An open letter to Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley

To Mayor Richard M. Daley,

As someone who has watched the ongoing fight over whether cities and states have the right to restrict gun ownership, I have noted your continued efforts to allow cities, specifically Chicago, to control handguns. The recent Supreme Court ruling seems to remove any further hope of reasoned gun control, so I would like to put forward a suggestion for your contemplation:

Give those people who want to own guns precisely what the US Constitution says they should have!

Now, both of us know that the National Rifle Association has it’s own wording for that the 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution says. However, I think that if the amendment is read as it is worded in the Constitution, then there is room for both the city and those wanting to own guns to win. As noted by the emphasis below, the right to bear arms has certain specification to it, to wit:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

As stated in the Constitution, the ownership and possession of firearms has a specific aim: to allow for a system of militias. As such, I would suggest that your next move be to propose a city ordinance to form the Chicago City Militia. This would be a body made up of all people exercising their constitutionally-granted right to bear arms. The militia would, as required by the Constitution, have to undergo training (to assure that it is, in fact, a well regulated militia) and all of it’s members would have to serve a period of time (to be determined by the city council) in service to both maintain said training and to assure that those people who were members could function in times of need with the proper authorities (police, fire, emergency, etc.). All of the members of the militia would also be required to serve in times of civil emergency to supplement the city’s services in times of need.

As membership in any militia is historically a voluntary act, the city would not be liable for paying for either the training or time served by militia members.

Some might argue that the city has no authority to enact legislation requiring people to serve in such a body. However, as the Supreme Court has already stated that city and state laws on this matter are subservient to the constitutionally-mandated requirements of the 2nd Amendment, it should also follow that another part of the Constitution also applies in this case. Specifically, as emphasized in the following passage:

Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution

(16) To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States, reserving to the states respectively, the appointment of the officers, and the authority of training the militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress.

As Congress has specified no regulations or other laws in this field, by constitutional law, that power devolves to those lower level bodies of government that must deal with said problems. Therefore, by enacting laws to govern the formation and regulation of a city militia, Chicago will be both undertaking it’s responsibility to form a well regulated militia, and giving those members of the community who seek to own a gun their chance to fulfill their constitutionally-mandated duty to serve their fellow citizens in said militia. The city will also have, it is hoped, a trained body of citizens it can call on in the event of a natural or man-made disaster, thus bolstering the city’s emergency capabilities through the voluntary service of it’s citizens.

Some may suggest that this is a ‘back-door’ attempt at gun control, but I beg to differ. This is nothing less than the city of Chicago fulfilling it’s duty to it’s citizens and the nation as a whole. By giving those citizens who wish to own a gun their place in the well regulated militia the Constitution specifies, Chicago is living up to both the spirit and the letter of the United States Constitution. Those who do not feel they wish to serve are free to refrain from owning a gun, and by such, refraining from taking up their responsibility to serve their fellows as provided in the Constitution.

I hope, sir, that you will consider this idea with an open mind. Our nation has been given a new take on gun ownership, and I hope that this will result in a return to the roots the Founding Fathers laid down when they formulated the Constitution, and that the words of the United States Constitution will be followed by all involved in the upcoming debate.

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One Response to “An open letter to Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley”

  1. kutarere Says:

    What debate? Sadly, those of a like mind to yours will keep writing letters, discuss the horror decision, make reasoned pleas to law-makers, and carry the odd placard. Those law abiding Americans in favour of the gun laws will celebrate then simply continue to own and carry guns, and the lawless who the States are most in danger from will simply keep on using them!
    I find I can agree with some small part of what you say. There will be no debate of whether this nation’s Founding Fathers foresaw the day when people were gunned down in the streets by automatic weapons. Nor will there be any debate about if those wise individuals really thought that people would one day wonder if it were safe to go to someone’s front door, for fear that they might be shot by someone inside for no other reason than that they were ‘defending themselves’. Are gun crimes something to fear? Yes. Is the best solution to that problem to put even more guns into people’s hands? If you really believe that, then Lebanon in the 1980’s should have been an earthy paradise, instead of the war-torn madhouse it really was. Owning a gun will not make you safer, it will just give you the illusion of safety.

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