(CNSNews.com) - An Illinois gun rights group Tuesday called Chicago Democratic Mayor Richard Daley "delusional" for demanding that all 1.5 million firearm owners in the state appear before him and explain why their weapons should not be banned or confiscated.
While acknowledging that Daley's statement comes in the wake of a pair of shootings in the city that left two young girls dead, Richard Pearson, executive director of the Illinois State Rifle Association (ISRA), nevertheless said that the mayor's outburst "suggests strongly that it's time to pad the walls" of his office with rubber.
"I have a message for you, Mr. Mayor," Pearson added. "The Revolutionary War was not fought so that we could unseat King George and install King Richard. The Bill of Rights is not a stick of salami that you can slice and dice at your whim.
"You may have succeeded in suspending the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th and 9th amendments" to the U.S. Constitution "in Chicago, but the people of Illinois are not going to let you extend your tyranny beyond the city limits," he stated.
"And no, we have no obligation to come to Chicago, kneel before your throne and beg to freely exercise the rights that so many before us have died for," Pearson said. "To be honest, Mr. Mayor, I think Chicago would be a much better place if you spent less time in front of the cameras and more time behind your desk."
Daley's unusual demand follows a series of events that began on Friday, March 3, when 14-year-old Starkesia Reed was killed when a stray bullet came through the window of her family's house in the city's Englewood community.
Twenty-four-year-old Carail Weeks was charged the following week with first-degree murder in the case.
Then on Saturday, March 11, Siretha White was felled by a bullet from a drive-by shooting as she celebrated her 10th birthday in another Englewood neighborhood.
Authorities later arrested Moses Phillips, 19, and Paree Jones, 25, and charged each with three counts of attempted murder for a gang-related shooting that happened earlier in the day. While the suspects are not charged with Siretha White's murder, police officials believe they are linked to the incident.
As a result of the slayings, Daley renewed his ongoing plea for tighter gun control laws in the state.
"It could happen to any child that's going to school now," Daley said Monday. The tragedies show "a total disregard of human life, and it's as simple as that."
"Why does an adult decide to fire a weapon at a bunch of children at a party?" the mayor asked. "Think of that one, or just drive down the street and start firing a weapon at someone's home."
Daley also demanded that the state's 1.5 million law-abiding firearm owners travel to Chicago to appear before him and explain why their firearms should not be banned and confiscated.
Pearson stated that ISRA members grieved over the Englewood families' losses.
"Like all people of good conscience, the state's hunters and sportsmen are sickened by the murders of innocent children," Pearson said. "It's disturbing to think that there are people out there who will pepper a home full of children with bullets for the sake of securing a corner drug outlet. But those people are out there."
While the mayor "spent the weekend swilling green beer and bagels, a Baghdad mentality settled over Englewood," Pearson added. "Daley is losing control of his city, and all he can do is lay down a smokescreen of blame against the state's law-abiding firearm owners."
As Cybercast News Service previously reported, efforts by Daley and Illinois Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich in February to institute an assault-weapons ban have been criticized by gun makers as potentially damaging to the state's economy.
Gun rights advocates have also labeled as a "boondoggle" a bill proposed by the governor in his State of the State address to outlaw assault weapons in Illinois.
See Earlier Stories:
Gun Ban Would Hurt Illinois Economy, Critics Say (Feb. 28, 2006)
Gun Rights Group Criticizes Illinois Gov's 'Boondoggle' (Jan. 19, 2006)
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