Maybe He Should Apply For A Concealed Carry Permit

Now that Mayor Richard M. Daley is leaving office he wants to keep a few perks of the office. Namely, he wants to keep at least three (and preferrably five) of his Chicago Police Department bodyguards to protect him in retirement. It is also reported by Sun-Times columnist Michael Sneed that Daley is requesting two cars to be put at his disposal – one for him and one for his wife.

The head of the local Fraternal Order of Police took issue with Daley’s request for these bodyguards. It should be noted that the Chicago PD is now over 2,300 officers short of its authorized strength.

The head of the police union called the mayor’s request for bodyguards after he leaves office ill-timed and “ridiculously excessive.”

“It’s another example of excessive use of manpower and resources during an extreme shortage,” said Michael Shields, president of the Fraternal Order of Police.

Daley, as might be expected, disagreed and said his request was “appropriate”. His predecessor, Harold Washington, died in office and Washington’s predecessor, Jane Byrne, wasn’t given a bodyguard when she left office. I guess appropriate is in the eye of the beholder.

I’d normally suggest that if Mayor Daley is concerned for his safety and that of his family then he should apply for a concealed carry permit. However, due to the efforts of Mr. Daley and his Chicago Democratic Machine, the State of Illinois still doesn’t have concealed carry. And if Governor Pat Quinn – another politician from the Chicago Democratic Machine – is true to this word, HB 148 will be vetoed even if it does pass the Illinois House and Senate.

Life can be tough out in the real world. Daley’s efforts to keep the people of Chicago and the State of Illinois unarmed and defenseless are now coming back to bite him. As they say, payback is a bitch.

Simple Addition Is Beyond Mayor Daley

Watching Mayor Daley at this press conference with Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL) calling for more gun control reminds me of the Genesis song I Can’t Dance from their We Can’t Dance album. Just substitute “I can’t add, I can’t do math” for “I can’t dance, I can’t talk” and you have Mayor Daley.

Daley claims that 100,000 people are “shot and killed with a gun” every year on average. He makes this remark at the .25 mark of the video.

However, if you take the numbers from their own posters – 34 – and multiply that by 365, you only get 12,410. That is a far cry from 100,000. Even when you add in suicides and gun-related accidental deaths, the annual number has averaged 32,000 deaths for the years 1980-2006. This last number is from the University of Pennsylvania’s Firearm and Injury Center at Penn. FICAP has received $600,000 from the Joyce Foundation over that past few years to come up with that number.

Mayor Daley Not Fading Away

Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley is not fading away as his latest term in office runs out. At least not with regard to gun control, that is.

Gathering a group of clergy, activists, elected officials, and victim’s families for his annual gun control law press conference, Daley pushed the Illinois General Assembly to pass “common-sense gun laws.”

Felons convicted of illegal gun possession or charged with other gun crimes would no longer be eligible for probation, under one of four new wrinkles in Daley’s annual package of gun control legislation.

The lame-duck mayor is also proposing: a mandatory, ten-year prison sentence for pointing a gun at a first responder; a separate felony charge for parents or guardians who bring a child along when they commit or attempt a felony and automatic transfer from juvenile to criminal court for 15- to 17-year-olds charged with possession or use of a firearm.

According to CBS Chicago, he also reiterated his call for an “assault weapons ban” and background checks on private sales. As heard in the audio report by WBBM, he was dismissive towards the Supreme Court for ruling against Chicago in the McDonald case. I guess when you have been the Mayor of Chicago for as long as Daley, you become a law unto yourself – at least in your own mind.

Asked by another reporter whether this was his last effort on gun control, Daley responded that “I will keep this up as a private citizen as well.” I wonder how much traction Daley will have once he doesn’t have his army of police, elected officials, and the Chicago Machine to back him up anymore.

John Lott, Mayor Daley, and Thugocracy

Mayor Richard M. Daley does not like guns unless they are in the hands of his bodyguards. It appears that he also doesn’t like scholars who challenge his cherished beliefs about the efficacy of gun control.

