Chicago’s Sad Summer; Barack Obama and Mayor Daley's continued ignorance

"I know that what works in Chicago may not work in Cheyenne."
- Illinois Sen. Barack Obama on gun control, June 26, 2008.

By Gerard Valentino

"What exactly do you think is working in Chicago," Sen. Obama?

Sadly, the hometown we share reached another deadly milestone this summer due to the decision to disarm law-abiding citizens. reported recently that 123 people were killed over the summer in Chicago, compared with 65 soldiers killed in Iraq.

From the story:

In May, began tracking city shootings and posting them on Google maps. Information compiled from our reporters, wire service reports and the Chicago Police Major Incidents log indicated that 123 people were shot and killed throughout the city between the start of Memorial Day weekend on May 26, and the end of Labor Day on Sept. 1.

According to the Defense Department, 65 soldiers were killed in combat in Iraq. About the same number were killed in Afghanistan over that same period.

In the same time period, an estimated 245 people were shot and wounded in the city.

To say it’s become easy to mock the Chicago leadership because of their willingness to cling to gun control and their bitterness over the city’s continuing increase in violent crime is an understatement. How they can push for more gun control when it failed citywide is breathtaking in its arrogance. Although the city will most likely drop the fight to keep the ban of handgun ownership, it is unlikely that Mayor Daley will ever willingly allow concealed carry in HIS city. Likewise, we know that Barack Obama opposes concealed carry - he confirmed it to a Pittsburgh newspaper this last April.

When the city you claim to rule is more deadly for inhabitants than a war zone in Iraq, and you still claim the gun control laws are "working", something is very, very wrong.

Staying true to his anti-gun roots, Barack Obama and Mayor Daley claim the answer to Chicago’s problem is more gun control, even though the city has one of the most restrictive anti-gun ordinances in the nation.

Daley is a perfect example of gun-control being more about control than public safety. The way he sees it, Chicago’s residents are his personal serfs.

Of course, as Daley points out, it’s the failure of the nearby suburbs to ban guns that allows thugs and gang bangers in Chicago to easily get them. His point, however, is further proof that prohibiting guns doesn’t work. Criminals will find ways to get guns because they are, after all, criminals.

Like Daley, Democrat presidential candidate and the Senator from Illinois, Barack Obama, also believes in banning all firearms. He tries to justify attacks on freedom by stating the Second Amendment is a living clause in the constitution, asserting that it allows municipalities to ban guns in the name of public safety. In Obama's own word, "I know that what works in Chicago may not work in Cheyenne."

The irony is Obama and Daley have no idea what will reduce violent crime in Chicago, so they can't accurately compare it to Cheyenne, or anywhere else. Chicago is one of the deadliest cities in the world for Americans. Obama began calling for President Bush to step down over the war in Iraq. Instead of pulling them out of Iraq, shouldn't we instead call for pulling out of Chicago?

Make no mistake, Obama and his anti-gun cohorts are biding their time and will ban guns yet again as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, honest people like my mother and grandmother, who live in Chicago, have to choose between possibly going to jail and defending their life. Human rights, in all their iterations, stem from the basis that people should have a way of defending their person against violent attack. In Chicago, however, the right to self-defense was taken away years ago when mere possession of the best tool for the job was banned.

While Daley mugs for the television cameras and throws temper tantrums, the people of Chicago are being killed at a rate higher than that of soldiers in Iraq.

Let that sink in for a minute.

A citizen of Chicago, one of America’s greatest cities, has a better chance of dying a violent death than soldiers in harm’s way. All because, for years, various Chicago mayoral administrations have made a concerted effort to disarm honest people while criminals act without fear. Not since the days of Al Capone has Chicago’s name been more directly linked to violent crime than it is today.

During Capone’s time, the violent crime was caused by a bloody mob war driven by widespread corruption that plagued the city administration. Current gang wars continue to cause much of the violence in Chicago still today. However, it is now driven by the knowledge among criminals that the citizens are powerless to stop them.

Although many of the notorious housing projects in Chicago were razed to make way for urban renewal, the gang bangers and thugs didn’t go away. Instead, they regrouped in other areas and continue their deadly craft of intimidating the civilian population in their sphere of control. They have free reign to do so because Mayor Daley and his cohorts on the City Council refuse to let citizens have the right to self-defense.

In 1970, when gun-control was in its infancy, maybe such a reckless disregard for the rights of law abiding citizens could be justified. To be fair, even then it was unjustified but at the time there wasn’t the mountain of evidence proving gun control doesn’t work.

We also didn’t have the definitive ruling by the United States Supreme Court affirming the right to bear arms as laid out in the constitution. Now, gun control as a political movement is even more of an abomination. Taking away a citizen’s right is never the answer when lawlessness reigns in a city like Chicago. Only giving honest people the tools to assure equal footing in a deadly encounter is justified.

For gun control, that is the beginning and end of the argument.

Chicago is further proof that disarming honest people only leads to lawlessness and widespread death and destruction. Even in Iraq, where are soldiers report every home has an AK-47, there is less of a chance that an American will die than in Chicago.

Much is made about the deaths in the War on Terror by the traditional media, and rightfully so, since service members choose to go into battle to defend us.

It is a sad fact that for every person killed in Chicago, due to former Joyce Foundation board member Barack Obama's and Mayor Daley’s misguided war on guns, there is a family as well. Each Chicagoan killed had a family who mourns, a family who is angry and a family that is destroyed. Many families lost several children in the Chicago gang wars and all of those deaths fall at the feet of men like these.

Gerard Valentino is the Buckeye Firearms Association Central Ohio Chair and writes for the

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