Detroit’s pistol-packin’ City Council
So according to a rather interesting column in last week’s Detroit Free Press written by Rochelle Riley, it seems at least half of our incoming City Council members either already have their gun permits and are packing heat, or they are in the process of getting cleared to pack heat.
OK, so maybe this wasn’t the first story I wanted to read about our incoming City Council. It’s not that I don’t still have high hopes for the new faces because I really do, but this is Detroit. If this were any other city such a headline wouldn’t merit much more than a raising of the eyebrow, perhaps some animated discussion pro or con scattered here and there surrounding various and sundry workplace watercoolers.
But this is Detroit. And in Detroit, which has become associated – even synonymous – with just about every form of violence and brutality (wrongly or not), the image of newly elected council members packing guns is guaranteed to send the message of “I told you so” to all the wrong places. Because if even the highly praised, apparently level-headed, drama-averse crew of civic leaders-to-be feels the need to keep one finger on the trigger ‘just in case’ then, well, damn.
And it’s not that I’m necessarily blaming them or calling them out as some sort of citizen’s plea to disarm and unload, because I don’t feel I have that right. No, I don’t own a gun and I doubt I ever will. Still, I have quite a few friends who do and I don’t begrudge them their right to bear arms because different folks respond in different self-preservationist ways to the very real threat that somebody on some day just might make a play to separate you from your life – or may attempt the same on a loved one. In other words, these civic leaders of ours may be public figures but how they choose to defend themselves and the lives of their families is ultimately a private one regardless of the message it sends. They owe the city their best service, but they most definitely do not owe us their lives or the lives of their families.
Maybe the best we can hope for is the swift arrival of a new Detroit where these kinds of headlines are somebody else’s problem…
SHAMELESS PLUG: Read my wife’s blog @ The “D” Spot Redeux