Bob Barr

Chicago is known for good steaks, expensive stores and beautiful architecture. Unfortunately, the Windy City also enjoys a reputation for corrupt politics, violent crime, and some of the strictest gun control laws anywhere in the country. To rational people, the inverse relationship between the last two is obvious. Unfortunately for residents of and visitors to Chicago, the city is governed by officials who operate not in the real world, but in a virtual “Bizarro World,” where up is down, black is white, and good guys are to be punished.

In this strange environment, current Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (who served presidents Clinton and Obama as a trusted advisor) believes the best way to enable citizens to protect themselves from rampant gun violence, is to take away their ability to defend themselves – in other words, disarm law-abiding citizen-victims.

Predictably, under the “Godfather” (as Emanuel is often tabbed by the media) Chicago has descended to historically high levels of violence; turning areas of the city into virtual war zones for residents and visitors alike.

The murder rate in Chicago -- 500 homicides just last year -- easily exceeded the death toll in 2012 for US personnel serving in the war zone of Afghanistan. Even that war’s bloodiest year, in which 499 American military lost their lives, could not match Chicago’s recent, depressingly high murder count.

Rather than consider last month’s mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut a lesson in what happens when an unarmed populace is confronted with a deranged, gun-wielding criminal, Emanuel – who famously once said, “you never want a serious crisis to go to waste” —used the tragedy to renew his calls for even more limits on law-abiding citizens’ ability to defend themselves.

Hizzoner began by begging the Illinois General Assembly to move swiftly to ban all so-called “assault weapons.” Speaking at a recent graduation ceremony for Chicago Police Officers Emanuel opined, “it is time to have that vote” in Springfield and in Washington, DC. Democrat lawmakers in Springfield quickly fell in line. As reported by the NRA, legislation proposed last week would impose “sweeping semi-automatic and magazine bans,” in addition to “requiring registration of firearms and magazines, and crippling shooting ranges through onerous restrictions.”

Fortunately, for Chicago’s beleaguered citizens, Democrats failed to muster the votes in either the state House or Senate, and the Emanuel-supported legislation died -- for now.

Bob Barr

Bob Barr represented Georgia’s 7th district in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995 -2003 and as U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia from 1986-1990.