Rant of the Week: Diogenes Cancels Chicago Visit

Apparently, Diogenes has canceled his Chicago visit; you can hardly blame the man. If you’d been wandering the Earth for over 2300 years, shining a lantern in men’s faces fruitlessly searching for an honest man, you’d start hedging your bets too. If you couldn’t find one in 300 BC Athens, what are the odds of 21st Century Chicago? Well, it would depend upon who you ask. Chicago Aldermen apparently believe Chicagoans are an honest lot including those that are felons, if a recent article in DNA info is to be believed.

About four years ago, the City Fathers came up with the idea of an Internet database that warns John Q. Public when a registered gun offender moves into their neighborhood. I thought there already was one; it’s called Facebook and they’re the ones with all the bling, holding G-Locks, and flashing gang signs.

The web app allows John Q. to search the database of registered gun offenders. You type in your address, enter the distance from that point you wanted covered and the results are depicted in maps, graphs and tables of offender names. The Chicago PD updates the database daily, which is very reassuring. However, it does caution that “offenders may have moved and failed to notify the Chicago Police Department as required by ordinance,” which is not very reassuring. I dug a bit deeper and came up with an interesting tidbit of information.

According to the website, Chicago PD’s list of gun offenders is predicated upon the gun offenders telling Chicago PD where they are! Let’s be very clear about this, felons, who are also convicted of criminal gun charges, are required to voluntarily register with the City of Chicago? What that means is the City of Chicago has no idea who they are and are relying on convicted felons that use guns to voluntarily identify themselves to the City of Chicago so everyone can look them up and see where they live. What could possibly go wrong with that idea?

According to the DNA info article, Alderman Ed Burke, who originally authored the ordinance requiring the database, was shocked to discover that the entire registry contained only 1,942 people for the entire past four years. This in a community that last year saw 4,368 shooting victims.

Then there’s this pithy insight on the part of Alderman Burke. “It defies logic to think that there are less than 2,000 convicted gun offenders in the City of Chicago,” he said. “There is a glitch in the system somewhere.” Well duh, you think?

Alderman Harry Osterman, not to be overshadowed by Burke’s wisdom, weighed in with, “I have to believe that there are more of these gun offenders who are living in Chicago unregistered.”

Of all the inane comments uttered by the City Fathers, the First Place Blue Ribbon goes to Alderman Ray Lopez who represents the gang-ridden Brighton Park and Back of the Yards neighborhoods. It was in his Ward that last summer a gunmen opened fire at a block party and shot a 6-year-old child.

“If that block had been aware that that gentleman was on probation with a weapons charge, people would have been more apt to be cognizant of the kinds of individuals that were gravitating towards that individual. And that little 6-year-old might not have been shot,” Lopez said.

So in Lopez’ reality, John Q. living with the sound of gunshots nightly, living with gang members in their own family, next door and across the street, needs a registry to be careful about living in the hood.

These are Chicago’s City Fathers, the ruling elite that control every aspect of John Q’s life from parking a car after a snowfall to the shopping bags he gets at the grocery store. The only thing they don’t control is the violent crime destroying the city from within. They point fingers at everyone and everything in view except themselves and certainly not at their constituents because that would cost them votes. So they lie about guns and dream up schemes to take them away from John Q. while doing nothing about bad guys having them.

It occurs to me that Diogenes didn’t skip Chicago because he assumed everyone lies; he skipped it because he didn’t want to get shot.