You may have heard that Chicago has had a rash of deadly shootings the past few weekends. Shootings are up. Deaths are up. Last night, there was a hostage standoff at an autobody shop that resulted in the police having the kill the hostage taker because he started shooting at them.
It's disgusting. The reasons for this massive increase in gunfire vary. Some claim it's due to the warm weather (see if you can follow this) because the winter was so very long and people were cooped up in their homes. Now it's warm (although my heat is on as I write this because it's 40 degrees outside) and people are outside, so naturally, shootings increase. I don't understand that reason at all. I think it's an excuse, not a reason. Others say (and I believe) this increase in gun violence has more to do with the economy. People can't afford the basics. They are having problems putting food on their tables. They're feeling desperate and frustrated (and to quote Barack Obama) and bitter.
This weekend, in response to this increase in gun violence, Mayor Daley and Police Chief Jody Weis have proposed that Chicago cops be equipped with semiautomatic assault rifles because they're "outgunned" by the gangs and criminals. That's right. If the Mayor and Police Chief get their way (and I'm not arguing for or against this, although I think it's quite the statement), all 13,000 of Chicago's Finest will be running around with M4 carbines, which can shoot up to 1000 rounds per minute.
In explaining his support for this plan, Mayor Daley says, "We're finding out that the weapons of criminals are getting bigger and bigger, AK-47s, all types of different weapons, because they can carry assault weapons, it's not a violation of federal law, and that is a concern for all of us." (emphasis mine)
It's NOT a violation of federal law to carry assault weapons. WTF????? Why not? Why does anyone need to carry assault weapons like AK-47s or M4s? These are not guns to hunt deer or squirrel or pheasant or whatever else hunters hunt. These are the weapons used in Iraq to kill people. The sole purpose of assault weapons is to hunt people. Why does anyone need these kinds of guns?
I'm not trying to start a pro- or anti-gun debate here. I understand that there are legitimate reasons why people keep guns. I understand that people hunt for food. Some of my relatives in Mississippi hunt deer and duck and I'm sure other things too. I get that. I understand it's something passed down from generation to generation. I'm not judging it or saying it's bad.
But there's a difference between owning guns for hunting deer and owning assault rifles for hunting people.
Can someone explain to me one legitimate reason why anyone needs to own AK47s or M4 assault weapons? And why the hell it's not illegal to own them?
What level have we sunk to that we must live in a gun state where cops patrolling the streets carry assault rifles at all times?