can figure it out. There are lots of easy to read tables and graphs. Maybe check out page 11 “Shootings”. Of course, that will also require you to recognize patterns which is a bad, bad thing in 2022.

      • Those are small largely rural states with strong traditional cultural roots. The low crime is in spite of the Dems, not because of.

      • Read the report. Best I can figure out, Whites (regardless of sub-category) are responsible for the vast majority of crimes in NYC. This includes crimes where a non-White may be arrested and charged with the actual crime. The most salient feature of the report is that non-White persons are the most victimized by White crime.

        Even when ethnic minorities attack each other, it is a result of White supremacy and privilege driving non-Whites to commit crimes in response to the general unfairness of life, combined with deliberate efforts by Whites to force crime onto non-Whites. The low numbers of Whites as either victim or perpetrator, is simply due to White advantages contained in the sciences, notably the rules of math which are White-centric; non-White cultures are shackled to the White notion that there is only one set of rules of math and science. This is not only unfair, but tyranny of an unproven construct that denies that non-Whites may have actually derived science and math that takes into account the different cultures on the planet.

        The mere fact that a police department keeps crime states related to race is racist itself, based on the White notion that crime, in general, is a bad thing regardless of culture.

        • Crime was a thing long before “whiteness” was invented. Your drivel over race is amusing…… got some actual case studies to back up your whinge bout how white people commit the crimes but black/brown people get arreted for them? If that IS the case (I’m waiting for your statistical PROOF) then we gotta have a close look at what are called “crimes”. Walking down the street in NYC or ChitCahgo with a handgun on your person, unless yer “sumbuddy SESHull, or have bribed some public uh FISH ull for a Mother May I Card, In some states, for me to carry my normal handgun upon my person with the ONLY size magazines for the ammunition that were supplied with the gun when new, or availble since, gets me a free ride to the pl=okey and my gun stolen from me, along with the tao mags I always carry. Doesnt matter wheter I’m white black bronw yellow red purple, or chameleon. How is that “crime” racist? Get real. You’re just a paid shill stumping for your DIE charade.

        • avatar Geoff "A day without an obsessed, obviously brain-damaged and mentally-ill demented troll (who deserves to live in New Jersey) PR

          ” You’re just a paid shill stumping for your DIE charade.”

          Tionico, read between the lines of what Sam is saying. It’s deft sarcasm at work… 🙂

        • Lol I see you are familiar with our educational system here in NY. Unfortunately this joke is a bit close to the truth over here.

  3. There seems to be a whole lotta hope the NY case before the SC will result is sweeping changes to gun control across the nation. Given the reluctance of the SC to review any 2A cases in a decade, prudence seems to tell us to expect a very narrow ruling.

    Many see Heller and McDonald 1 and 2 as “sweeping change”. Fine, but the lower courts ignore both rulings at their pleasure. There is no way to discipline the courts, as in they can ignore SC rulings over and over without any penalty. A “sweeping” ruling in the NY case will fare no better. And a sweeping ruling by the SC just might trigger “court packing”, which the 9 high priests do not want.

  4. The fact is that black people are disproportionately affected by laws because they are disproportionately committing crimes.

    The system isn’t racist. The prosecutors may be corrupt self serving assholes, but they are not racist. The judges are not racist. While I applaud her for supporting the removal of unconstitutional laws, the rest of her “poor black us” whining was complete bullshit.

      • Hey, pot, what’s that you called the kettle???

        nameless, brainless troll, you remain too stupid to insult. I’d urge you to do better, but that’s clearly beyond your (meager) capabilities. Instead, run off to your daily circle jerk, and leave the adults to talk.

        • I called the kettle racist? Are you too stupid to understand what I wrote?

          Since women don’t have circle jerks I’ll leave that to you.

    • While a few hundred young black males with gang affiliation, a criminal history and a history of misusing firearms do drive about 70% of the firearm violent crime, the vast majority of blacks are NOT criminals. But yes, those who are the bad guys are rather prolific in their crime.

      That’s Biden’s government numbers, by the way.

    • The sweeping change would be to say that 2A is an individual right judged by strict scrutiny. That means that laws must address a specific harm with the least possible infringement of liberty. Right now, anti-2A judges can cite “common use” in Heller and rational basis scrutiny (gov just has to have a reason for the law) to allow any violation they want. As long as citizens have access to at least one gun, such as a black powder musket that has been fully background checked and approved personally by the chief of police, the 2A has been satisfied in their minds. Banners could still pass infringing laws and radical judges could still say that it passes strict scrutiny, but most judges that have a smidgen of integrity will rule against it, and appeals outside of the 9th Circus should overrule the knee-jerk authoritarians.

