Guard of Honor


The Second Amendment Foundation notes that Chicago Alderman Arenda Troutman has arranged for a 24-hour police guard at her home, which was burglarized twice in the last three months. Regarding whether she deserves such special treatment in a city where her fellow citizens not only do not get their own personal cops but are not even allowed to own guns for self-protection, she told the Chicago Sun-Times: "Deserve it? Damn right. I should receive the protection I am receiving. I am an elected official."

As the SAF notes, it's elected officials like Troutman who are responsible for disarming the city's residents, leaving them vulnerable to burglars and other criminals. "In a gun-free gulag like Chicago," says SAF founder Alan Gottlieb, "everyone should have around-the-clock personal police protection."

NEXT: Exit Stage Left

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Here is a link to an interesting 1985 Reason article on how gun control has been used to keep guns out of the hands of disfavored groups of people:

  2. I sometimes discuss gun control with my mother. Her ex-husband, my father, is a very dangerous and unstable man. My mother owns a gun. I’m very glad that my mother owns a gun. In fact, learning that she owns a gun changed my mind about gun control.

    Yet my mother thinks that gun control opponents are crazy. In order to assure her that I’m not a “crazy gun nut who’s going to join a militia” I tell her that I only oppose gun control as long as my father is alive. She plans to get rid of her gun the day that my father dies (whenever that might be and however it might occur). She sees no use for the second amendment once he’s gone.

    Never mind that there are more out there like him.

  3. thoreau,
    My mother was the opposite of yours. Even though she had a brother shot dead in a hunting accident, had a sister shot and crippled by a punk who followed her from an ATM, and would never touch a gun herself, she was a big supporter of the Second Amendment.

    I think views on guns are almost like religion. It is the rare person who fully overcomes the indoctrination of his youth.

  4. Kent-

    I guess I’m the rare person on gun control then. But I’m a pretty wussy advocate of the 2nd amendment. Although my stance is to oppose gun control, it’s low on my list of policy priorities. And if somebody could prove to me that gun control will save lives I’d change sides no problem. The only problem is that I don’t see any way to stop thugs from buying weapons on the black market. And since the black market is a fact of life that even Communist dictators haven’t been able to abolish, I see zero hope of the US ever getting rid of black market weapons for criminals.

    So I’m a pragmatist. I guess the indoctrination of youth dies slowly.

  5. I don’t know about the “views on guns are like religion” thing. My parents, especially my mother, are staunchly anti-gun. My father hasn’t touched one since he got out of the Navy, and my mother never has, and I was never allowed to play with toy guns as a kid. I grew up believing that guns kill people constantly, and that they’re inherently dangerous. When I was in my late teens, it occurred to me that if guns are so dangerous and ubiquitous, I ought to know a little about them in case I’m ever confronted with one. A few years later, I took a gun safety course and fired my first handgun. Now, I’m no gun nut, and I don’t want to own one, but I’ve changed my mind about guns since figuring out for myself that it’s possible to use them safely and effectively. Besides, shooting is fun.

    Then again, I may not be representative, as I’ve rejected the religion in which I was raised too…

  6. I’m about in the same camp as Amy Phillips there. My mother especially was anti-gun, we had no gun look-alike toys, etc. All through college I thought ‘we’d have no more violence problems if we could just get rid of all the guns in the world.’ Too bad we can’t. I eventually realized that the ‘if owning a gun makes you a criminal, only criminals will own guns’ saw can mean something from the other side. I don’t know about the estimates for gun usage in defensive situations, but I do realize now that the only thing the laws do is take guns from people who wouldn’t have abused them in the first place.

    As for Alderman Troutman, I don’t know if I’ve seen a more self-involved statement from a politician lately. Every sentence had ‘me’ or ‘I’ in it. I still fail to see where being elected makes you a special citizen, tho.

  7. Put me in the same boat as Amy and thoreau (actually more like Amy since I’m also no longer a member of my religion of my youth). My parents came from Egypt, which has strict gun control and litte (at least in their day) gun crime compared to hear. Add to that, growing up in SoCal during the height of inner-city gangs and guns faced a stack deck. My best friend’s step-father was a gun nut and I started to learn more about their use as well as the value of a deterrent. My experience with other “evil” items like alcohol, drugs, smoking and others taught me that the item is neutral, it’s the bad actors that are the problem. Well, that and the practicality of a country with a couple of borders that are thousands of miles long in addition to even more coastline. If we can’t stop drugs from getting in, how will we prevent guns. Not to mention I’d prefer only criminals to have drugs than only criminals to have guns (at least the good guys have a numeric advantage over them, may as well not concede firepower).

    Of course, there is my favorite gun related quote:
    “God made man, Samuel Colt ’em Equal”

  8. My sister, a registered nurse, used to be staunchly anti-gun. My father and I would be constatnly lectured about the horrors of gun violence she heard during her nursing training and that people who carry guns for self defense (like myself and my father) would only do so because they secretly desire to hunt african-americans for sport.

