IN (SELF) DEFENSE OF CHICAGO POLICE SUPERINTENDENT McCARTHY’S “FIVE POINTS”
Gun control has taken a different turn here in Chicago with our CPD superintendent coming out with the following points regarding how to promote more gun control. Now each is perfectly good, but it is the way Mr. McCarthy put his views into words that needs a little clearing up.
Gun reasonability and gun accountability are the words I believe he used in the article aired on News Radio WBBM in Chicago. Now on the surface these sound right, but let us consider some basic grammar and writing pointers. Guns are inanimate objects meant for one purpose, being to inflict quick and serious, violent harm and injury upon a person, animal, or other object, and one shot is all that is needed. The old saying is “guns do not kill people; people kill people”. A gun cannot be accountable or reasonable. It should be stated that only the person in possession of that firearm is both ACCOUNTABLE and REASONABLE. The gun has no mind of its own, and only the person with the gun has the mind and the will of how to use that gun.
As stated in an online article from the Chicago Tribune:
“McCarthy also outlined five steps that he said would cut down on gun violence and prevent felons and gang members from acquiring guns: banning assault weapons; banning high-capacity magazines; requiring background checks for anyone who buys a gun; mandatory reporting of the sale, transfer, loss or theft of a gun; and mandatory minimum prison sentences for people convicted of illegally possessing a gun.”
The first two steps he speaks to, the banning of assault weapons and high -capacity magazines, suit me just fine. Though I might need a firearm for home defense I certainly have no need for something high -powered, high -round, with magazines of dozens of rounds and the power to mow down dozens of people in a few seconds. Military -style weapons belong in the hands of only those IN the military, active duty people with honorable records, as the type of veteran Wal -Mart wants to hire in a few months. Only in rare instances should anybody even need something as power driven as a machine gun or assault -style weapon, and then only in a war zone. Somewhere around the world where our troops are engaged we might need them, but certainly not on our streets or in our communities or for hunting or recreation.
Want to take your stresses out? Don’t need to take them out that way. Best try a vacation, a meditation sesssion at a temple or church or a spa day, or some exercise, or even getting out your cooking supplies and making a fresh, wholesome meal, or even going out, anything to get your mind away from taking your mind out for a rolling jaunt with an assault rifle. Using guns is a coward’s way out of situations, and using a machine gun only makes things worse. Children could be in harm’s way, innocent people could be in harm’s way, families could be in harm’s way. Why would you want such chaos and trouble to rain down on someone else? Suppose it was YOUR kid or parents or grandparents in the line of fire- would you want that? One thing is sure, around Chicago if you go after someone with the intent to murder, you might just draw the ire of someone down on you and your household or school. Guns used improperly bring nothing but trouble.
The lessons of West Webster, New York and Newtown, Connecticut, should teach us that much: the same weapon was used in both incidents, and innocent people were targeted. In Webster firefighters on a response to a residential blaze were gunned down and two died, and others were seriously injured. And we all know what happened in little Newtown, with the massacre of children and adults at the elementary school. Our firefighters and police officers put their lives on the line every single day they are on the job, and they are here to protect and serve and educate us; the children are the future of this nation and world. These are some of the most humble and innocent and loving people we have in our country, people we can learn so much from.
Point three of McCarthy’s Five take in these points: requiring background checks for anyone who buys a gun; mandatory reporting of the sale, transfer, loss or theft of a gun. It is so common sense that everyone who wants the privilege and honor of having any kind of firearm should be checked out with as detailed a background check as is possible. Check for anything unusual, signs of severe menal illness, suicide tendencies or talk of wanting to harm or kill another person for any reason at all, felonies, jail time, arrests, records of abuse of people or animals, anything that might raise a caution flag in the eyes of a doctor or of a law enforcement official.
Reporting the sale, transfer, loss or theft of a firearm is also essential, in order to keep track of these dangerous implements floating around in our society. Other things should be reported from a theft, such as jewelry, cars, and the like, so all the more vital that firearm theft, transfer, or sale or loss is immediately reported. It is up to the owners of guns to make as detailed records as possible, including photographs from many angles, serial numbers, and any unusual details about the weapon, such as wear patterns, decorations, engravings, etc. We must be able to know where weapons are or what they might be used for; if there has been an armed robbery in an area or guns have been stolen from a home or business, the moment it is known that these weapons are out of sight of their owners or not under proper lock and key, law enforcement and the community need to be informed in order to watch for the weapons or for suspicious activity in the area.
The next point is imposing a minimum prison sentences for people convicted of illegally possessing a gun. I think that anyone who goes so boldly into breaking the law and intending murderous or harmful purposes needs to be taught a lesson and be made fit to be in society again. They need to be put to labor appropriate for their strength and health and mental state in order to learn patience, something useful to get them back into society, and supervision- they need to know in every way possible that they will be watched, that breaking the law is not a good idea, and that they will now have a record that will possibly taint their re -entry into the workplace. They need to feel that booking process, the jail suit, hear the doors closing, see the bars and the heavy doors on the cells, and the misery that accompanies a stay in a prison.
Perhaps if prison is made heinous enough to be in right at the outset many people would most likely want to do everything they could to stay out of such a place. Prison is not a place any sane person, anyone who knows the awful conditions that can be there, the feelings surely of loneliness, of hearing odd noises and getting odd smells, no privacy, unusual food, a cold bed and a cold small window, and odd company. Just ask any preacher who has done prison ministry; I think they could tell you it is one of the worst places someone could find that they have ended up.
The points Mr. McCarthy puts forward make sense, and I will support him in any way possible.
Divi Logan, Nashville and Chicago, 2013.
1. Chicago’s Top Cop again calls for more gun laws. Article found at http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-01-12/news/chi-chicagos-top-cop-again-calls-for-more-gun-laws-20130112_1_gun-laws-gun-violence-debate-over-gun-control. Accessed 15 January 2013.