      The elimination of abortion as a Constitutional right in Dobbs would be the more likely case to trigger court packing. Manchin isn’t pro-abortion or anti-gun enough to let it happen before the Dems lose control of the House, and hopefully, Senate.

  5. *yawn*

    Wake me up when the other party would actually make a difference.

    Two wings, predatory bird, blah, blah, blah. I’ve said that all a ton of times before and the hopium addicts never learn.

    IMHO, this sort of concern will cease to be of concern shortly, as it will be displaced by other issues.

  6. “…Black and brown men…” Sexist much there Sharone Mitchell, Jr.?

    Of further note, Mr. Mitchell is one of the shakers and movers who have successfully worked for the elimination of cash bail resulting in the release of so many criminals back out on the streets within hours of their arrests.

    For all of his warm and fuzzy talk, He’s another JAFA (Just Another F’ng Attorney) pushing to expand his influence and empire in Chicago…

  7. US pays $2M a month to protect Pompeo, aide from Iran threat

    “The State Department says it’s paying more than $2 million per month to provide 24-hour security to former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and a former top aide, both of whom face “serious and credible” threats from Iran.”

    Yet U.S. Citizens in Chicago who can’t afford to pay for private security and have no security provided by the government federal or local can’t provide their own protection via firearms carry and possession from “serious and credible” threats from crime.

  8. I have to agree with most of what the author writes about guns and prosecution of inner city resident’s having them. In many cases a gun without a permit charge is all the police and prosecutors have to pin on someone. Usually in leftist/Democrat controlled cities and states.
    Most of the anti gun laws on the books have been aimed at keeping guns away from” Those People”. Whether Italians, Irish, Blacks, Hispanics, or Chinese. Usually whoever was determined by local or state government as lesser or the other people. And, of course, the poor or lower classes.
    Ever notice those who have money, or are in the political elite or favored class have no problem in getting permits and guns? Of course, the restrictions and permit schemes are always based on race, class and political beliefs. And always claim to somehow reduce crime, or protect the public from those same undesirables. Usually resulting in those who need to be able to protect themselves from both criminals and governmental predation but doing nothing to keep guns out of the hands of the predators/criminals.

    • Golly I live south of Chiraq(in Cook county)with my pretty black wife. We both have FOID cards. We’re both legally armed. This diatribe is complete BS. Yeah Chiraq sux but you too can be legal. It helps to not have a criminal record…duh.

  9. While I support policies that actually stem the flow of guns, prevent violence, and heal those who have been harmed

    Well, there’s your problem right there. Those policies to “stem the flow of guns”? What that means is putting obstacles in the path of gun ownership. Obstacles that wealthy people can overcome easily. Obstacles that the poor on the South Side, lacking those resources, find it necessary to circumvent instead.

    There is no 2nd Amendment on Chicago’s South Side because people like you vote for there not to be.

    • It WAS. TONS of black folks legally have & carry gats. This article is stupid…

      • former water walker,

        This article is stupid…

        Agree that the author’s claims were very stupid.

        I also want to highlight another stupid/ridiculous claim from that author. The suggestion that white people can carry concealed handguns without licenses in Chicago or New York City and enjoy immunity from arrest and prosecution is a flat-out lie.

  10. “I do this because there is no Second Amendment on the South Side of Chicago.”

    What have you done about the FOID law that mandates paying for the privilege to practice the 2A?

    What did you do before the CCW law in Illinois that stopped those laws in Chicago that required a special permit that could not be obtained unless you were a political animal or a big donor to the Madigan aligned crews and the crews of the Aldercreatures in Cook?

    Have you helped those who are not violent felons navigate the laws and obtain a FOID and even a CCW?

    What have you done to stop the repeat violent felons that come thru your office? Do you plea them down and allow them to return to offend again?

    Either you are part of the problem of the solution, so Mr Sharone Mitchell, Jr., what is your answer?

  11. There’s no 2A on the south side of Chicago? Of course not. It’s the baddest part of town. And if you go down there you better just beware of a man named Leroy Brown. You can’t miss him. He’s the guy who looks like a jigsaw puzzle with a couple of pieces gone. I think he has a .32 gun that he’s willing to part with.


