As Gov. Rod Blagojevich on Wednesday signed a new law that will put in place tougher penalties for selling guns to minors, he also announced he's got a new idea to help combat the violence that Chicago is experiencing: he's talking to the Illinois State Police and the National Guard to see if they could help.
The Chicago Sun-Times depicted Blagojevich as the "new sheriff in town" Thursday morning in its coverage of the governor's plan to form an "elite tactical team" to help the city fight crime.
"Violent crime in the city of Chicago is out of control," Blagojevich said at the bill signing ceremony. "I'm offering resources of the state to the city to work in a constructive way with Mayor Daley to do everything we can possibly do to help stop this violence," said the governor.
The summer of 2008 will be remembered as especially violent. Blagojevich said there's been a child shot nearly every day since June 26, with 29 Chicago Public School students shot since last fall.
So what does he think will help? Once again, you guessed it, tougher gun laws:
The bill signed Wednesday puts the adult who provides a gun to a minor in the same legal hot water as the minor who uses it to commit a crime.
The bill signed Wednesday means that adults who sell or give guns to minors are eligible for the same sentence as minors convicted of violent crimes -- including murder -- in which they used the weapon.
Not too bad of a bill, but hardly enough to change the crime rate.
How about letting the citizens in Chicago defend themselves? The Supreme Court have said that we have that right. Why does that not apply to the people that are under attack in there own cities? Look, I live in a place where I am completely comfortable walking down any street at 3 o'clock in the morning. We have some crime, but not that much. I have the right to carry my gun with me for self defense. I hope and pray that I never have to use it. But if I do need it, I have it.
I could not imagine living in a place where the chances are hundreds of times higher that I would be a victim, and where I could not defend myself from such odds. I would not live in such a place. But I have a choice, and I know that many people do not. These are good people that are forced to live scared for their lives, because their leaders don't trust them enough to allow them to protect themselves.