President Barack Obama traveled to Chicago Friday to discuss gun violence. Many pundits pointed out that the President’s hometown was an odd venue for the speech, as it already has some of the Nation’s strictest gun laws. But, it seems, to no avail.
Within hours of the President’s speech, the sister of a 14-year-old who attended the event was shot dead in North Chicago, despite the President’s call to end street violence in the city.
On Sunday, Chicago police superintendent Garry McCarthy — who previously has blamed Chicago violence on “government-sponsored racism” and Sarah Palin — suggested that gun owners are corrupt individuals guilty of endangering public safety. McCarthy also suggested that legislators and judges should cast aside the Constitution and make and interpret laws based on public opinion polls.
“Garry McCarthy’s understanding of our Constitution barely qualifies him as a meter maid, never mind the chief of the nation’s third-largest police department,” said Illinois State Rifle Association executive director Richard Pearson in response to the interview. “What on earth would possess McCarthy to assert that constitutional rights should be meted out based on public opinion polls?”
During his television appearance, McCarthy also interpreted the “shall not be infringed” portion of the 2nd Amendment as giving governments and police agencies license to impose mandatory liability insurance requirements on gun owners, and require that GPS tracking devices are affixed to firearms sold to civilians. He believes this is appropriate because the Founders were referring only to smooth bore muskets.
Pearson described McCarthy’s view of the Constitution as “dangerous and unbecoming of a civil servant.” The ISRA director also took issue with McCarthy’s assertion that individuals lobbying lawmakers to support gun rights is a form of corruption.
“McCarthy needs to understand that the lawful firearm owners of this state will continue to lobby their representatives and continue to support candidates who represent their interests,” said Pearson. “If Garry McCarthy doesn’t like that, well that’s just too bad. If McCarthy is so interested in influence peddling, he should pop into some of the gin mills ringing the Illinois Capitol and count the ruddy red noses of taxpayer-funded lobbyists for the City of Chicago.”