Heading that list is Dr. John Lott whose book, More Guns, Less Crime, attacked some of the most cherished assumptions of the gun control movement. In 1998, Lott was an Olin Fellow at the University of Chicago Law School. It should be noted here that the University of Chicago is a private university and has no formal links with the City of Chicago.

Lott ran afoul of Daley back in 1998 and is only now telling the story. With Daley about to leave office, he felt it was time that the real story be told.

In December 1998, Daley held a conference with other anti-gun mayors to discuss suing gun manufacturers. To get an opposing view, Lott was asked by local Chicago TV reporters to meet and talk with them about the lawsuits. Scheduled to arrive at the venue after the mayors had finished, he arrived to find them running behind schedule. At the suggestion of a reporter, he went in to listen to the mayors’ presentations. Here is where it gets interesting as Lott describes it in an opinion piece for FoxNews.

When the audience started yelling questions, I raised my hand in an attempt to get called on. At that point a woman walked over to me and asked me if I was John Lott from the University of Chicago. I said that I was, and she informed me that I was not allowed to ask any questions — no additional explanation was offered.

This appeared awfully strange, and it bothered me that someone would be singled out in the entire crowd. So after about 10 minutes, I decided to raise my hand again to ask a question. The same woman reappeared, this time signaling to two plainclothes men to come up behind me where I was seated. The woman stated that only the press were allowed to ask questions and that I would have to leave. While she was speaking to me, one of the men gave me a couple of solid hits in my back and then pushed me hard on my shoulder, almost knocking me out of my chair. I told her that I wasn’t leaving, but that I wouldn’t raise my hand again.

Some in the audience noticed. A reporter from the Baltimore Sun (Joe Mathews) had been seated next to me and gave me his card, stating that he thought the whole thing looked surprising.

Not satisfied with having Lott roughed up, Daley went further a few days later.

On December 15, 1998, I learned from Dan Fischel, the law school’s Dean, that Mayor Daley had called up the president of the University of Chicago, Hugo Sonnenschein. Mayor Daley reportedly had told Sonnenschein that he had great plans for the relationship between the city and the school but that my continued presence at the university was going to do “irreparable harm” to that relationship.

I was then faced with two different termination options: immediately resign from the university or stay until July and promise not to talk to the press any more while I was there.

Lott went with Option 2 and kept away from the press until his appointment was to expire. In retrospect, Lott feels he should have resigned and gone to the press. However, at the time, as a young scholar, he was concerned about the impact on his career if he was ousted. Given that he had four kids at home, this was understandable.

As reported in the Illinois Review, a conservative journal, Lott withheld describing this incident in his 3rd. Editon of More Guns, Less Crime because the book is published by the University of Chicago Press. He felt it would have just been edited out. The Illinois Review has audio of his interview with Teri O’Brien here.

There are two issues in this story. First, that Mayor Daley would make threats to the president of a great university such as the University of Chicago and do so knowing he was immune from any backlash. Second, that the president of any university would kow-tow to a thug like Daley on an issue of academic freedom.

That Daley would threaten the president of a university just as if he were some corrupt land developer seeking the city’s approval for a project is not that surprising. It is the Chicago Way and I anticipate it will continue if, as seems likely, Rahm Emanuel is elected the next Mayor of Chicago. However, it is surprising that the president of a great university would roll over on Lott after threats from Daley. Chicago has long had a reputation for academic rigor, for innovative research, and great scholars. Its list of Nobel Laureates who have either attended or taught there is quite long.

The story reminds me of King Henry II and Thomas a’ Becket. When King Henry reportedly said “Who will rid me of this meddlesome priest”, four knights of the royal court took that as the command to kill Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury. However, unlike the murder of Beckett which outraged England, no one in Chicago seems to be outraged that John Lott was to be sacrificed to satisfy Richard Daley’s pique.