President Barack Obama will visit Chicago on Friday, when he will discuss gun violence as he focuses on his economic message from Tuesday’s State of the Union address, according to the White House.
Obama will “talk about the gun violence that has tragically affected too many families in communities across Chicago and across the country,” a White House official said in a statement.
The president’s visit answers calls from Chicago anti-violence activists that Obama talk about the recent spate of gun violence in the city, several of the activists said.
“This is an important issue,” said Cathy Cohen, founder of the Black Youth Project, which attracted about 45,000 signatures by Sunday night in an online petition that urges Obama to speak up. “We think of this as a victory for all of us.”
The group posted the petition on change.org shortly after Hadiya Pendleton, 15, was shot to death last month at a South Side park. The King College Prep student was slain about a week after performing with her school band at Obama’s inaugural festivities.
Since Hadiya was shot about a mile from the president’s Kenwood neighborhood home Jan. 29, during the deadliest January for Chicago since 2002, pastors, parents and activists have demanded that more be done about the city’s violence.
First lady Michelle Obama attended Hadiya’s funeral Saturday. Hadiya’s mother, Cleopatra Cowley-Pendleton, will also attend the president’s State of the Union speech on Tuesday, family spokeswoman Shatira Wilks said late Sunday.
This is all well and good, but as I’ve asked before, where was the President on Chicago gun violence BEFORE now? Chicago is for all intents and purposes known as the gun violence capital of America, ended 2012 on a dismal gun murder note, and 2013 has started on an even worse gun violence note. I guess none of the previous gun crimes mattered but now that a young lady who attended Obama’s inaugural in an official capacity was gunned down, all of a sudden the gun violence problem matters enough for the President to pay it lip service via an official visit? I truly feel for the family of the young woman who was gunned down, but perhaps if the President and his Democrat allies took the issue seriously sooner and didn’t look to MORE control as the definitive “solution” to the problem, the streets of Chicago would be much safer.
Furthermore, if the people of Chicago think the type of efforts now underway by Obama-pal and current Chicago Mayor Rahmbo Emanuel are going to curb gun violence by way of blackmailing banks and mutual fund companies into “blacklisting” gun manufacturers who won’t go along with “sensible gun control ideas”, then they will be green-lighting a slippery slope going forward of politicians abusing their powers to clamp down on people and industries who don’t say the “right thing”, refuse to endorse so-called “sensible” reforms, and who in some instances have the audacity to dare to push back against self-important, ladder-climbing politicos.
Oh, wait. What am I talking about? This IS Chicago, where this type of vile bully politics has gone on for decades, mostly by the left, and mostly with the blessings of a majority of citizens there who keep voting the corruptocrats into office. My bad.
Back to Obama, it’s interesting how, when you read the full article, so many gun control advocates are looking at his Friday visit to be a potential “turning point” on the gun crime issue in Chicago, and are hailing his visit as a “victory” for their cause. Why? What has he done on this issue to actually reduce crime in America, let alone his home city – where he served as an Illinois State Senator for a number of years before running for the US Senate? What he typically advocates, which Mayor Emanuel and a majority of Democrats support, are the exact type of policies that put more guns in the hands of the crooks and thugs, and less in the hands of the law-abiding citizenry. In fact, Chicago has some of the most restrictive gun control laws in America. How has that worked out?
All rhetorical questions to you and me, of course, but ones the Obama True Believers in Chicago ought to ask themselves in the weeks and months after the speech he gives on Friday – especially if they truly care about reversing the tide of gun violence in their city.