    She would often tell us how becoming a nurse has taught her to value all life and would never kill, even in self defense. She bought into the notion that medical professionals should try to save the world from itself. Then two things happened: One, she actually started working in an urban emergency room and started to deal with the criminals that would come in. Secondly, she bought her own house where she lives alone and realized that if an intruder were to break in she’d be defensless–no, she wasn’t willing to wait for the cops to show up while was was being robbed,raped, and/or murdered. So now she owns a handgun and makes trips to the range whenever her schedule allows.

    In my sister’s case it was a sheltered, upper-middle class white girl having a reality check thrown through her rose-colored notions of humanity.

  9. Hehe. This thread is turning into GCA (Gun Controllers Anonymous). Hi everyone, my name is Mo and I used to be a supporter of gun control [breaks down in tears].

  10. OK, OK, Mark, Amy, Thoreau, Mo and Highway! Your anecdotes outnumber my anecdotes – although I know quite a few to support your positions, too. Here is an interesting anecdote on your side of the guns/religion debate:

    I was helping to install a paper recycling system at a paper mill in a small town in AL – a town that probably has a gun ownership rate approaching 100%. One day while talking to the woman who developed the process, I found out she was English and had spent most of her life in the UK and Canada. I was surprised when she said that she would like to remain in the area after the project because she “felt safe” there. She said that while it was true that England had few murders, muggings are much more common than in most US cities. She also said that she couldn’t imagine using a gun to defend herself, but had no issue with those who did. I would also note that burgularies are more common in the UK and that they are MUCH more likely to occur in occupied homes there than in the US. It is a lot safer to enter another person’s home uninvited when you are pretty sure the inhabitants are not armed.

    Mo, that was pretty funny.

  11. Slight clarification on my last post: I nor my father don’t carry handguns, though we both want to. My Dad works on a very rough side of Milwaukee where shootings and car jackings are not uncommon. However, Wisconsin law forbids it and the last attempt passed, was vetoed by our anti-gun governor, and missed an override by one vote cast by a Democrat state representative who actually sponsored the bill. (He said he did it because he didn’t want to embarrass Gov. Doyle and their party.)

  12. “Of course, there is my favorite
    gun related quote:
    “God made man, Samuel Colt made ’em Equal””

    -And the infrared sniper scope made ’em all the same color…

  13. Mo, here’s my favorite quote:

    911 = 15 minutes, 1911 = 15 seconds.

    (Here’s a 1911, for those that don’t know.)

  14. “Hey, I support the right to self defense too. But I get tired of 2nd Amendment backers blaming politicians as if there’s no larger context. BLAME THE FOLKS WHO VOTED FOR THESE POLITICIANS, PEOPLE!!”

    Thing is, most people are not single issue voters. There are quite a few union types who consistently vote Democrat despite their personal opposition to gun control. Likewise, I suspect that many members of the Pink Pistols (gun rights gay group) typically vote Democrat. Then there are the lod people voting for their SS check, the prison guards voting for the pay raise, and so on.

    Now, to add to the original story, sometime back Ted Kennedy’s bodyguard was stopped (IIRC in an airport) transporting arms (including a submachine gun) without the proper permits.

  15. kmw,

    1911s remain popular due to their excellent trigger and grip. If it takes 15 seconds to get a 1911 into action, it’s not the 1911’s fault. They pretty much beat every other semi-auto in a fast draw type situation.

  16. Don,

    I think the 15 seconds refers to the time it takes to walk to the back bedroom. Anyway, I didn’t come up with the quote, but I thought it was funny.

    For me personally, it would take all of about .5 seconds.

    I absolutely love 1911s. I have several.

  17. I meant to put a grin at the end of the “.5” 🙂

  18. As Jeff Cooper once said, “the heir to the 1911 is yet to be.”

    You know, good old Colonial Cooper might just be the original modern Libertarian.

  19. Great Scoop Jake. It’s stories like these that make me wonder why the gay-rights lobby is so afraid of the Federal Marriage Amendment. It’s not like it would be any more binding than the Second Amendment…

  20. Shades of Carl Rowan. I’ll believe in the sincerity of any President, Presidential candidate, or former President advocating gun control when the Secret Service agents protecting him are disarmed to the same extent they advocate we (the people Troutman and her ilk have been “fighting for”) be disarmed.

  21. In a city where guns are illegal for the average citizen, a politician has her house guarded by – gasp! – men with guns.

  22. This reminds me of all thiose “free enterprise” corporations that grab every piece of government tax-paid busienss gthey can, that grab every possible advantage from a corporation-friendly tax code and then say to government: “Keep your hands off me — I’m free enterprise!”. What a lot of hypocritical horse cock.

  23. This reminds me of all thiose “free enterprise” corporations that grab every piece of government tax-paid busienss gthey can, that grab every possible advantage from a corporation-friendly tax code and then say to government: “Keep your hands off me — I’m free enterprise!”. What a lot of hypocritical horse cock.

  24. The mad mommies against guns marched again last Sunday. I don’t get it. I thought these types are for empowerment. Isn’t a gun a tool for empowerment?

  25. I have occasionally proposed to politicians on an anti-gun trip that they pledge to reject any personal security other than calling 911, the only protection they believe that us unwashed need. So far, no takers. Not even any response.

