suntimes
SIMMERING 
Weather Updates

Cowards won’t take on gun lobby

Updated: May 1, 2011 4:45AM



My morning coffee cup overfloweth with news of note.

The San Ysidro McDonald’s massacre. Columbine. Virginia Tech. Northern Illinois University. Now, a Tucson shopping center. These horrific American disasters have a common denominator that has numbed America’s will to change. Its latest incarnation: a Glock semi-automatic with a 33-round magazine. For decades, these weapons of mass destruction have enabled evil and psychotic killers whose only wish is to kill greater and destroy more. Can anyone still make a legitimate case for an automatic weapon?

Certainly not Democratic lawmakers, who bring a long record of extreme cowardice and dysfunction on this issue. The People of the Gun have lobbied our “leaders” into the ground. Political calculations have forced a retreat on restricting or — my preference — outright banning the sale and possession of these weapons.

Tucson should be a credible wedge issue to hammer the gun lovers into political insensibility.

Even the most powerful won’t take them on. Last week, President Obama made a mighty fine speech in Tucson at that grand memorial for the massacre victims. He offered no eloquent words or lofty phrases for the cause of gun control.

How many more massacres will it take to drag politicians out of their dark corners of cowardice and defiantly spurn the NRA’s blood money? If they only knew what I believe — that if we ban the sale and possession of automatic weapons and assault rifles, the vast majority of Americans would back them up.

† † †

China’s president, Hu Jintao, is coming to America this week. He is making only two stops, in Washington, D.C., for chat with Obama, and in Chicago, on Jan. 20 and 21 with hundreds of Chinese business executives in tow.

“It is a big deal. Big, big, big, big, big deal,” Mayor Daley told the media last week. That’s six “bigs” large. Daley, who has courted China for years, must have some major announcements waiting in the wings. Perhaps a multibillion aircraft order for Boeing? Trade is the key to Chicago’s global positioning and manna for tourism. Let’s hope we can dodge the usual blizzard or subzero temps. It’s time to send “The Hawk” on vacation.

† † †

In the mayor’s race, former White House czar Rahm has finally got some competition on the tube. Gery Chico’s campaign is lighting up the TV with ad buys. He claims he will match Emanuel’s buys dollar for dollar.

I caught mayoral candidate Bill “Doc” Walls on “Chicago Tonight” the other eve and had a chuckle over his Pinocchio-like behavior. Walls may not be able to get elected to anything, but he spins like a master politician. WTTW-Channel 11 Host Phil Ponce asked Walls for his position on the months-long selection process to select an African American “consensus” candidate.

“I refused to participate in that process,” Walls pronounced. “I think that it’s racially divisive.”

His latter claim could be a valid point. Yet last October I saw Walls on stage before the consensus committee, the Chicago Coalition for Mayor, at Bethel AME Church on the South Side. I watched him pitch for the consensus nod before hundreds of participants in the packed sanctuary. I guess that was a figment of my imagination. Walls himself has been doing a lot of imagining for a very long time. The always dapper and perennial aspirant has run for governor, mayor and Congress.

What might Walls’ tax returns reveal? I suspect they would make former U.S. Senator and fledgling entrepreneur Carol Moseley Braun look like a regular Warren Buffett.



© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit www.suntimesreprints.com. To order a reprint of this article, click here.