The Chicago Tribune columnist Brady Campaign Board member Tom Vanden Berk has an editorial defending Garry McCarthy’s racially charged statement, noting:
We all fail to acknowledge that children â€” and, yes, mostly African-American children â€” are dying disproportionately because of our failure to take action.
As the father of a biracial son, Tommy, who was tragically killed in the crossfire of a gang shootout 19 years ago, I know the complicated intersection of race and guns.
He then goes on to describe the shooting, which I’m hard pressed to identify race as a factor in. Gang membership? Sure. But he also notes:
As I desperately looked for Tommy, I learned that a group of teenage gang members found a flier about the party, showed up at the house and started shooting at each other with guns they obtained on the illegal market.
An illegal market in Chicago? How could that happen? Chicago’s laws are a great example of not-racist gun laws, if you ask ol’ Garry. Of course, federal laws also apply to making that market illegal too. You know, those racist federal laws that make it illegal for criminals to purchase, possess, and use guns unlawfully?
No one seems to have heard past McCarthy’s use of the word “racism.” I believe his point was that weak federal gun laws facilitate a form of institutionalized racism, the unregulated flow of guns into the hands of young, black teenagers, and that we have a moral responsibility to strengthen these laws.
How do you regulate a black market? It’s already illegal for teenagers of any race to buy handguns. It’s illegal just about everywhere, and federally, for teenagers to possess handguns unsupervised. It’s definitely illegal in Chicago. What more do you want?
This is a tough thing for these folks to hear, and it’s going to make me seem cold, but so be it: i’m really tired of these people making their tragedy my problem. It’s not. I had nothing to do with it. I’m not about to share responsibility for your poor parenting choices, and surrender my freedom. Did you talk to the parents who were supervising the party, or just the kids? I didn’t seem to catch that part. I can promise you my parents would have, if I was going to be permitted to stay. This is harsh to say to someone who lost a kid, but if you’re going to blame me, and make no mistake, when you advocate my freedom be more limited, you’re doing exactly that, I’m going to throw it back in your face that your kid died because you were a shitty parent. Go deal with your grief, man up to your choices in life, and leave me, and every other American out of it.