Richard Daley – Chicago’s Emperor Nero retires

by Gerard Valentino

Richard Daley's request for armed bodyguards to protect him after he leaves office shows that his career as Chicago Mayor is ending, but his legacy of hypocrisy will live on. After years of disarming all civilians, Daley's tune is now changing, and he is making sure that someone carrying a gun is in place to defend him when he no longer holds his throne.

For Daley to request armed protection in his retirement is an act of blind arrogance. Note, it isn't described as a shocking act of arrogance, since nobody is surprised when Daley is caught in a self- centered, egotistical act.

If Daley had to walk down the street in one of Chicago's worst neighborhoods, or spend several months living in a high crime area of the city without his bodyguards, we can only wonder how his view of gun control would change. Maybe if he walked out of his front door each day completely vulnerable because only the criminals on his street were armed, he might find humanity, or a sense of reality.

Based on his brand of bully-politics, it still remains unlikely he will ever admit that he was wrong about gun-control even though his request proves he sees the value of guns for defending civilians.

Despite the notoriously slow response time of the Chicago Police Department in high crime neighborhoods, Mayor Daley saw to it that the only option for citizens was to call 911, and wait, if violently attacked. His suggestion seemed plausible to him because his self-appointed gunslingers are always an arm's-length away.

Sadly, even in retirement he found a way to keep his self-appointed place as one of society's elite. His attempt to use his office as a way to elevate his stature would also be recognizable to infamous Roman Emperor Nero, who wielded unchecked power for his own glory.

Comparing most politicians to a blood-thirsty tyrant is stepping over the line, but not in Daley's case.

While he was Mayor, Chicagoans were murdered at a horrifying rate, and his time in office included some of the bloodiest periods in Chicago's history. Even infamous gangster Al Capone's bloody reign of terror wasn't able to match the carnage that took place under Mayor Richard Daley's watch.

Daley's answer to the bloodshed was to enact policies that left criminals armed to the teeth while law- abiding citizens were left unprotected.

The blood of the innocent murder victims in Chicago will stain Richard Daley's hands forever, and his choice to ask for protection for his family drips with the same arrogance that led Nero to treat Rome as his own personal playground.

History tells us that Nero fiddled while Rome burned, and history will condemn Daley for fiddling while thousands of innocent Chicagoans met a violent and untimely end.

As he leaves office, Daley refuses to back down from the premise that he is more important than the subjects he scorned while in office. If he had an ounce of self-respect or decency, he would go into retirement and live the life of a citizen, not an Emperor.

Expecting him to do so, however, is like expecting the sun to rise in the west. Instead, even when he should be just another citizen, Daley found a way to place his own interests above the citizens he vowed to serve.

The fact that he is now asking for armed protection during his retirement does prove that he fully recognizes that guns save lives. In his twisted mind, however, he only cares if it is his life that is saved, and to hell with the great unwashed masses left to live in the city he failed to rid of street gangs, armed robbers and rapists.

Daley's last act as Mayor tells us all we need to know about Chicago's longest- tenured mayor and self-styled Emperor.

Mayor Richard Daley is an example of everything that is wrong with politics in America.

He also left law-abiding citizens to dodge bullets while he lived in secure houses and enjoyed 24-hour police protection.

Some Roman Emperors didn't have it any better.

Gerard Valentino is a member of the Buckeye Firearms Foundation Board of Directors and the author of "The Valentino Chronicles – Observations of a Middle Class Conservative," available through the Buckeye Firearms Association store.

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