Sunday, April 27, 2008 | World | A look beyond the handgun ban | World | A look beyond the handgun ban: "'The regular citizen in Chicago cannot go anywhere and buy firearms,' says Williams, eyebrows raised. 'And yet, in one year, in the 1990s, we had more than 19,000 weapons recovered. In one year. We've been averaging 10,000 weapons recovered every year for the last 10 or 12 or 14 years. And that's with a ban.'

Toronto Mayor David Miller – who is aggressively pushing the federal government to institute a broad-ranging national handgun ban as gun violence in the city spikes upwards – please take note: The city of Chicago has a broad-ranging firearms ban in place. It has for a long time. It started with handguns in 1981, and then assault weapons in 1992. (It's worth noting that, as Williams explained the litany of recent weapons offences in his jurisdiction, one of them involved three officers being fired on by an AK-47 semi-automatic assault rifle.)

Chicago's gun laws are among the toughest in the country, making it and its anti-gun crusading mayor, Richard Daley, the target of gun advocates nationwide. Lobbyists like the National Rifle Association routinely campaign against what they call 'Chicago-style' gun legislation; one of those campaigns, challenging the constitutionality of a gun ban in Washington, D.C., is now being reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court.

And yet, in Chicago, gunfire is a routine feature"

Yes. But listen to Mayor Daley last week. His solution to the current outbreak of violence in Chicago is yet more anti-gun legislation, on top of all the existing, failed, anti-gun policies. He's blaming the gun manufacturers now, which I think is an effort to find a scapegoat so people don't start thinking about where the blame may really lie. Daley is a virtual dictator in this city--schools, police, parks, development, you name it. Why has he let things get out of control? And, as I noted below, his buddy Governor "Pay to Play" Blagojevich cut $6.2 million in state funding for the best anti-violence program in November 2007. Six months later, here we are with carnage going on.

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