A Double Standard: Anti-Gun Politicians and their Gun-Toting Bodyguards

Published by the LearnAboutGuns.com Author on April 16, 2008 at 5:31 pm
LearnAboutGuns.com > Pro Gun Rights Articles > A Double Standard: Anti-Gun Politicians and their Gun-Toting Bodyguards

Many of the most ardent anti-gun politicians, such as Chicago’s Mayor Daley, are protected by taxpayer-sponsored armed body guards, but deny law abiding citizens the right to defend themselves. Instead of pointing out this injustice and the inability of the crime victims to defend themselves, many media sources focus on “gun crime“. They shift the blame to guns, rather than the criminals who use guns, and ignore the impact of the laws that prevent law abiding citizens from having a gun to defend themselves.

These anti-gun politicians recognize the need for guns, but want a monopoly on guns for themselves
These anti-gun politicians fully recognize the effectiveness of guns when it comes to self defense and defense of those they care about. That is why politicians like Chicago’s Mayor Daley have bodyguards who carry guns. In the case of Mayor Daley, he has taxpayer-sponsored Chicago Police officers as his bodyguards. Then there is the fact that he is personally escorted by armed Chicago Police officers, who are funded by the taxpayers, while these same taxpayers are often left without police protection as they are being injured or even killed.
I discussed this situation with a friend recently, and his though was that “Mayor Daley is more important and should therefore be protected by bodyguards, and that if [I] wanted such protection [I] could hire my own bodyguards.” Such a response misses the point here. I am not arguing that Mayor Daley doesn’t need more security than me, or that he shouldn’t be able to have bodyguards. Rather, I am saying that it is wrong for politicians reserve effective self defense for themselves – Ordinary, law abiding citizens should have the ability to provide their own security through the lawful possession of a gun. Indeed, many Chicago residents *do* need protection more than Mayor Daley, as is evidenced by their murders, at the rate of about one citizen each day.

ALSO READ:  A Polite Reminder for President Barack Obama

The media and many citizens ignore the double standard and blame guns for the violence
This double standard is about as unjust as it gets, yet I don’t see major media outlets addressing it. I don’t see the families of the thousands of people who have died since Chicago’s handgun ban was enacted clamoring for justice. Instead, the blame is placed on “gun crime“, and the fact that the politicians have armed bodyguards for their own security is ignored. The lack of effective police protection in Chicago’s more dangerous neighborhoods is obvious, but somehow the $4.8 million and 63 officers dedicated to guarding Chicago politicians who live in safe neighborhood is justified.

The question we should ask ourselves is “If Mayor Daley and other anti-gun politicians deserve to be protected by gun toting bodyguards, why should law abiding citizens be left without the means to defend themselves?” Sadly, the answer seems to be that such politicians feel that they and their families deserve to be safe, and ordinary citizens can just wait 5 or 10 minutes for the police to show up.

Tags for this article: , , , , , , , , ,


  • Brandon Bertelsen

    I would bereally interested in seeing some causation research with respect to your comment about illegal guns being obtained while law abiding citizens are disarmed. I seem to remember a really interesting statistic showing that a large proportion of guns used in crime were not used by the person who holds the permit for it. For example, a gun that was stolen from a house and then sold or taken by a youth from a parent. If that were true I think the arguement t ban guns would stand up a little stronger. No access to guns means no one has them.

  • http://www.learnaboutguns.com LearnAboutGuns.com
  • http://www.bertelsen.ca Brandon Bertelsen

    Yes, I see articles with the same argument but there’s nothing that denotes “where” the guns come from. “If criminals want guns, they are going to get them”. I get it.(that’s not ad hominem).

    My father is a locksmith, and he tells people, no matter how strong the lock on your front door is, if someone wants in bad enough – they’re going to get in. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have a lock on your door as a deterrent. Similarly, just because some criminals will still be able to get guns doesn’t mean that there shouldn’t be laws and strict regulations about guns.

    Arguing against gun control, is like arguing against the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. The argument is always the same – if my neighbour has one, I need one too. If my neighbour has two, I need two as well.

