Saturday, February 23, 2013

What Rights Would You Sell Out For Security?

Last week Barack Obama visited his violent, crime-ridden home town of Chicago. He was there to promote gun control. 

Coincidentally Chicago named its first “Public Enemy Number One” since Al Capone. The latest Numero Uno is Sinoloa drug cartel chief Joaquin Guzman. Guzman’s notoriety descends from the fact that his cartel finances much of the violence tormenting America’s Second City. Chicago gangs market his merchandise, and Guzman uses Chicago as a distribution hub for the entire Great Lakes area.

Chicago has America’s strictest gun laws and yet remains this nation’s most deadly war zone. For Americans, not even Afghanistan can match Chicago’s body count.

Roughly 80% of Chicagoland’s shootings are gang related. So it’s no wonder that, for the first time since 1929, the Chicago Crime Commission saw fit to designate a new Public Enemy, especially considering that, compared to Guzman, Capone was a piker.

The only surprise is that the crime commission pointed the finger at an actual criminal. The politically correct choice would have been to name firearms manufacturers or law-abiding gun owners as enemies.

And this brings me to my point. Obama’s remedy for violence is to subvert the Constitution. His own Vice President admits that Obama’s proposed gun laws would not have prevented the Sandy Hook tragedy. Obama’s own Justice Department foresees no effect.

Immediately after the Newtown, Connecticut massacre, Barack Obama leapt at the opportunity to attack our Constitutional rights.

At the memorial service, Obama argued that our Constitutional rights were too expensive. “Are we prepared to say that such violence visited on our children year after year after year is somehow the price of our freedom?" he asked.

Chronic campaigner Obama knows better than to let a tragedy go to waste.

But if we are going to be asked to surrender our Constitutional rights in order to make America a safer place for our children, then shouldn’t we enact police state tactics that might actually work?

As mentioned earlier, we know that most of Chicago’s murders are gang related. And for the most part, police know who these gang members are. Because gang membership is not itself illegal, police can only jail those whom they can actually convict of crimes. And few are ever convicted. Only 18% of the murders committed in Chicago in 2010 were ever punished. In many cases, the killers are known to all, but needn’t fear justice because witnesses are afraid to testify. Willing witnesses probably won’t live long enough to see the courtroom. Those who do would face the wrath of the accused’s fellow gangsters.

Just imagine all the lives that could be saved if our criminal justice system were not so encumbered with all those protections for the rights of the accused. If we know who the gang members are, then the police could simply round them all up and imprison them all indefinitely. This would save far more lives that gun control.

Or perhaps we could take a cue from Hollywood and create a “Department of Precrime.” In the movie “Minority Report,” clairvoyants were used to predict those who were about to commit a crime so that the government could preemptively incarcerate them.

We don’t have clairvoyants yet, but we do have psychological studies that allow us to predict with a fair degree of accuracy which children will grow up to become violent criminals. One study published by the U. S. Department of Justice identified risk factors that emerge in children as young as six years old. Another paper in the British Journal of Psychiatry claimed that potential violent criminals could be identified as preschoolers.

But we’re not going to do that are we? The very same people who believe that we need to ban cosmetically offensive semi-automatic rifles “for the children” would be among those protesting the loudest.

So we have tools at our disposal that would make ours a safer society. But they’re just as unconstitutional and immoral as Obama’s remedies. Gun bans don’t make us safer and we should fear any erosion of the Constitution. If guns can go, then so can habeas corpus.

And it’s worth noting that Obama was given a quintessential Chicago send off. Within minutes of Air Force One’s departure, there were four shootings.


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