"Guns is not the answer," according to Chicago's grammatically challenged mayor. This bit of . . . wisdom was Daley's response to what we discussed yesterday--a situation in which a gun was the answer. Says Hizzoner:
I understand the situation and I understand. What I'm saying is all of us have to understand that guns is not the answer to problems we see in homes and on the streets of America. It's just has simple as that.
For a guy who uses the word "understand" three times in two sentences, Daley seems to be the one whose understanding is a bit foggy. Perhaps he was confused about the question, but when asked "with what can 80-year-old man who walks with a cane best protect himself and his family from a young, fit, armed home invader (and career criminal), who has already illustrated his ruthlessness by firing twice?" a gun most certainly is the answer.
This next part is what I want to talk about, though:
Neither the mayor nor police superintendent would comment on whether charges are even being considered. Police say they have custody of two guns taken from the scene, and that their investigation is ongoing.
And I see that I was correct about the homeowner's gun being confiscated--I daresay I'll also be right in my prediction that he'll never get it back.
Another article puts it this way:
Mayor Richard Daley refused to say today whether an 80-year-old Army veteran who shot and killed an intruder will be charged under the city's handgun ban.
Asked about the possibility of charges, the mayor ended a news conference he had called about summer curfew in the city.
"I don't know. Thank you very much," Daley said and stepped away from the microphone.
As we discussed yesterday, the elderly home owner would seem to be protected from prosecution under Chicago's tyrannical handgun ban by legislation passed (over then Illinois Senator Obama's repeated votes and then Governor Blagojevich's veto) in 2004. Here's what that legislation does (very bottom of the page):
Municipal ordinance regulating firearms; affirmative defense to a violation. It is an affirmative defense to a violation of a municipal ordinance that prohibits, regulates, or restricts the private ownership of firearms if the individual who is charged with the violation used the firearm in an act of self?defense or defense of another as defined in Sections 7?1 and 7?2 of this Code when on his or her land or in his or her abode or fixed place of business.
In other words, the implied threat in Daley's refusal to rule out prosecution would seem to be an empty implied threat, directed at anyone else who, perhaps inspired by the homeowner's example, is considering his own refusal to be a victim.
So, Mayor, if "guns is not the answer," what, may I ask, is your answer? Please don't tell me that reliance on the police is the answer--not only have courts ruled time and again that the police have no duty to protect the individual (and how could they?), Chicago Police Superintendent Jody Weis has himself recently acknowledged that the police are more or less powerless to prevent homicides inside homes.
The ones that are outdoors we really should be able to have an impact on. ... Todayís tragedy [a murder-suicide earlier in the month] Ö is sad. Three people are dead. But, when itís inside a house, itís hard for police to have an impact on that. I wish we could. I just donít see where we can.
It seems that the police don't have an answer. An 80-year-old Korean War veteran did--which is a good thing, because the consequences of getting the answer wrong would have been far worse than a poor grade.