    I also consider the economics of the situation. If you take into account that as gun control becomes more strict the cost of guns, both legal and illegal, will increase. A hand gun ban, for example, would mean less hand guns are available. A decreased supply implies that the price would increase. Suggesting that those individuals who would have liked to have a gun may no longer be able to afford it. Without even looking at a piece of research, I can gaurantee you that the street value of guns in Canada (of which we know are primarily coming from the US) is likely double or triple that in America because of hand gun bans – the excess cost means that some won’t have access to it at all. I don’t consider that a bad thing.

    I found these to be a pretty interesting read. http://www.futureofchildren.org/pubs-info2825/pubs-info_show.htm?doc_id=154414

    Cheers,

    BEB

  • http://www.learnaboutguns.com LearnAboutGuns.com

    Brandon,

    Thanks for coming back and commenting again :)

    In the links I provided, and in many other posts on this site, I do address where the guns come from. To recap: Firstly there are hundreds of millions of guns in the country already, and they are durable things that can last 100 years. The existing guns aren’t going anywhere, since criminals won’t give up their guns, and many otherwise law abiding citizens wouldn’t do so either. Secondly, guns are not that hard to make. While criminals wouldn’t likely be able to easily make a gun as good as a Glock or Springfield XD, they can and do make functional and deadly guns. As one of the video clips I linked to shows, even people in 3rd world countries can easily make machine rifles. Thirdly, guns can be smuggled in to the USA just as drugs are smuggled in. Note that guns are so much more durable than drugs, and while supplying a drug user with drugs can require a large and continuous quantity, one gun that is smuggled in could keep a criminal armed for their entire lifetime.

    As I’ve mentioned before, gun bans don’t stop those who want guns from getting them, as we can see in the United Kingdom, where gun related crime has risen since they instituted their draconian gun bans: http://www.learnaboutguns.com/2008/11/26/more-proof-that-handgun-bans-dont-work/

    I find your gun and nuclear weapon analogy to be quite inapt. I own guns not to defend myself against my neighbors (who are nice people by the way) but to defend myself against home invading criminals (see http://www.learnaboutguns.com/tag/self-defense-example/ .) I discuss that line of argument a bit here: http://www.learnaboutguns.com/2008/09/10/arms-includes-more-than-firearms/

    However the most important point is that restricting gun ownership harms society, as it prevents self defense. Even if neither the 19 year old home invader or the 80 year old victim has a gun, the victim is still going to be at the mercy of the criminal:
    http://www.learnaboutguns.com/tag/self-defense-example/
    http://www.learnaboutguns.com/2008/03/19/firearms-rights-are-a-gender-equality-issue-too/

  • http://www.bertelsen.ca Brandon Bertelsen

    It all sounds very cyclical and self-defeating to me. One thing I would say is that protecting your right to bear arms also protects the right to bear arms of the individual that would do you harm. So the more you promote ownership the easier it becomes for elements of society that you’d rather not have a gun to… you guessed it – to have a gun. If that doesn’t speak to the concept of proliferation, than I’m not sure what does.

    The use of the word neighbour, was more in a general sense – people that live in your city are your neighbours. I’m sure the people that live next door to you are great :)

    The argument that there’s millions of guns out there and you can’t do anything about it but get your own gun – bothers me. Again, I feel it’s back to the idea of a cycical and self-defeating goal.

    There are things that you can do to get them off the street. Paid amnesty, gun registration, enforecment of gun controls, I mean – seriously, the list of deterrants is endless.

    Anyways, back to my original question – have you ever seen any research (not something that you’ve personally written) on where guns used in violent crimes come from?

    RE: UK, That information is fairly dated. I also think you’re overstating the problem a bit. There are more accurate statistics here: http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/crime-victims/reducing-crime/gun-crime/

  • http://www.learnaboutguns.com LearnAboutGuns.com

    Brandon,

    I stand by each of my conclusion, and the news stories/stats that I’ve based them upon.

