Gun advocate calls Garry McCarthy’s views ‘nutty,’ from ‘political hack’
BY DAVE MCKINNEY Sun-Times Springfield Bureau Chief firstname.lastname@example.org June 24, 2011 3:50PM
Chicago Police Cmdr. Garry McCarthy | Brian Jackson~Sun-Times
see the video
Watch Garry McCarthy’s speech at St. Sabina Church at suntimes.com.
Updated: June 25, 2011 9:16AM
SPRINGFIELD — In a blistering counterpunch, a leading pro-gun advocate Friday called Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy’s racially loaded attack on the National Rifle Association as “too nutty to dignify with a response” and denigrated the city’s new police chief as a “political hack.”
Federal gun laws pushed by the National Rifle Association amount to “government-sponsored racism” because they help channel weapons into inner-city areas that then get used to kill “black and brown children,” McCarthy told parishioners at St. Sabina Church earlier this month in statements that were aired broadly for the first time this week.
“As much as we wouldn’t expect to hear McCarthy speak in opposition to gun control, it is equally certain that few of us were prepared to hear what actually came from McCarthy’s mouth when he spoke to the St. Sabina’s congregation,” said Richard Pearson, executive director of the Illinois State Rifle Association.
“After several minutes of gratuitous self-promotion, McCarthy launched into a racially charged tirade in which he accused the NRA and law-abiding gun owners of participating in a government-sponsored program to kill black people. Like most of you, we believe an assertion such as McCarthy’s is too nutty to dignify with a response,” Pearson said in statement posted Friday on his group’s website.
McCarthy’s inflammatory statements blamed the NRA for supporting gun laws that put guns on a conveyor belt to the inner city, where they are used to kill and maim minorities, including children.
“I want you to connect one more dot on that chain of African-American history in this country, and tell me if I’m crazy: Federal gun laws that facilitate the flow of illegal firearms into our urban centers, across this country, that are killing black and brown children,” McCarthy said at the church.
Pearson, who is helping push a drive to allow Illinoisans to carry concealed weapons, said McCarthy’s statement constituted “an affront to law-enforcement officers everywhere.”
“But, then again, any suggestion that McCarthy is a law-enforcement officer is a sham. Rather, McCarthy is merely another in a long line of political hacks who have resided in the office of police superintendant,” Pearson said. “McCarthy’s job description has nothing to do with law-enforcement and everything to do with enforcing the political agenda of his boss, Rahm Emanuel.”
A statement issued by McCarthy Friday did not address Pearson’s criticisms nor the St. Sabina flap, other than offering a toned-down assessment of the scourge of illegal guns on Chicago’s streets.
“The commitment of law enforcement must be to holding violent criminals accountable for their actions and at the same time recognizing individuals’ constitutional rights.
“Law enforcement cannot do this alone, and strong gun laws against illegal firearms are critical in order to maintain public safety and private rights,” McCarthy said. “Gang and drug activity intersect with guns, and all three must be the focus of violence-reduction efforts in our communities.”