Downstate and Chicago, Brothers in Arms?

It’s an Op-Ed, but it’s also propaganda:

Mayor Rahm Emanuel was in Peoria earlier this week talking about how Chicago and Downstate politicians need to stop fighting so much.

“The politics of the past where we used to play Chicago versus downstate is over. It doesn’t serve the people of Illinois,” Emanuel said, adding, “It’s not working anymore.”

Note to Rahm: It never worked.

One of the biggest issues in downstate politics is guns. …

The basic caricature is that Downstate politicians love guns and want one in every citizen’s hands, while Chicago politicians are afraid of guns and want to ban them entirely. …

Emanuel got along great with Downstate legislators last year. … But then a few weeks ago the mayor announced that he wanted a new law to register all the handguns in Illinois. The mayor scored some routine political points with his gun-hating Chicago constituents, but he infuriated Downstaters, and the resulting explosion was cataclysmic.

Downstaters who had worked with Emanuel just days before began publicly ripping into him as if he were some sort of evil dictator bent on grabbing all their guns. Most are now using their opposition to Emanuel in their campaigns. Ironically enough, Emanuel helped boost Downstate legislators politically while simultaneously alienating them from his legislative agenda.

On the other side of the equation, though, is the Downstate ignorance about how deeply so many Chicagoans hate guns. Many Chicagoans are as insulted and infuriated by Downstate demands that people be able to legally carry loaded handguns on the city’s streets as downstaters are that they’ll have to pay $20 to register every handgun they own.

So, if the mayor really wants to work toward peace, he’ll first have to find a way to get past these gun issues. And if he can do that, he’s a better man than most.

via Chicago Sun-Times.

Kudos to Rich Miller for pointing out how Rahm is causing the divide he claims he wants to repair.  Oh, wait… Miller didn’t do that, I just did.

The bigger issue with Miller’s piece is his create choice of language; he choose his word carefully.  By saying, “the Downstate ignorance about how deeply so many Chicagoans hate guns” he doesn’t have to claim that a majority of people (or voters) hate guns but he can create the inference as such.

The truth is that so many Chicagoans really really really want the right to own (most of those want to be able to carry) a handgun.  Perhaps if Mr. Miller would get outside of the liberal cocktail party set he would realize that many residents feel terrorized in their own homes.  A black minister once told me, “Many in my congregation don’t want to police harassing the folks in their neighborhood.  But they also want to keep a .38 under the pillow.”

Most logical open minded people know that when seconds count the police are just minutes away.  A firearm is used in defense far more often than in offense.  Mr. Miller and his anti-gun friends just can’t get their heads around the facts.  They really should read John Lott’s More Guns, Less Crime.

Concealed Carry works.  Illinois is now the only state in the union without any sort of CCW.  I’m not a believer in the “if everyone jumped off a bridge logic” but it appears that our foot dragging is making us look foolish, childish.  States like Alaska and Vermont have no laws restricting carrying a concealed firearm at all.  Florida has a very open CCW policy (they even gave me a permit;) and yet Miami doesn’t have near the gun violence of Chicago.  Compare Dallas or Houston as well.

The bottom line is that the Downstaters have it right and the political elites in Chicago have it wrong.