    You can call being pro gun rights cynical, but I see it as being rational. Gun control just doesn’t work, as we can see in US cities like Chicago and D.C., as well as countries like the UK. (On the UK, that news story is a few years old, but that doesn’t make it untrue. The BBC clearly showed that gun crime went up, and I fail to see how a news story from the past, which reported on facts from the past, is some how invalid. But if you want more recent examples of how their gun control fails, just search this site as I’ve written a few posts).

    Also, as I stated before, even if gun bans worked (which they don’t), then the strong would still overpower the weak. Since criminals tend to be strong young males who often prey on weaker/older people, a situation where no one has a gun is not a good one:
    http://www.learnaboutguns.com/2008/12/02/tragic-proof-that-guns-are-often-needed-for-effective-self-defense/
    http://www.learnaboutguns.com/2009/01/11/home-invasion-and-rape-victim-ordeal-was-worse-than-the-holocaust/
    http://www.learnaboutguns.com/2009/02/14/woman-beheaded-after-order-of-protection-fails-to-stop-alleged-kiler/

  • http://www.bertelsen.ca Brandon Bertelsen

    Thanks for the discussion. If you ever have the time, there's a really interesting article on Wikipedia that could assist you in future discourse. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confirmation_bias

    Cheers,

    BEB

  • http://www.learnaboutguns.com LearnAboutGuns.com

    Brandon,

    Confirmation bias is certainly something we *all* need to be wary of; however I find it to be absent here, at least in my arguments. My thanks to you as well :)

  • Mark Painter

    Fact number one. Countries and states with gun control see higher crime rates.
    Fact number two. The media always reports crimes commited with a gun, but they fail to report the many,many times guns are used “daily” to stop crimes and save lives.
    Why is it soo hard for people to see that handguns are illegal in Chicago,yet every single day shots are being fired.Criminals will be criminals, PERIOD!

  • http://www.bertelsen.ca Brandon Bertelsen

    Fact number one. Entirely fallacious until you provide evidence to the contrary. All you've accomplished is provided your opinion. The burden of proof is yours.

    Fact number two. They don't fail to report the many, many time guns are used "daily" to stop crimes OR save lives. They can't fail because that is speculation and conjecture. You can't know the outcome of a situation without it happening. Hence why they call it the "daily news" and not the "daily what could have been"

    http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/cri_mur_wit_fir

    http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/cri_gun_vio_hom

    Switzerland is an anomaly, considering that they have the highest amount of guns per capita – and it can be explained – but it's not worth the effort in this forum (I live in Switzerland).

    Taking an anti-gun position on a website called "learnaboutguns.com" makes me feel like I'm in an echo chamber.

  • http://www.learnaboutguns.com LearnAboutGuns.com

    Brandon,

    It is true that gun control is strongly correlated with crime. Look at D.C., Chicago, Mexico, etc.

    The media also does fail to report on self defense gun uses, even the ones that are known. For example, this self defense gun use got very little media attention outside of the local papers: http://www.learnaboutguns.com/2009/05/08/armed-st
    But newspapers in Chicago often carry stories of gun related crime from across the country. There is a double standard in that gun related violence is reported widely, while gun related self defense is seldom reported.

    Also, gun related self defense is not just speculation. Perhaps a peer reviewed study would be persuasive? http://www.learnaboutguns.com/2008/08/01/every-13

    One other thing I would like to note: You came to this website to disagree with previous comments that were made, and (unsuccessfully) tried to suggest that those comments lacked a foundation in fact. But then you made statements of your own which you expressly refused to back up with facts, saying that it wasn't worth your time to do so. Surely you see the hypocrisy?

  • http://www.bertelsen.ca Brandon Erik Bertels

    I just thought I would hop on the band wagon – wait, I think I'm hearing an echo again.

  • http://www.bertelsen.ca Brandon Erik Bertels

    "It is true that gun control is strongly correlated with crime. Look at D.C., Chicago, Mexico, etc."

    A statement is your proof? Correlation is not causation. That's the first thing one learns in a stats class.

