First diary here (you have been warned)-started off as a comment to Georgia L.'s great http://www.dailykos.com/... (link?!?)
As a Chicago native (south and north-side) and pretty mouthy gun restrictionist, I've spend the past month or so (post Sandy Hook) fending off FA-fetishists on FB (where I yak most) who try (and fail-pffft) to pillory my long-held stance with "the Chicago".
What often gets lost/is never addressed in "the Chicago", is the 2008-9+ economic collapse (for a lot of people in my neighborhood/s - just the latest collapse) really hit the drug trade hard-and if you think its not a part of the overall economy (urban, suburban and rural), then perhaps you'd be interested in an over-priced, stripped of plumbing condo on a block of abandoned tear-downs-cash only courtesy of BoFA. When the best customers, the weekend warriors who had decent jobs, cut back, then the turf battles started.
But it wasn't always like this in Chicago (more below the sleeping orange panda thingy)
When I was a kid, in a poor, but not really-really poor, Chicago neighborhood, I don't recall ever hearing gun-fire - when there was a ban on importing/selling cheap guns.
Add in 20-30 years of gentrification pushing people out of affordable housing/neighborhoods, 1,000 fewer cops (despite Next-Mayor-For-Life Black Swan's press parties), a job future for too many that smells a lot like "well you can always make levis in prison", and the cheap, cheap guns of all kinds available/for sale-no questions asked, no limits, no records, no consequences, but lots of profits (except for the victims and their families/friends) in the suburbs and states that ring Chicago and IL make the now daily slaughter all too predictable, even as the numbers get numbing.
So, for the past 20 years or so, I know what gun-fire and semi-automatic shots sound like and can pretty much tell how far off and what direction (should be sad, the world over, to know this, shouldn't it?).
Now, to the why I'm a gun restrictionist - on most things, I believe the needs/welfare of the many outweigh the selfish, delusional desires of the few - we can argue how/who decides this-you know, democracy and stuff - but here's where it gets personal (list not complete-sadly) - why I want our national stupidity on guns to end (in memory/tribute):
-my late aunt - for helping raise the 3 orphaned kids of a friend who's cop husband shot her and then himself - while the 3 kids were in the next room.
-my mother and father - for hiding and destroying the shot guns another aunt snuck away from her abusive husband.
-for K (a college friend) - mental health, employment problems, and guns (7 I recall) and a stand-off with suburban police that actually ended without any injury - he got mental health help then - where are those services now?
-my gun-owning college friends (all from rural areas) who mocked my anti-gun stance - until their "secured" guns were all stolen one Thanksgiving break - wonder where those guns wound up?
-for another relative who in her grief had to clean up the mess from her son's suicide - walls, carpets, floors - they don't often show the clean-up in movies, do they?
-for the friend of a friend, who has a permanent dent in his leg from a drive-by/run-by in park - teaming with kids playing - on a sunny day.
-for the young man with the pretty, long hair who's name I didn't catch, who chatted me up when I moved into an apt in Humboldt Park - he was shot in the face the next week.
-for J. also HBP (not really a good man but he wanted to change according to someone who knew) who was shot down on our block (semi-automatic - that awful sound) - I walked past the blood the next morning on my way to work.
-for another relative - mourning/picking up the family pieces for her nephew - mental health, employment problems, lots of guns (again), and meth - not of the mixy - in a suicidal stand-off with local, rural police.
-for me - for knowing what semi-automatic gun fire sounds like at 5:15am (couple of weeks ago) - and where its coming from and what direction it seems to be going - and wondering if I'll later see another person from my neighborhood turned into a terrible statistic on the news.