September 19th, 2017 5:43 PM
Open carry — really open — and colorful!
Like many Chicagoans, when I wake up on Monday mornings, I dread getting "the count" on the morning news: the number of people shot and killed in Chicago over the weekend. It's not just the people who are killed that have their lives shattered. People shot in the abdomen or head or back can wind up needing constant care for the rest of their lives. People shot in the limbs may not ever get back to normal either. It's really crushing for a young person to wind up in a nursing home.
As of this writing, the year-to-date gun toll is 448 shot and killed and 2,161 wounded. (I love that the site I used for this info is called "Hey, Jackass").
After I get the count, I check Father Michael Pfleger's Facebook page to see how he's taking it. He never gives up hope although on some Mondays his mood is worse than others. (I think I've said this before, but can't the Church just canonize him now and skip all the voodoo when he's dead?)
I'm painfully aware of the Second Amendment and how concerned the Founding Fathers were about government tyranny. But really, they were thinking about muskets and bayonets; the pistols that were used then were too large to conceal. I'm also aware that this is a big country and there are many people in rural areas who need guns,
Forgive me for not remembering where I saw this program (I forget things, but so far I'm not delusional). Anyway, a lot more people are carrying guns than we think, even to weddings and funerals. The program described young men, particularly sports figures, getting dressed for a nice night out. Typically a guy puts on his pants, shirt and shoes, knots his tie, if he's wearing one, puts on his jacket, puts his wallet in one back pocket, and a gun in the other!
So what can the average person do to avoid people who are carrying guns? We may live in a bubble in Oak Park where our politics is concerned, but guys with guns are coming here and it's not for the schools.
My proposal about guns doesn't involve better schools, better housing or job training. Why not? Because I've lived long enough to know the political will is not there and the programs always wither away. Those in power have shown time and again that they just won't make the commitment to really take those steps. I've reached the conclusion that we, as a city and nation, truly don't care about the kids who are killing and being killed.
So here's an interim plan until we wake up and embrace a war on racism and put the money behind it:
1. Let's declare a state of emergency and call in the National Guard for a 3-day suspension of civil rights. They can do a street, alley and door-to-door gun check and confiscate all illegal arms. If a small country allied with the U.S. asked for help because of this kind of death toll, I think we'd do it.
2. Close local gun shops for being health hazards. By the time the whole thing gets to court, I expect we'll notice a drastic reduction in shootings and deaths.
3. Most importantly for the majority of us non-carrying mopes, let's get rid of concealed carry and enforce open carry. If someone is carrying a gun, I want to know about it, dammit. I want to see who has a gun when I'm at the movies, walking around town and the Loop, and riding the el. So no concealing.
As a matter of fact, let's require guns be a bright color; no more black or slate. I'm thinking shocking pink, orange or lime green. And in a holster so the rest of us can head the other way.
To view the full print edition of the Wednesday Journal 2017 Answer Book, please click here.
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