What’s Good for Chicago?

On June 28, the United States Supreme Court overturned Chicago’s handgun ban, ruling that Second Amendment protections on keeping and bearing arms applied to state and local governments.

Reuters characterized the ruling as “a defeat for Chicago.” By “Chicago” they mean the current administration of the Chicago government. If “Chicago” had meant people in the city who don’t want to rely on the armed enforcers of the local political machine, the ruling is a win for Chicago.

Of course, the government of Chicago will most likely use all kinds of legal obstacles to make it difficult for the people of Chicago to arm themselves. Acquiring handgun permits will be inconvenient and expensive.

And that doesn’t even cover people who won’t even be permitted to navigate the bureaucracy. People convicted of felonies for victimless crimes, people in the United States without government permission, and people who have not reached an arbitrary age standard will need to look outside of the law to protect themselves from predators. Presumably their lives are not considered to be as valuable or they are expected to rely upon their superiors.

Government is a protection racket. Statists want to monopolize force by ensuring that only the “right kind of people” have access to firearms.

Real neighborhood safety depends on respect for individual freedom, mutual aid, solidarity, and the ethic and capability of self-defense. These foundations cannot be enforced by government programs. They must be built through the spread of libertarian ideas and grassroots action.

Government protection measures involve giving police free rein to commit crimes against other individuals: shaking them down on the street, throwing them in cages for drinking alcohol in public, branding them with the label of “felon” for what’s in their pockets, or even blockading neighborhoods and checking for papers. Crime statistics will probably be manipulated for political appearances, police will get away with assaulting people, and everyone will be told to know their places.

It’s good for rulers, but not so good for people on the receiving end of political calculation.

That which is good for the United States government, like its ability to dominate, is not necessarily good for the American people who are expected to support and obey those who rule America. It is certainly not good for foreigners who have to deal with covert and overt violence by the US Government, and it is not good for Americans who are attacked because they have been put into the same category as soldiers and politicians who kill children.

Powerful interests who purport to represent those who are ruled will often declare themselves to be working on behalf of people they have forced into a category. When the interests of a city, nation, or other political grouping are spoken for, it is crucial to examine who really benefits.

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