Chicago Becomes a Stage for Fulfilling a Conservative BattleBreaking News
tags: conservatism, guns, crime, Chicago, Donald Trump
In the 1960s, the city was a hub for riots, and that reputation stuck after violence erupted during the 1968 Democratic Convention.
But it wasn’t until the 1980s that the right, especially the NRA, started zeroing in on Chicago, which had instituted a ban on handguns. In the 1990s, under the direction of then-mayor Daley, the city filed suit with families of murder victims, claiming the gun industry was to blame for Chicago’s violence. The suit accused gun manufacturers of blanketing the city and its suburbs with guns.
It took six years to get the case to the state Supreme Court, which in 2004 ruled against Daley. In 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court then ruled in a landmark case against Chicago’s ban on handguns. During the many years of court battles, the NRA and the right perpetuated the idea of “Black-on-Black crime,” a racist trope that has been used to instill fear — especially in suburban white communities.
“It became a political fight, a distraction,” said Gary Slutkin, CEO and founder of Cure Violence Global, a Chicago-based group that trains residents to stop violence in their own communities. “Each side blamed the other and neither properly stepped forward to find a solution.”
Slutkin sees a similar political battle being waged in the middle of trying to control the Covid-19 pandemic. “The political fight is a distraction from solving the problem,” he said.
Three months from a general election, Trump is trying to energize the same suburban white communities that the NRA focused on years ago. One of the gun lobby’s targets has long been the city’s gun possession laws and how they differ from other cities.
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