-By Charles Butler
Illinois Senator Donne Trotter (D-17), candidate for the now open 2nd Congressional seat, was arrested by TSA last Wednesday for trying to board an airplane at O’Hare Airport with a handgun and ammunition. He has been charged with a Class 4 felony.
Unfortunately, most of the coverage of this incident has missed the most important point: the double-standard of Sen. Trotter and other liberal politicians. They vote time and time again for gun ban laws that enslave their constituents to the dictates of criminal gangs that have created war zones in their communities. A new gang member’s rite of entry is to assassinate an innocent, law-abiding citizen. Sen. Trotter knows full well the many problems of the community and the fatal consequences of not being able to protect yourself on the street, which is why he carries a hand gun for protection, yet he votes against his constituents’ right to protect themselves from criminals that are terrorizing the district.
Just last Monday, 11 people were shot in Chicago, some in broad daylight. The sad irony is that 10 of the shootings occurred in Sen. Trotter’s district. This is intolerable and reprehensible by any standard of civility. When there is a killing involving white students it becomes a national story, yet the wonton killing of Black and Brown children in Chicago has not been a feature in mainstream media. In Chicago for the school year ending in 2009, Chicago Public Schools reported 399 children wounded and 144 killed, a tragedy on which I spoke and CNN’s Anderson Cooper covered on AC360.
Meanwhile, Sen. Trotter and other liberal politicians inoculate themselves from the tragic lives to which their constituents are relegated, arming themselves while disarming law-abiding citizens. In Chicago, even after the famous Supreme Court ruling on McDonald vs. City of Chicago overturned Chicago’s gun laws, Mayor Daley passed new restrictive gun laws just a week later while leaving intact for Aldermen a legal process to own and carry a concealed weapon. This despite what Justice Alito opined in the ruling:
If, as petitioners believe, their safety and the safety of other law-abiding members of the community would be enhanced by the possession of hand- guns in the home for self-defense, then the Second Amendment right protects the rights of minorities and other residents of high-crime areas whose needs are not being met by elected public officials
This past election season, we repeatedly heard that the most important issues to voters across the country were the economy, jobs, and healthcare, issues that are no doubt important. But here in Illinois’ 2nd Congressional District we would be delighted if those issues were our primary concern. Instead, the safety of our children and the hope that our family can make it to tomorrow unharmed is at the forefront of our community.
How can we hope to move our community forward if our residents must spend their time concentrating on avoiding stray bullets and living to see another day? The single mother without the means to care for her children, the father working 3 part-time jobs who never gets to see his family, and the kid ducking through the alley to avoid a gang war zone on his way to a crumbling school whose only recent technological advance was the installation of new metal detectors don’t get to talk about unemployment rates, healthcare costs, or the minimum wage. They’re focused on one thing: survival.
The issue facing our community is not simply guns: it is our very lives. Only when we secure a safe future for our children and our families can we begin to address the pressing needs of employment and education. But when politicians isolate themselves from the problem, ensuring legal ways in which they can pack guns every day in their purses and coat pockets, is there any hope of them finding a solution? I’ve had enough of the hypocrisy: it’s time we had representation that actually understands the problem and works tirelessly to make our streets safe. All Americans have the inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as defined by themselves, not activists, gangs, or politicians.
Charles Butler is a Chicago radio talk show host.