Chicago Police Chief McCarthy’s Shocking Ignorance of History, the Law, and the U.S. Constitution

February 25, 2013 | Filed Under 2nd Amendment, Chicago, Congress, Constitution, Crime, Democrats/Leftists, Ethics, Government, Guns, Liberals, President, Progressives, Security/Safety, Warner Todd Huston | Comments Off on

Chicago Police Chief McCarthy’s Shocking Ignorance of History, the Law, and the U.S. Constitution

-By Warner Todd Huston

Chicago’s top cop is a shockingly ignorant man. Apparently what he knows of American history, the law, and the U.S. Constitution can be held in a thimble. This became glaringly obvious in a radio interview he gave to WLS Radio’s political reporter Bill Cameron.

Chief Garry McCarthy’s blather about the Second Amendment is amazing for its total lack of knowledge. For such a high-ranking official he displays an incredible lack of command on the subject. But, perhaps there is a reason? Perhaps it is less a simple lack of knowledge and more willful ignorance on his part, a purposeful dearth of knowledge he indulges to excuse his authoritarian, un-Constitutional desires to take away the natural, God-given rights of the citizens he polices?

His ignorance is so egregious the only proper way to reply to it is to take his “points,” such as they are, one at a time. So, the following is a transcript of the segment interspersed with my comments.

Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy on WLS, AM 890 with reporter Bill Cameron. 2//17/13

McCarthy: You know, I’m troubled by the special interest. I really, really am and I wonder if we looked at other parts of our society and if there was special interest influencing police work I believe that would be called corruption. So, if it has to do with donating money versus a popular vote I think we have a bigger problem in this country and somebody’s gotta wake up to that.

Even as it almost sounds logical, this is little else but a rhetorical smoke screen that is meaningless and is purposefully meant to both muddy the waters of the discussion and mislead the public. After all, a democratic republic is special interests guiding politicians. Our entire system is set up to operate this way. There isn’t anything shocking, new, different, or even necessarily dangerous about special interests. We’ve always had them.

It is even in the Federalist Papers, the articles written to encourage the people to vote yes on the U.S. Constitution. (Federalist Number 10)

Do you work for a packaging plant? Then you are part of a special interest. Do you belong to a union? You are a special interest. Are you a teacher? Special interest. The fact is a “special interest” is nothing more than a group of citizens getting together, appointing industry representatives, and going to the halls of government to ask for attention from the politicians WE have all sent to Washington (or the state, or the city, etc.).

As to McCarthy’s idiotic example of it being “corruption” if the police listened to special interests… well, of course that would be corruption. Why? Because the police are not setting policy. The police are there solely to execute policies made by the politicians we are supposed to be controlling through our rights to associate and our vote.

Now, the next logical question here is this: Is Chief McCarthy saying we should not be allowed to have unions, trade groups, and associations giving money to politicians because it is just a “corruption”? And, if so, why should we as individuals be allowed to give donations to politicians? Isn’t that “corrupting” too?

The fact is, the Supreme Court has already affirmed that giving money to politicians is free speech. So, the only conclusion we can come to is that McCarthy wants to remove our right to free political speech. McCarthy is an authoritarian, tyrant.

Worse, it looks as though McCarthy is purposefully misleading people in order to smear “special interests” with a meaningless boogie man, a straw man argument in order to take away our freedom of speech. Yes, I’m saying he’s a liar as he’s doing it, too. How can anyone believe other wise?

Cameron: Well, wait a minute, are you saying that gun rights groups are somehow corrupting public safety?

Good question, Mr. Cameron, because that is exactly what the well-named McCarthy is saying. He’s attempting to set up a situation that his namesake did–it’s a witch hunt he wants. Only, Senator Joe McCarthy was actually hunting real enemies to the country, communists that had truly infiltrated our government as historical documents prove. In Garry McCarthy’s case it is all a mythical, strawman argument he’s setting up to gain more personal power. He should be ashamed of himself.

McCarthy: Well, how is it that they are controlling politicians, how are they controlling elected officials? It’s not by popular vote. They might be presenting certain parts of the community that feel this way or that way, but at the end of the day, how can it be a popular–opinion polls in this country all show that the vast majority of Americans believe that we need reasonability in the gun laws. Yet they’re outright dismissed by certain elected officials. How can that possibly be?

And here, McCarthy pretends we are a direct democracy and that our politicians are “controlled by popular vote.” In fact, we are not and never have been. We elect officials to make policy generally. We do not vote on each and every policy in a direct, popular vote. He again lies here in order to smear those scary “special interests” that “give money.”

So, I say to him, if you are so worried about groups that give money, stand by me and demand that unions be forbidden to “give money” to politicians, Mr. McCarthy. Of course, he won’t do that because he is not against left-wingers giving money to politicians. He is only against the rest of us doing so. McCarthy is trying to shut down our free political speech because he is an authoritarian, a tyrant.

Cameron: Well, I mean, you s.. they’ve got the Second Amendment on their side, they’re saying much of the laws proposed by you guys simply would abuse their right to protect themselves with a legal product called a firearm.

Another good question from reporter Cameron. Gun rights supporters do have the Constitution on their side. McCarthy only has his un-constitutional, authoritarian tendencies on his side. In fact, McCarthy is the exact sort of tyrant the founders wanted to give we the people the power to oppose. McCarthy is a George the Third for Chicago.

