Mayor Daley's strange and colorful response to a reporter's question about Chicago's handgun ban on Thursday drew national attention. Probably because he said people would understand how effective the city's gun ban is if he were to put a gun up the reporter's rear end.
While discussing the upcoming Supreme Court ruling over the legality of Chicago's handgun ban, Daley told reporters Thursday that he hoped the justices will decide to uphold the ban.
Then, Chicago Reader reporter Mick Dumke raised the question: if the handgun ban is so valuable, why is the city is suffering from an epidemic of gun violence?
"It's been very effective," he said, grabbing the gun off the table in front of him. "If I put this up your -- your butt, you'll find out how effective it is. If we put a round up your..."
Daley--and the room of reporters--laughed at the remark. (Read the story about Thursday's incident here.) But on Friday, he was more serious, and somehow placed the blame on Dumke.
"The person asking the question was missing the point that unrestricted guns are a devastating issue," Daley press secretary Jacquelyn Heard told the Sun-Times.
...Daley walked back the comment under questioning from reporters.
"Yeah, it could be, yes," Daley replied when asked if there was a better way he could have addressed the seriousness of the gun issue.
"Right, yeah," Daley said when asked if he regrets his choice of words.
Daley then explained the point of Thursday's meeting was to stress the importance of Chicago's handgun ban.
"Maybe it will shock you into writing about the gun manufacturers," he told reporters. "That's what you need to do."
While they mayor's office claimed it was the reporter who was missing the point at Thursday's press conference, Dumke shot back in a Friday blog post for the Reader:
Actually, they're missing the point, and they're of course doing it on purpose. They want to miss the point. You don't have to fire a gun to shoot the messenger.
The point is that there's a critical discussion that needs to take place around here about gun control, violence, an understaffed police force, neglected neighborhoods, chronic joblessness, the war on drugs, failing schools, and the priorities of public officials. But Mayor Daley has shown no signs of being interested in it. He's decided what needs to happen, and we're either with him or against him.
There's no better illustration of his intolerance for debate, dissension, and transparency than his decision to hold a gun up and joke about shooting a journalist.
WATCH Daley address the "up your butt" remark here:
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