We’re in a mode these days where the so-called firearms aficionados are determined to pressure people to accept their view of the world – which is based too-heavily on some Wild West concept that people being threatened will be able to whip out their pistols and shoot the offender.
|McDERMOTT: Actions not good enough?|
Honestly, I see way too many scenarios in which someone manages to shoot themselves, or winds up getting shot by their own weapon when the threatening force manages to take it away from them.
BUT WE’RE IN a “no-compromise” mode by those people with ideological leanings that makes them think they have their right to use their pistol and hold it over everybody else. I guess they just don’t feel secure otherwise.
Take the situation on the other side of State Line Road, where the Indiana Legislature earlier this year passed a measure that has the effect of striking down any attempts by municipal government to impose restrictions on firearms possession.
That means the laws passed in Hammond in the early 1990s in response to an incident where someone walked into City Hall and started shooting (and killing) are no longer valid.
Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott went so far this week as to approve an executive order that tells police officers in his city of just over 80,000 people that they are no longer to enforce the municipal ban on bringing firearms into public buildings or city parks.
NOT THAT THEY were enforcing the measure. No one has been charged with an offense in years, and especially not since the state Legislature took its action.
What would have been the point? Anyone who would have been arrested would have easily been acquitted by citing the state law, then would have had a completely legitimate lawsuit against the city for a false arrest.
The executive order acknowledges reality.
|FORD: Another African-American first?|
Except in the world of the firearms aficionados (people who live in the real world use a more impolite phrase to describe them), who are behaving in a way that would make you think the Indiana Legislature had approved a law opposing their view – rather than giving them exactly what they wanted.
TWO PEOPLE WHO purport to represent firearms owners in that part of the Chicago area that spills over the Illinois/Indiana border filed a lawsuit against Hammond, and are now saying that the executive order is not good enough.
That city’s firearms ban in public buildings effectively got struck down when the state acted. But these people want the City Council to now pass a measure that specifically strikes down their own act – which was a response to a particularly emotional incident in Hammond history.
Perhaps they also want an apology for the city for ever daring to think that a restriction on firearms in public makes sense? Or maybe they’re just the equivalent of that schoolyard bully who, after taking a kid’s lunch, forces him to eat a clump of dirt.
Because when it comes right down to it, that is what many of these firearms aficionados come across as – the bully. He’s probably the person we need protection from, instead of him thinking his firearm protects him from us.
THEN, WE COME back into Chicago, specifically into the inner-city neighborhoods of the West Side. The ones with heavy African-American populations and large amounts of violence. A place where there probably are too many firearms in circulation for anyone to feel truly comfortable.
There, state Rep. LaShawn Ford, D-Chicago, is now telling reporter-types that he could favor the bills that have failed in the past that would allow Illinois residents to carry pistols on their person when they are in public.
He would be the first African-American legislator to throw in with supporters of that idea, who largely come from the rural parts of Illinois.
If anything, I take his constituents’ concerns about self-protection a little more seriously than the people suing Hammond, Ind., which literally includes a grandmother who says she wants to carry a pistol on her when she takes her grandchildren to the park.
HAMMOND MAY HAVE its less-than-pristine parts of town, but it is not the West Side.
Of course, Ford is asking for something from the National Rifle Association in exchange for his support for any future “concealed carry” bills – he wants the NRA to pay for police to receive sensitivity training.
Most likely so that cops don’t automatically think every single black person with a pistol is a gang member worthy of arrest.
Somehow, I sense many of the ideologues who get excited for this issue will have a problem with anything that says the police themselves might be part of the problem.
FORD HAD A forum on the issue in his district last week, and the Austin Weekly newspaper reported that most of those who attended were supportive of the concept. But what caught my attention was less the arguments back and forth, but instead the comments of a couple of Chicago police types (one current and one retired).
The current cop argued like many police officers do that more firearms ultimately threatens the safety of the police on the street. But the retired cop admitted the indifference of some police officers toward anyone who isn’t an affluent white person.
“Why would you count on anyone who doesn’t like you to protect your home?,” that officer asked during the forum.
My thought is that any “concealed carry” proponent who is seriously willing to acknowledge that aspect is going to get taken more seriously by me than anyone who bases their argument for packing a pistol in public solely on a partial reading of the Second Amendment to the Constitution.