Chicago mayor Richie Daley has never distinguished his administration with common sense. In stark proof of this, he has cheerfully invited “a million people” to attend the forthcoming election night Obama rally at the city’s Grant Park.
Hmmm…let’s look at that. I don’t recall any Presidential candidate receiving as much homicidal hostility during a campaign as Barack Obama. We are told that at least two assassination plots by white skinheads have been interdicted. Someone now invites a million people to come to the “range” and face the “target.”
Take Mayor Daley’s “invitation list” of 1,000,000 un-vetted people…In a city rife with gang culture and presently the “murder capitol” of the nation, despite Draconian gun laws that actually ban ownership of handguns (except by Chicago city council members, who are expressly allowed to carry loaded, concealed pistols). Compare that with the rule of thumb we’ve heard from so many mental health professionals that “one out of every hundred people is a psychopath.” One out of every hundred … a million people there … carry the one …
Yup, the math is right. That’s 10,000 psychopaths. In an area far too huge for screening and metal detectors to be effective. “Ten Thousand Maniacs” was a cool name for an ‘80s rock band, but it’s a most un-cool scenario for a political rally of unprecedented size at the peak pressure curve of a volatile election.
Chicagoland is not without white racists. I was there in the satellite community of Skokie three decades ago, when the American Nazis marched, mocking the substantial local community of Holocaust survivors. The cops were out in force, the racists were few in number, and it still looked pretty dangerous for a while, though the forces of order kept everything contained.
In addition to the white racists, there are those in the African-American community who have no love for Obama, and may even feel a vested interest in “creating an incident.” Chicago is the home of Jesse Jackson, who infamously said during the campaign that he would like to castrate Obama. We are also at war with an entity called Al Qaeda,, which has already murdered Americans…is familiar with American media…and has to have heard Rush Limbaugh’s prediction of a surprise McCain victory and writer-commentator Erica Jong’s recent prediction to an Italian magazine that if Obama loses, the streets will run red with blood and a “second American Civil War” will erupt. It would take only one suicidal terrorist pawn to throw a bomb or bullet at Obama in hopes of triggering just such chaos in the USA.
Chicago, our nation’s third most popular city, has the second largest police force. They’re authorized some 13,000 armed, sworn police personnel, though I think the current rolls are somewhat down from that. (LAPD, serving the second largest US city, has just under 10,000 officers, and NYPD is the largest with some 36,000 authorized.) That ain’t enough to control a million people if things flare up. I hear from usually reliable sources that Chicago PD has done something unprecedented: they’ve put out a call to surrounding departments and the State Police for assistance, supposedly requesting two-man patrol cars.
A part of America sees Barack Obama as the Martin Luther King of our time. We remember the fierce rioting (we call it “civil unrest” now) that broke out after King’s assassination forty years ago. What is going to happen if a shot rings out in Grant Park…?
If I was a Secret Service agent assigned to the Obama protection detail, I’d be waking up screaming in the middle of the night.
Paul Huebl, a retired Chicago cop who now writes a conservative blog, has noted that Grant Park is largely surrounded by bodies of water, and that on a cold night water cannons make very effective riot control devices. Many of the bridges in Chicago are drawbridges that, if lifted, would greatly limit auto/pedestrian access from Grant Park to other parts of the city. But that would only mitigate the aftermath, not prevent it.
This rally may not go down in history as the smartest move Mayor Daley has ever made or approved. However, those who’ve followed his administration will probably ask, “And this is different…how?”