Self-defense?

Posted: 28 June 2010 in Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

In this insane country of ours, we no longer have the right to self-defense against guns.

That’s the opinion of the right-wing U.S. Supreme Court in the case of McDonald v. Chicago. On their interpretation, we have the individual right to form armed militias but not the right to control the use of guns that are used to kill our fellow citizens.

Apparently, 5 members of the Court—Alito, Roberts, Scalia, Thomas, and Kennedy—can’t be bothered to look at crime statistics. In 2009, Chicago was second (to Philadelphia, among the largest ten cities) in rates of murder and violent crime. In terms of another comparison, Chicago recorded 458 homicides and New York City 471 – when New York’s population is nearly three times as large as Chicago’s. And this year, the homicide rate is up 3.8 percent over last year. Here are the statistic for the nation’s most violent cities of any size:

For the nation as a whole, according to the Uniform Crime Reporting Program (pdf and table), there were 14,831 murders in 2007 of which 10,086 were committed with the use of firearms.

I’m the first to admit that violent crime is not just the result of the availability of guns. Clearly, U.S. capitalism is a particularly violent way of organizing a society. In addition, the violence itself is concentrated in a few areas.

As Chicago’s homicide rate has gone up in the past month, the Chicago Police Department has been on the defensive.

After the shooting of the 20-month-old girl, Chicago police superintendent Jody Weis said it was “clearly unacceptable,” but he added that the rise in homicides is not endemic to the city. Rather, he said, it’s concentrated in less than 9 percent of all city blocks.

Maybe that’s the issue: poor people with guns kill other poor people. The Supreme Court simply doesn’t care that the victims of capitalism have a right not to be killed.

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