  13. I recall a case in Portland when an African American woman was agressively prosecuted for shooting her estranged husband. The husband was a professional heavy weight boxer. They got into an argument as he was returning their children after a visitation. The husband announced in front of multiple witnesses his intention to assault her and that he was going to show them how to punch out a woman. When he advanced on her, she shot him with a .22 caliber short pistol. The prosecutor argued that the woman was entitled to defend herself from the undeniable threat, but because she used a gun she was guilty of murder. She was convicted.

    I have posted repeatedly about the extremely high rate of homicides committed by Black people. However; since Black people are so often the victims of crime, it is highly likely that many Black people justifiably use guns for legitimate self defense. However; District Attorneys seldom recognize this reality and prosecute anyway. As a result, Black people justifiably adopt a shoot, don’t bother to shovel, and shut up policy. These legitimate defensive killings are then counted as unsolved murders.

  14. Well she’s full of sht on that white privilege stuff.
    I think a cop thinks , black, brown, green or white we all carry gunms to shoot somebody.

  15. @Geoff “A day without an obsessed, obviously brain-damaged and mentally-ill demented troll (who deserves to live in New Jersey) PR

    “Tionico, read between the lines of what Sam is saying. ”

    Ssshhhhhhh! Don’t give it away.

  16. In case no one noticed it… this

    “I have been close to gun violence my entire life. Growing up on the South Side of Chicago, I’ve seen my classmates carry firearms to keep themselves and their families safe from harm.”

    See how the author relates the fictional term “gun violence’ to “carry firearms to keep themselves and their families safe from harm”

    1. There is no such thing as ‘gun violence’ – there is violence conducted by use of ‘something’ or ‘method’ which may involve the use of a gun but just as well may also be by other methods or ‘something’. Technically, the term is ‘Injury Mechanism’ as in death/injury by some ‘Injury Mechanism’ – e.g. ‘Death by firearm’, and the ‘relaxed’ technical term is ‘injury death’. However, there are overall just as many or more deaths or injury caused by other ‘something’ or ‘method’ – for example, considering 2020…

    *** there are about 100,000 suicides by use of the drug overdose method as of 2/6/2022 (for the last 12 month period – (27.9 % per 100,000 population)

    (note: other sources place over 80% of those drug overdose people had access to a firearm but still chose drug overdose. It is not true that firearm availability increases risk of suicide, a person contemplating suicide it as risk all the time even if no firearm is available yet no one is doing anything to actually address the at risk issue with the fine microscope view given to firearms because of all the distraction and funds being diverted by use of the made up term ‘gun violence’ and about 100,000 at-risk people died. Granted, maybe all those 100,000 could not be saved but the fact that they were also at risk is swept aside in favor of a made up ‘gun violence’ gun-control agenda helped ensure that at least the majority of those would have died by drug overdose.)

    *** there were over 97,000 poisoning deaths in 2020 ( (29.5% per 100,000 population)

    *** but there were 45,222 firearms related deaths in 2020 ( (13.7% per 100,000 population) (includes all, e.g. accident, suicide, and homicide – yet only homicide is actually violent)

    and yet there were 278,345 injury deaths of which 16% were firearms related and 35.9% were drug overdose related. But overall suicide by drug overdose deaths continue to rise at a ‘per 100,000 population’ rate faster each year and no one is doing anything about it and 133,123 injury deaths (excluding firearms and drug overdose) by other means goes unnoticed because of the made up invented term ‘gun violence’

  17. You want to change things? Well, STOP voting Democrat!

    This isn’t rocket science. Democrats are put in power and kept in power. THAT is why Chicago is this way. It’s been this way for atleast 100 years and isn’t likely to change any time soon. As a direct result of this, articles like this just fall on deaf ears.

    • “STOP voting Democrat”

      that only works if there’s an alternative. and the left is all about eliminating alternatives to themselves. “us. just us. only us.”

  18. @SAFEupstateFML
    “Lol I see you are familiar with our educational system here in NY.”

    I read alot.

  19. I agree that gun possession should not be treated as a crime. However I don’t buy the parts about white people being able to have guns and non white not being able to have them.

    Gun ownership is not a race issue. The gun control tyrants want everybody’s guns. Not just certain skin tones.

  20. “Guns in the hands of Black and brown people are seen as a threat to public safety”


    “while in the hands of white gun owners they are viewed as an essential means of self-defense”


    remember that jesse jackson quote? “to be walking down the street and hear footsteps behind you and look back and feel a sense of relief to see that it’s a white person – after all we’ve been through [the “civil rights” struggle] – how humiliating.”

    on the other hand, cancelling the “no guns at all” policy in chicago won’t change anything on the street, so it make any difference. do it.

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