  26. “I’m OK, You’re a serf”
    “I’m OK, You’re a target”

    Maybe we should start referring to our “annointed” officials, rather than elected.

  27. Walter,
    You don’t understand! My family is in danger (and obviously they are more important than you). Besides, who will help me look for the misplaced jewelry I reported stolen?

    A coworker who lives in DC had his new truck carjacked (truckjacked?) at gunpoint. He found his truck abandoned, but he wouldn’t even report the crime because the robber could have discovered his address from documents in the truck. That is no way to live.

    P.S. I work in DC, but live in VA, a state that still has a little respect for the Second Amendment.

  28. I can’t imagine what any of that means. What reminds you of who?

  29. Hey, I support the right to self defense too. But I get tired of 2nd Amendment backers blaming politicians as if there’s no larger context. BLAME THE FOLKS WHO VOTED FOR THESE POLITICIANS, PEOPLE!!

  30. The problem is that there are enough people to elect said politicians because of their non-gun-related campaign promises. It’s more difficult to blame individual citizens for their elected officials’ actions when the citizens voted for them based on criteria other than gun control.

    Voting for gun control is an easy way for a politician to say “hey, look, I’m tough on crime” without doing anything substantial to solve the crime problem. So the real problem is that pro-gun-control politicians are spending much of their time on useless ideological crusades than doing their jobs. Far easier to vote to ban guns or to keep pumping money into the drug war than to come up with a real solution.

  31. fyodor,
    I suspect most people would have guessed that RMN was less likely to support gun control than HHH. I still remember seeing RMN on TV explaining that “Saturday night specials” (having conveniently left off the inflammatory first word of the term) had no legitimate non-criminal use. Apparently, criminals – who are more likely to use a stolen higher quality gun – are somehow able to use the guns more effectively than poor people trying to protect themselves. Unfortunately, lots of gun rights supporters didn’t oppose the restrictions because they would never consider buying such cheap guns.

  32. I guess you haven’t been following along. The issue here, as I understand it, is the hypocritical stand of the Chicago alderwoman. I repeat: it reminds me of the hypocrisy of so-called “free enterprise” corporations who suck the taxpayers tit.

  33. Of course the best solution is to do as little as possible. If more politicians did less (other than repealing useless laws and ending the drug war), I think we can agree that we’d all use a lot less antacids.

  34. OL and Mr Nice Guy,

    But those “men with guns” are (drum roll) PROFESSIONALS! And the only people those mad soccer mommies want to empower is other professionals. Their ideology is all about rule by the New Class of managers, engineers, and “professionals” over the rest of us. Most especially, they want to keep the underclass closely supervised and regimented by “competent authorities” so that no squalor or disorder spills over into their white bread suburban world.

    As Jim Henley pointed out a while ago, liberalism/”progressivism” arose as an ideology of managerialism.

    See also
    Liberalism and Social Control: The New Class’ Will to Power

  35. Kent: What is the derrogatory term before Saturday Night Specials? The n-word?

    fyodor: We can thank the scaremonger tactics over “assault weapons” and purely cosmetic features from interest groups that scare those ignorant about guns into believing their crap. As someone who was formerly ignorant about guns and bought the crap, I know. Now that I know better, I’m anti-gun control. The truth will set guns free.

  36. Kevin Carson: {But those “men with guns” are (drum roll) PROFESSIONALS!}

    It’s the same philosophy that requires granting armed commercial airline pilots a bogus law-enforcement credential. If they were just professional airline pilots they might go berserk and shoot passengers.

  37. Mo,
    Before Nixon popularized the term, it was “N-town Saturday Night Special.” People familiar with the term recognized right away what the move to eliminate cheap guns was all about. Urban riots were fresh on people’s minds and a lot of people wanted to make sure the “wrong people” didn’t get guns and cause problems. With that as a backdrop, it is amazing how many Black politicians support gun control – or maybe it is not surprising at all.

  38. Your right Jak, is does. All the more reason why I’m against both gun control and corporate welfare.

  39. A few more quotes on firearms to keep you reformed lefties on the right track:

    It is criminal to teach a man not to defend himself when he is the constant victim of brutal attacks. It is legal and lawful to own a shotgun or a rifle. We believe in obeying the law. — Malcolm X, March 12, 1964

    Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the act of depriving a whole nation of arms, as the blackest. — Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

    A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity. — Sigmund Freud, General Introduction to Psychoanalysis (1952)

    Americans have the will to resist because you have weapons. If you don’t have a gun, freedom of speech has no power. — Yoshimi Ishikawa, author of Japanese best-seller Strawberry Road

    Today’s liberals wish to disarm us so they can run their evil and oppressive agenda on us. The fight against crime is just a convenient excuse to further their agenda. I don’t know about you, but if you hear that Williams’ guns have been taken, you’ll know Williams is dead. — Walter Williams, Professor of Economics, George Mason University.

    To make inexpensive guns impossible to get is to say that you’re putting a money test on getting a gun. It’s racism in its worst form. — Roy Innis, National Chairman of Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), The Washington Post, September 5, 1988

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.