10/18/04 — Special treatment: Chicago’s gun laws leave regular joes unprotected

View Archive

Special treatment: Chicago’s gun laws leave regular joes unprotected

Dave Workman writes of Arenda Troutman, a member of the Chicago Board of Aldermen.

Ms. Troutman’s home was burglarized twice within a few days, so she demanded special protection from the Chicago police. She got it.

At a cost to taxpayers of $366 a day, a patrol car is parked in front of her house for several hours every Saturday and Sunday. Police on the beat are ordered to check her house each day, just as a private security firm would.

Admittedly, Ms. Troutman needs protection. For one thing, it is against the law for a law-abiding citizen to buy a gun in Chicago, a situation that emboldens crooks. And that is where Dave Workman comes in. He follows cases like this because he is the editor of Gun Week, the magazine of the Second Amendment Foundation.

Chicago’s gun prohibition makes everyone vulnerable to those who would break into their homes and do them harm. But most people can’t summon the constabulary for special protection, as Ms. Troutman can.

Does she deserve this treatment? she was asked.

“Deserve it?” she replied. “Damn right. I should receive the protection I am receiving. I am an elected official.”

This line of reasoning overlooks the fact that crimes are committed against regular folks, those who are not elected officials, too.

And while the Windy City’s cops are giving specialized protection to Ms. Troutman — and heaven knows how many other elite Chicagoans — they are distracted from protecting ordinary people who, if they follow the law, are unarmed and largely unprotected.

Published in Editorials on October 18, 2004 11:17 AM