Pubdate: Sat, 03 Nov 2007
Source: Daily Southtown (Tinley Park, IL)
Copyright: 2007 Daily Southtown
Author: James E. Gierach
Note: James E. Gierach is a lawyer and resident of Oak Lawn.
Bookmark: (Decrim/Legalization)


The Rev. Michael Pfleger, of St. Sabina Church, led yet another march
on Chuck's Gun Shop in sunny Riverdale on Saturday. Why? To stop the
killing, he says.

Unfortunately, Pfleger is leading his flock down the wrong

Mayor Richard Daley, the Rev. Jesse Jackson and Pfleger all tout the
goodness of more gun control, but all three of them shy away from the
central issue. How can we take guns out of the hands of young men who
join gangs, make their living selling drugs and rake in outrageous
profits in the process?

Drug prohibition is such a gold mine that these Kennedy-like
entrepreneurs must arm themselves to the teeth to protect their staked
corner, their drugs, their cash and their gang. And, of course, once
drug prohibition has armed a gang-banger for one purpose, it has armed
that gang-banger for every purpose - a fight about a girl, disrespect
of the gang, disagreement about the division of profits, retaliation,

By legalizing, controlling and regulating illicit drugs instead of
prohibiting them, we could stop much of the killing and gunfire. But
none of these three leaders are up to it.

It is easier for the big three to target a handful of gun stores or to
march for more gun control than face the central issue, which is: How
do we take firearms out of the hands of tens of thousands of Chicago
drug dealers and gang-bangers who are latched like a leech onto the
drug-war (teet)?

Daley recently has said, "It's the money." According Peter McWilliams in
his best-selling book, "Ain't Nobody's Business If You Do," Al Capone
was making $2 billion a year (in today's money) from alcohol
prohibition. The front page of the Chicago Sun-Times (on Dec. 20, 2002,
five years ago), proclaimed "$7 Billion Addiction: The Drug Trade In The
City and Suburbs."

Daley recently cited the successful church-supported gun buyback program
in July that yielded 6,705 guns in Chicago. Sounds promising, unless you
know there are "about 200 million guns in civilian hands in America,"
according to Yale law school professor (former President Clinton's law
professor) Steven B. Duke. In "America's Longest War: Rethinking Our
Tragic Crusade Against Drugs," Duke and co-author Albert C. Gross, J.D.
write (p. 111): "Criminals who deal in large quantities of contraband
and illicit cash are especially vulnerable to predatory outlaws. They
are often robbed, even kidnapped for ransom. They are not only disabled
from seeking help from the police, they can't even use the services of a
bank or an armored car company. They need weapons, more deadly or more
numerous than those possessed by their predators. Drug money provides
the funds with which to purchase them."

If we could step up the gun buyback success from 6,705 guns to a
million guns a year, it would take a century to get half the guns off
American streets, assuming gun manufacturers would stop making new
ones. Stop the killing with gun control?

It's about time our leaders started shooting straight with people,
many of whom are sick and tired of the endless gunfire and innocents
caught in the crossfire. The truth is that nothing, absolutely
nothing, offers any hope of restoring peace and quiet to many
Chicago-area neighborhoods except an end to Capone-type prohibition.
It will take some politicians and preachers with some real guts to
lead us in that prayer.
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