Tom at Radio Free New Jersey has outdone me once again. I posted a petulant little rant about Rudy Giuliani and gun control, and Tom's comment was better than my original post. I chalked that up to the fact that he was writing about his backyard, but today he posted the expanded version, and damned if it isn't a cogent, relevant take on the U.S. gun control movement as a whole, identifying key actions and where they need to be taken--and why.
This is stuff gun owners in Illinois NEED to read, because we are the highest-profile example of urban political distortion on the gun issues. We are going to make ZERO progress until we all (are you listening, ISRA? I'm looking in your direction!) find a way to work with people from Chicago. The hardest part of that might not be getting black folks in Chicago to agree that gun control isn't stopping gang violence in poor Chicago neighborhoods. The hardest part might be convincing the white folks in Wrigleyville and the Gold Coast that allowing black folks in Chicago to arm themselves legally won't be the end of the world. I don't want to paint every white person in Chicago as a racist--that's clearly not true. But the level of animosity between people of all races there is unbelievable, particularly when you've been trained all your life to believe that small rural towns are the last bastions of racism in America.
By the way, the image at the top of the post comes from www.esri.com and shows red and blue counties in the 2004 Presidential election. The more population a county has, the higher its column rises above the counties around it. See those huge spikes right where L.A., Chicago and New York are? Plus Miami, Seattle, Detroit . . . that's why Bush could win decisively in the Electoral College while just barely eeking out an edge in the popular vote. There's a LOT of red on the map, sure--but look at how FLAT it all is. These numbers don't correlate perfectly with gun control, I'm sure, but you get the idea.