    "The media also does fail to report on self defense gun uses, even the ones that are known. For example, this self defense gun use got very little media attention outside of the local papers: http://www.learnaboutguns.com/2009/05/08/armed-st
    But newspapers in Chicago often carry stories of gun related crime from across the country. There is a double standard in that gun related violence is reported widely, while gun related self defense is seldom reported."

    Linking to your own article, is not proof. In any case, if nothing happened than it's not really interesting news now is it? It's only a failure of media, in your eyes, because it doesn't help prove your point.

    "Also, gun related self defense is not just speculation. Perhaps a peer reviewed study would be persuasive? http://www.learnaboutguns.com/2008/08/01/every-13

    I'll take David Hemenway over Gary Kleck. Not that you would read him anyways.

    "One other thing I would like to note: You came to this website to disagree with previous comments that were made, and (unsuccessfully) tried to suggest that those comments lacked a foundation in fact. But then you made statements of your own which you expressly refused to back up with facts, saying that it wasn’t worth your time to do so. Surely you see the hypocrisy?"

    You can say something with no proof, but I can't? I hardly think that's fair.

  • Kenpai

    Outlaw guns and only outlaws will have 'em.

    Drugs are illegal here. Its illegal to buy, sell or to assist drug dealers. Yet criminals found a way to get them. If guns are banned, You can be sure an UBER-profitable gun trade will form with the drug trade. Guns are simple tools, I could make a crude single shot 'gun' with machinery and metal, and All I do is airsoft on sundays! To effectivly ban guns, you must ban:

    ALL potential explosives

    All heavy-duty metals,

    Forging equipment, machinery, etc.

    Otherwise they will make them themselves like they grow MARIJUANA and manufacture crack, Meth, heroin, etc.

    Good luck on getting criminals to obey a gun ban, I heard they sometimes ignore the law during Armed robberies and murders. WH0 DO THEY THINK THEY ARE, DISOBEYING OUR LAWS!!??!!

    oh yeah, criminals.

    If your a criminal, would you rather rob an unarmed elderly man or an armed one? Its a simple question with a simple answer.

  • JRoque

    "Outlaw guns and only outlaws will have ‘em."

    Couldn't have said it better myself.

    I think of guns as disparity neutralizers. It doesn't matter how fast, big or strong someone is compared to someone else. If both have guns they are now equal and on a level play field. You better, and will, be nice to each other.

    I do agree with periodic competency tests to license only those with capable minds.

    JR

    PS: Excellent website.

  • BasinBictory

    I suspect Mr. Bertelsen is probably a 6'6", 260-lb judo expert who lives in a guarded compound and has never once had to fear for his life or even his safety. Thus he feels free to cast judgements on we small-minded Americans who "cling" to our guns in a self-defeating cycle of proliferation.

    Seriously – even if guns, and gunpowder technology were forever wiped from mankind's arsenal, we would resort to hacking each other to pieces with swords, axes, spears, bows and arrows, and all manner of melee weapons. Such weapons, of course, favor the young, male, and physically strong, which, by and large, the criminal element is made up of.

    Also – even if we could magically make guns disappear forever, it wouldn't be long before "sword control" was on the government agenda. Don't laugh – many countries throughout history have done exactly that.

  • James

    No access to guns meaning no guns in the US. However, that doesn't stop the flow of (illegal) guns from outside into the US. For a complete ban to work, we have to completely stop the flow of weapons into the US. Completely stopping the flow of something into the US is wishful thinking, a good example the war on drugs and illegal immigrants.

    If a complete ban on guns is in effect and you cannot stop the flow of illegal weapons, then only criminals will have guns. Another example is the ban of guns in UK, where guns are banned but that doesn't stop physically strong criminals.

    Heller vs Washington DC ruled that you can't ban commonly use firearms for home defense, and that ammunition is an intergral part of a firearm. Dianne Feinstein, California Senator, is a strong proponent of banning firearms, yet she carries a conceal carry weapon.

    Gun control laws try to control criminals through legislature, when the focus should be through enforcement. The laws are only as effective as how they're enforced. More laws won't deter criminals if they can easily get away with it.