Mayor Daley and our new Police Commissioner have proposed equipping and training police officers with M-14 assault rifles to level the playing field on the streets of our fair city. Gang bangers and drug dealers, they say, have superior firepower and this puts our law enforcement personnel at a disadvantage. The men and women of the Chicago Police Department put their lives on the line every day. They deserve our respect and support for the fine job they do under extremely difficult conditions. I am in favor of any strategy which serves and protects them.
Average citizens are not afforded the Right To Bear Arms in Chicago. No sales, no registration, which is interesting, because one can be charged for possession of an unregistered handgun but, at the same time, not allowed to register said handgun) . Someone didn't deliver the memo on this subject to the drug dealers and gang bangers. They don't have too much difficulty equipping themselves with weaponry to conduct daily business.
Our police officers are scrutinized for incidents involving the use of deadly force. Life and death, split second decisions require training and the ability to assess a threat and take appropriate action. Does a Citizen's Review Board have the intimate knowledge or appreciation of the stresses confronted by police officers on the street on a daily basis? When you stare down a gun sight at a human target, it changes your world view in ways you can't imagine until you've done it.
It's about time some sanity and realism took control of gun control. Responsible gun owners don't slaughter innocents to prove their loyalty to a gang or protect their drug turf. Too many lives have been lost and too few of the right things have been done to stop this insanity. Yes, track down illegal suppliers. Stop the weapons before they get here. Let's stop pointing fingers at gun shop owners. Life with no possibility of parole, or the death penalty for an illegal supplier of a weapon used in gang violence might be a good place to begin. Maybe it's about time to consider a concealed-carry law.
I pray for and grieve with all those families who have lost loved ones, especially children, in the recent rise in gun violence. Let's hope those we trust to lead the way make the right choices and target the real issues. Let our Police Officers do the job they are trained and paid to do. Give them all the resources necessary, including the assurance that if they are faced with the need to fire their weapons, we believe they are not the ones guilty of wrongdoing but are simply stopping those who are doing wrong.