Top city officials still aren't saying exactly what they think Chicago's handgun ban is accomplishing. I'm wondering whether they can't—or just won't because sticking up for the ban gives them cover for their inability to cope with our city's persistent violence.The company line which may well be the line of the Democratic machine or more likely Mayor Daley is to say that guns are bad. Also the case of a west-side couple whose lives were saved because one man chose to break the law and own a gun and at that shot an armed home intruder.
Nevertheless, the superintendent went on to highlight some of the department's other successes, including weapon seizures. From the beginning of 2010 through the end of May, Weis said, Chicago police had confiscated 3,513 weapons—an average of about 22 a day. Among them were 130 assault weapons, or about one a day. This is a good thing, Weis told us—the numbers are up from 2009. But he obviously couldn't explain how the gun ban was stopping the flow of arms into the city. When a reporter asked him about the ban, he resorted to the company line. "We're optimistic—we're hoping the Supreme Court will uphold the current ordinance," he said.
He went on to cite a disturbing recent murder as an example of why the ban is important—a woman shot to death Saturday in the Calumet Heights neighborhood after a dispute over a card game.
"People get upset, they get angry—if that gun wasn't in the house there's probably an excellent chance that woman would be alive today," Weis said. "It's a perfect example of the dangers of having a weapon inside of a home with folks who in my opinion do not have the emotional maturity and stability to have such a weapon inside the house."
The superintendent wasn't willing to weigh in on the case of the 80-year-old west-side man who shot and killed an armed intruder a couple of weeks ago. The man's wife has said he saved their lives. But by owning the gun he was breaking the law.
"We're still gathering the evidence on that," Weis said.
That's the funny part, I would say that story illustrates why people should own a gun at home. It may be the only justifiable reason to use the gun. Yet because of situations such as the aforementioned card game NO ONE can own a gun.