A leading national gun rights organization and a couple of Chicago-area state lawmakers may have offered sensible solutions to the Windy City’s ongoing mayhem that took ten lives and left 57 people wounded over the weekend.
Importantly, the gun group and the legislators come at the problem from different angles, and there has been no collaboration. They offer separate ideas that just might have a common denominator.
The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms pointed the finger of blame not just at the thugs who keep shooting people, but at the city administration and the justice system. Specifically, following the weekend arrest of two brothers now charged in the slaying of Nykea Aldridge, cousin of NBA star Dwayne Wade, it was revealed both men are on parole. One of the brothers was allegedly on some sort of “daily break from an electronic monitoring bracelet,” according to a CCRKBA news release.
But CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb had more to say:
“It is time for the good citizens of Chicago to recognize that their city is in chaos, and that those responsible are not just a bunch of thugs on the South and West sides, but the people who are supposed to be in charge at city hall,” Gottlieb stated. “This is what happens with decades of one party control. Their policies have failed, their strategies have failed and yet they are blind to all of it because they cannot admit those failures.
“Instead,” he observed, “they fight common sense at every turn. They let career criminals roam the streets, preying on and murdering innocent victims like Aldridge, while they do everything in their power to prevent law-abiding citizens from defending themselves.
“This nonsense must stop,” Gottlieb said. “Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his administration evidently can’t do the job, so maybe it’s time for him to step down, write his memoirs and open the door for a dramatic change in leadership. Emanuel and his predecessors have made a habit of blaming guns and gun rights for the city’s woes, but so long as recidivist thugs continually terrorize their neighborhoods, rhetoric about keeping guns out of the wrong hands is just political lip service.”
The Chicago Sun Times reported Tuesday in an editorial that two state lawmakers, Sen. Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago) and Rep. Michael J. Zalewski (D-Riverside) have proposed legislation that would “push judges to sentence gun offenders to longer sentences within the ranges already set by law…The goal is to keep people who repeatedly carry a gun illegally behind bars for longer without sweeping in people who don’t post a risk to others.”
Well, how about that? Several years ago, Gottlieb was one of the main proponents of an initiative measure in Washington State called “Hard Time for Armed Crime.” This was the follow-up to “Three Strikes and You’re Out,” which was championed by conservative talk host John Carlson at Seattle’s KVI.
Cracking down on criminals, while leaving honest gun owners alone, seems a far better approach to discouraging crime, say gun rights advocates. The Sun-Times seems to like the idea of at least going after armed thugs, maybe because two Democrats cooked it up this time. But the emphasis needs to stop there, gun rights activists will argue. It does no good to penalize honest gun owners for crimes they didn’t commit.
And it might just be that, with bodies stacking up like cord wood, it is time for a change in leadership and philosophy in the mayor’s office and in the council chambers.