The conversation about gun control in Chicago is changing.
In a surprising move, Democratic State Representative La Shawn Ford recently encouraged people in his Chicago neighborhood to strap up. Specifically, he wants more of them to obtain concealed carry licenses.
During 2019, Ford was a mayoral candidate in Chicago. Although Ford holds mainline Democratic positions on economic issues, he is starting to change his views on the issue of gun control.
When he appeared on WLS-AM 890, Ford revealed to the Mancow Show that he is telling his constituents to get armed in order to confront Chicago’s persistent crime problem. Ford declared:
I think about it all the time. That’s why I’m working with a concealed carry instructor and we’re going to go through the neighborhood and we’re going to encourage people to get their concealed carry license because it makes no sense for people not to have the protections that they need.
Once thought to be impenetrable, urban centers may start to see gun rights slowly creep their away into political discourse. The decades of work that gun researcher John Lott is finally beginning to pay off. But he isn’t alone.
Groups like Black Guns Matter have hit the streets educating people on the proper exercise of gun rights and are reaching out to demographics that traditional gun lobbies have routinely ignored. Africans Americans would benefit tremendously from increased gun rights given the history of gun control they’ve faced. The Black Codes and Jim Crow laws in the South featured some of the most racially-targeted gun control schemes in America history and left many law-abiding African Americans susceptible to white supremacist violence.
Even to this day, gun control laws, which tend to be strongest in urban centers where minorities reside in, disproportionately affect these groups. Many of these areas are characterized by sub-optimal education and economic policies that keep people down and encourage anti-social behavior such as crime. These areas are where having the right to carry helps most.
Thankfully, new numbers show that blacks are obtaining concealed carry permits in record numbers due to liberalized carry policies in states across the nation. Ford’s call for Chicago residents to arm themselves is a gradual step in shifting the way gun policy is discussed in urban America. The status quo of gun control in those areas has clearly failed and it’s time for a new direction.
There needs to be more elected officials like La Shawn Ford that are at least willing to entertain some form of gun rights liberalization. Their urban constituents desperately need this.