McCarthy: Great editorial today talking about what the Second Amendment does actually say. First of all the Second Amendment gives us the right to bear arms and as I’ve said before I still haven’t heard a debate as to whether or not we should be selling hand grenades over the counter at Walgreens in this country. Because its unreasonable. It’s unreasonable to say arms–which include hand grenades, bombs, bazookas, rocket launchers–are not the types of things we are having a debate about whether or not it’s OK to own them.

Second of all, as somebody pointed out some time ago when the founding fathers put that caveat into our Constitution they were referring to a black powder, smoothbore, flintlock-type weapon. Not rockets, not grenades, not things of that nature and there comes a point where we have to examine the reasonability of it. And what it says is the right to b ear arms. The question is, what does that mean? And it doesn’t mean, none of these things that I’ve proposed, or different people have proposed, or as the mayor has proposed, or as the president proposed–accountability does not mean you can’t have a firearm.

This is shocking ignorance of our history on display, here.

First of all, the right to bear arms, even as far back as the 1100’s, never meant anything other than standard, infantry-styled weapons. Weapons such as swords, daggers, and portions of armor were initially included in the declarations of the sorts of arms that citizens were legally expected to own in English legal history. Later, pistols and rifles were added as that technology came to the fore. But weapons legislated either by royal decree or, later, by the English Common Law, never included hand grenades, cannons or ships of war–the weapons of mass destruction of the day. Our founders were not ignorant to weapons of mass destruction and neither were those authorities in pre-American English law that created rules to govern military needs and the natural rights of self-protection upon which our own Second Amendment is based. The historical facts are clear.

So, by extension, it is just plain stupid to throw in scary words like hand grenades, bazookas or rocket launchers. The founders did not include such things in their ideas of the natural rights to self-protection, nor for the militia’s needs, nor for the need to keep government from turning against the people.

And if you lose, if it gets stolen, or if you sell your firearm to somebody we need to tell somebody. That doesn’t mean you can’t have a gun. I don’t understand how that infringes on it?

If this was all McCarthy wanted, who could say this was bad? But what McCarthy really wants is full registration beforehand. He doesn’t want residents just to tell him what happened to their firearms after the fact. He wants residents to come to him, hat in hand, pleading to be allowed to observe their rights and sign up on his registration lists before being allowed to observe those rights. And with such lists comes all sorts of power for government to say who is allowed and who is not allowed to have a firearm and with that power comes government telling us what we are allowed to have and what we aren’t.

What McCarthy wants is us to ask his royal leave before we are allowed to indulge what is supposed to be an unalienable right. What part of shall not be infringed don’t you understand, Chief McCarthy?

Then he went on with his strawman argument about tanks and bazookas again…

Saying that you shouldn’t be allowed to own a tank, for instance, would somebody see that as an infringement on the Second Amendment right? I don’t know. But that’s where we have to define what it is we’re talking about. The biggest debate in this country is what level of firearm. Right? People say OK the AR15, the AK47, the extended magazines, that’s my right. I think the reasonable argument is it does not serve a purpose in a civilized society. Those are weapons that are created for military people to go out and kill their opposition.

Cameron: And so the…

McCarthy: You don’t use it for squirrel hunting.

Actually, there is no law against owning a tank. All you have to do is have a big wad of cash and the luck to find a sale of military surplus. All sorts of Americans legally own tanks–collectors and WWII enthusiasts, museums, etc. But, that aside, I’ve already demolished McCarthy’s idiotic claim that the right to own a tank might possibly be included in the Second Amendment.

Then, McCarthy went for another one of those common, left-wing strawman arguments, a rhetorical trick that amounts to an outright lie. The Second Amendment has precisely nothing at all to do with hunting squirrels or any other creature. The Second Amendment is not and has never been about hunting.

Cameron: So the NRA’s ability to use money to put guys in office who allow that sort of thing corrupts public safety, is that what you’re…

McCarthy: It may. It may. What I offered was, if that is being used in the police world, if there was a thing called special interest that’d be called corruption.

No, Mr. McCarthy, it may not be. Lobbying government is an essential aspect of a democracy. The right to petition government for redress and the right to gather in guilds and associations to help guard our interests as citizens is an essential right to self government. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be electing representatives, we would be emplacing short-term, miniature dictators in office who would have no reason to respond to we the people.

After this interview an informed listener is struck with the possibility that McCarthy is either a very, very stupid man, or a liar. He is either completely bereft of any knowledge about American history, the U.S. Constitution, or the law or he is purposefully lying about it all in order to push an authoritarian, thoroughly un-American policy. Either way, it is shocking that he’s been allowed to become the top law enforcement officer for the city. He shouldn’t be dog catcher.

But, what does one expect from a many who uses the power of his office to indulge racist rants?

Here is the audio of this odious man and his interview:

Hat Tip: Illinois Review.
“The only end of writing is to enable the reader better to enjoy life, or better to endure it.”
–Samuel Johnson

Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago based freelance writer. He has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and before that he wrote articles on U.S. history for several small American magazines. His political columns are featured on many websites such as Andrew Breitbart’s,, and, as well as,,,,, among many, many others. Mr. Huston is also endlessly amused that one of his articles formed the basis of an article in Germany’s Der Spiegel Magazine in 2008.

For a full bio, please CLICK HERE.



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