An Open Letter to Mr. Rahm Emanuel, Mayor of The City of Chicago
Author's note: I respectfully address this open letter to the current occupant of the Mayor’s Office of the City of Chicago in the aftermath of the tragic killing of Clemente High School senior Frances Colon Friday, February 15, 2013.
I did not know Frances nor do I know her parents to whom I offer my sincerest condolences. I am, however, a bereaved parent who lost his twenty-two year old son Ben to a traffic accident on Wednesday, November 22, 2000, the day before Thanksgiving. He died that morning in Cook County Hospital.
Mr. Mayor, what are you prepared to do?
Law-abiding folks should exercise their right and civic duty to peaceably oppose laws that would ban their access to the lawful and responsible ownership of guns.
Lawful gun ownership in Illinois should be available to applicants who pass an exhaustive background check by the state police.
An applicant’s history of mental health should be the primary area of investigation. Furthermore, applicants with any hint of child and/or spousal abuse would be disqualified.
There are those who argue that our second amendment rights are long overdue for a reevaluation. A “reevaluation” that would, I presume, result in the absurd restriction of lawful gun ownership to people who are not the ones responsible for shooting innocent young people such as Frances Colon.
In their frustration, the supporters of a “reevaluation” of the second amendment ask, 'How many more shootings have to occur before we do something about "gun control"?
The primary issue is not our delay in taking appropriate action toward "gun control” so much as it is the current political leadership’s lack of courage to take effective measures against gangland criminality in the City of Chicago of which you, Mr. Mayor, are the chief executive.
Mr. Mayor, what are you prepared to do?
Second amendment protection advocates are not-contrary to popularly-mistaken opinion, mostly paunchy, middle-aged white men who spend an inordinate amount of time at gun stores.
They are, in fact, a very diverse mix of decent, law-abiding folks: men, women, blacks, whites, Asians, Europeans, Latinos, youth accompanied by legal guardians, senior citizens, Jews and Christians who are very much unlike the “after hours folks” who burglarize gun stores in the dark of night; strong arm robbers who believe that your “smart phone” is really theirs and who have no qualms about violating current gun laws.
After all, what good is a criminal without a gun? Kind of like a police officer without a gun, right?
The criminals are emboldened and perhaps even amused by the ineptitude of "leaders" such as the Honorable Dick Durbin and his "brain trust" of "top cops", including Chicago Police Chief Garry McCarthy and Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart who met in the aftermath of the Newtown, Connecticut tragedy.
We have all heard the complaint “The guns somehow always end up in the wrong hands.”
Well, I’m not quite sure what “somehow always end up” means, but they are stolen from the "right hands" and purchased illegally by the “wrong hands”.
It’s been like this for years, and years and years.
Mr. Mayor, What are you prepared to do?
What we lack in our country is a system of caring for youngsters who may show signs of social pathology in their elementary school years.
By the time they're in their teens, well just forget about it. But if we identify them when they're kids, treat them, do whatever it takes to address their illness, we might all have a better chance.
If we could begin to do that much for the sake of other parents and kids who might otherwise become the shooter’s next victims, we will have ventured onto the right path by choosing to identify and intercede in the young lives of these children when they’re still fixable.
May Frances' parents know of no more suffering and, together with other people of good will, work cooperatively to prevent these calamities from recurring.
Alan D. Busch