… A crazy, gun-loving Downstate Illinois legislator makes you go out and get a whole new bushelful.
This afternoon, my friend John V. Moore (fresh off of helping Robin Kelly score a crushing victory in the Democratic primary to fill Jesse Jackson Jr.’s seat in Congress), tweeted a link to this piece on Think Progess that pretty much breaks the I-Can’t-Even-O-Meter:
In a rant on the floor of the Illinois House of Representatives Tuesday, State Rep. Jim Sacia (R) objected to statewide gun violence prevention efforts comparing them to castration.
As the right-wing Red Alert Politics reported, Sacia screamed that the bill was being forced by Chicago legislators because they have a “runaway gun problem.”
SACIA: Don’t blame the rest of us. This isn’t about Democrats, it’s not about Republicans. It’s because Chicago wants a warm fuzzy. “Let’s pass a bill that will eliminate assault rifles.” Last year, there were more people killed with hammers than with assault rifles. Here’s an analogy folks, I ask you to think of this: You folks in Chicago, want me to get castrated because you’re families are having too many kids. It spells out exactly what is happening here! You want us to get rid of guns. … You bet I used Chicago as an example, because you’re the folks that want this craziness.”
(Emphasis in original.)
While it’s unclear what got Rep. Sacia so worked up, you should know that the only gun control legislation the Illinois General Assembly voted on recently involved “banning guns in schools, casinos and on public transit.” Not exactly “get[ting] rid of guns,” of course, but there’s something about gun-adoration that leads some people to lose their damn minds.
Seriously, though. I don’t even know where to begin with this bucket of crazy. First of all, if you’re a grown-ass man, there are virtually no circumstances in which you should talk about your deal – all or any part of your deal – in public, you know? You may need to talk about your deal in the privacy of your doctor’s office. You may want to talk about your deal in the privacy of your bedroom. Who am I to judge? But there’s never a reason to talk about your deal on the floor of the Illinois General Assembly.
Moreover, if you’re trying to come up with a cogent argument against some imaginary gun ban and the first analogy you think of is to castration, I don’t need Dr. Freud to psychoanalyze that stuff. You just told the whole world that you equate your gun with your junk.
Or, your junk with your gun. Not sure that that makes it any better, though.
Actually, when I first wrote that, I wrote “penis” – you equate your gun with your penis, and vice versa – but on further reflection, I realize castration is more … um … testicular in nature. But it’s all deal/junk-related. So my point stands.
In any event, what really got me going was Sacia’s all-too-predictable nonsense about Chicago:
You bet I used Chicago as an example, because you’re the folks that want this craziness.
On behalf of the 9.5 million residents of the Chicago metropolitan area, let me kindly invite Rep. Sacia to go pound salt. Because for the last four years (at least), we’ve been subjected to an endless stream of Chicago-bashing from every right-wing semi-literate tool with access to a microphone, a telephone, a mobile phone, an internet connection, or a Sharpie pen. And we’ve had it, alright?
It’s bad enough when they use moribund clichés to attack the President (often clichés that poorly hide racist thoughts they’re afraid to say out loud). But when they discuss Chicago in the context of gun control, there’s something particularly mean spirited about it.
Lately it seems that every right-wing hack, from doctor/blogger Melissa Clouthier to playwright/angry person David Mamet, is holding up my fair city as an example of why gun control doesn’t work, even though it’s a manifestly disingenuous argument. And now we’ve got a Republican state representative – and potential castrati, apparently – saying Chicagoans are crazy for gun control, which is disingenuous for precisely the same reasons.
I’ve gone on about this ad nauseam, but I’m going to keep saying it until it sinks in: According to the Chicago Police Department, murders in Chicago declined steadily from 943 in 1992 to 433 in 2011. See Chicago Police Department, 2011 Murder Analysis, p. 2 (.pdf file). The number of murders did, in fact, rise from 433 in 2011 to 506 in 2012, but here’s the fact conservatives overlook: During the period from 1992 to 2010, Chicago had a handgun ban in place. In 2010, the United States Supreme Court struck down that handgun ban in a case called McDonald v. City of Chicago, ___ U.S. ___, 103 S. Ct. 3020 (2010). So for nearly two decades, while the handgun ban was in place, the murder rate steadily declined. Then, two years after the handgun ban was eliminated, the murder rate increased by about 17%.
So if you only compare the relative strictness of Chicago’s gun laws to the murder rate, which is what anti-gun control advocates consistently ask us to do, you would come to precisely the opposite conclusion they want you to reach.
But, more to the point, those facts make Rep. Sacia’s Chicago-bashing all the more reprehensible. Chicago’s not looking to “get rid of guns,” because, thanks to the Supreme Court, that option’s essentially off the table, at least in terms of handguns and hunting rifles. What Chicago is looking for is a comprehensive solution to the problem of gun violence – and yes, that includes examining what kinds of firearms regulations are still permissible after McDonald and District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008) – because people keep getting shot here.
Maybe you don’t agree that gun regulations should be part of that solution, but you’ve gotta have great big brass ones to say we’re crazy for looking into it.
Well, great big brass ones for now, anyway, Rep. Sacia … For. Now.
[Cross-posted at Angry Black Lady Chronicles]