Seattle is known as a congenial, outdoorsy city. When I was coming of age in Chicagoland, Eliott Ness still symbolized the forces of reform standing in the gap against 1930’s gangsters like Al Capone. The story that was often missed by television viewers was that gangsters in Chicago joined forces with corrupt public officials during Prohibition. They even bought and paid for the police! Prohibition spawned vicious killers like Al Capone. The banning of alcohol also spawned early attempts at gun control:
The repeal of Prohibition in 1933 ended most of the gang violence. But without waiting to evaluate the effects of the repeal of the alcohol ban, Congress passed the National Firearms Act of 1934.
As introduced, the National Firearms Act requirement would have strictly regulated not only machine guns and sawed-off shotguns, but also pistols and revolvers. Attorney General Homer Cummings conceded that the Second Amendment precluded an outright ban on possession and instead sought registration of these firearms under the guise of a tax measure, in a ploy similar to the Harrison Anti-Narcotic Act, which mandated doctors’ prescriptions and justified that by saying it was the only way the government could keep track of narcotics sales for tax purposes.
It is not like that in Seattle but we do have corrupt groups like ACORN that are still making inroads in Washington state and Washington, DC! Despite a consent decree that keeps ACORN operatives from being involved in most election activities, a representative of King County Elections told me that ACORN is nevertheless being allowed to engage in some local election activities.
As a kid in Chicago, I read the true story of “The Untouchables”. I wondered why honest merchants and others cowed by murder and mayhem did not join together and stand against corruption. Many merchants and working people enjoyed Al Capone’s products, services and largesse. Some honest folks were too terrified to speak out or busy trying to hold onto jobs controlled by the Chicago machine, just like some more or less honest politicians that were forced to make compromises. It almost sounds like modern times!
Pervasive corruption exists today in the modern Windy City. In fact, the more “progressive” a city’s politics become, the more corrupt the politicians seem to get! I think of Mayor Daley’s father standing on the steps and giving the finger to Martin Luther King when the Freedom Marchers passed City Hall. Well-connected contractors got rich while poor black people lived in mile after mile of rat-infested high-rises without elevators that worked. Many of the projects were made out of substandard concrete.
But white contractors, white trade-unionists and white bag-men got rich along with an assortment of Mayor Daley’s other cronies. All the graft ensured that garbage was collected in some neighborhoods in Chicago’s black Southside- the precincts where certain preachers returned the vote to Daley’s Machine. Northern industrial cities like Chicago, with a history of segregation, also seem to be the cities that enact aggressive gun control laws and maintain the highest murder rates.
The picture above is Cabrini Green on the Chicago’s North Side. I often walked past it when I was a kid:
Cabrini-Green was so feared by the Chicago Police during the 1990s that many refused to enter the complex for fear of their lives. Several officers reported that once inside the complex they had been verbally abused and spat upon, and had rocks smashed through their patrol car windows. Many others had been shot.
An unanticipated result of the steel fencing installed to secure the previously open gangways was that it became difficult for police to see through the steel mesh from outside; in 1970, two policemen were killed by snipers.
Anti-gun cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco also have a shameful history of crimes against minorities resembling the pattern of racism in Chicago, Washington, D.C., and other big cities. Some of the earliest widespread efforts at gun control were Jim Crow laws enacted in the Deep South to disarm black people. Meanwhile, whites continued to exercise the constitutional right to own guns.
Many governments are working under the auspices of UN programs to disarm citizens. Even some Western Washington politicians seem to look to a nebulous UN agenda in their attempts to violate state gun laws, ban assault weapons and create sanctuaries for illegal aliens.
In some under-developed countries, governments have virtually declared war on their own people in efforts to ban guns. Uganda is one example of extreme violence perpetrated by the Ugandan government against selected tribes that hold onto their guns as protection in the midst of appalling ethnic conflict that is all too often enmeshed with governmental policies.
Many of the worst human rights violators around the world sit on UN committees that condone violence against Israelis or those of other ethnic and national origins. You could almost say that the world has become a mirror image of Chicago in the days of Al Capone- or today for that matter! The dictators around the globe are like the aldermen that receive favors for keeping their neighborhoods in line. Every now and then, we hear about genocides (sometimes after the UN disarms the victims as it did in Rwanda) that remind us of the Valentine’s Day massacre, when gangsters dressed like cops gunned down Capone’s Irish rivals on the North Side.
In November, over 57 people campaigning against an incumbent were shot, raped and hacked to death- see Massacre in Philippines- including at least 30 journalists. Although there is no evidence of UN involvement, the alleged perpetrators are the incumbent’s family, friends and local police that supported President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. See also how the UN aids and abets atrocities in East Congo.
The mob or your friendly UN representative may one day come to your town to persuade you that they just want to “make your place safe from unfortunate accidents.” Do you believe them as they give your child a stick of gum and assure you, “It sure would be a shame if anything happened to such a cute kid?”
Do you trust politicians in Chicago, Washington, D.C., and the UN to make decisions about your ability to defend your family? For that matter, how many of the politicians in King County would you trust with your life?