Should Lenient Law Enforcement Be Blamed for the Gun Violence in Chicago?

4798When it comes to guns, David Mamet peddles deceit just like the weary real estate salesmen in his brilliant "Glengarry Glen Ross," being revived now on Broadway.

Cleopatra Cowley-Pendleton, the mother of 15-year-old Chicago gun victim Hadiya Pendleton, mourns near where her daughter was shot and killed on Jan. 29.
So if you need insight into firearm crime -- especially the befuddling, little-understood difference between New York and Chicago -- don't trust one of America's foremost playwrights on what's going on in his native Chicago, or, for that matter, anyplace else.

The Pulitzer Prize winner recently wrote a pro-gun, anti-President Obama screed for Newsweek. It included a call for "more armed citizens in the schools"; an attack on Obama for having armed protection for his own family but not everybody else's, and a claim that Chicago's horrendous gun violence results from "the law-abiding populace having been disarmed, and so crime runs riot."

As Glengarry's foul-mouthed Shelley Levene (Al Pacino, in the latest revival) or Ricky Roma might well say, "What the f---?!"

Mistruths course through Mamet's polemic. He shows a deep misunderstanding of background checks and illicit gun markets. He cheap-shots Obama by claiming his daughters will receive lifetime Secret Service protection, arguing that if Obama can determine his family's security needs, Mamet should determine his.

But a belief that giving everybody a gun would help Chicago's violence problem is utterly blind to the deadly impact of more weapons being made more available to bad guys through theft and unregulated secondary market sales.

And Mamet, consistent with many others in the pro-gun camp, surely doesn't understand the striking, unappreciated differences faced by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy, on the one hand, and Mayor Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, on the other.

Second Amendment enthusiasts relish the fact that Chicago -- a city that has on its books some of the nation's toughest firearm laws -- is rife with gun murders, notching more than 500 last year alone.

They use this as a recurring punchline to point out the supposed folly of tight restrictions on weapons possession.

But a comparison with New York City, where gun laws are equally tough and murders are sharply declining, proves that Chicago's bloodshed has little to do with law-abiding citizens being prohibited from carrying guns. Rather, they're about what we do with not-so-law-abiding citizens when we find them with guns.

Source: New York Daily News | JAMES WARREN

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