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Daley carries on his battle against the gun industry--in the Financial Times

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As Chicago's longest-serving mayor, Richard M. Daley filed a $433 million lawsuit against the gun industry, only to have it dismissed by the state Supreme Court.

He fought a never-ending battle for, what he called "common sense gun laws," only to have the Il. General Assembly turn a deaf ear.

Why then is the former mayor continuing his life-long campaign against the gun industry by writing op ed articles in the Financial Times instead of in Chicago newspapers?

"The answer is simple: He wants to educate an international audience about the growing problem of guns in America," the former mayor's spokesperson Jacquelyn Heard, who was traveling with Daley, said Thursday in an e-mail to the Chicago Sun-Times.

In the op-ed, which is naturally not as plain-spoken as Daley, the former mayor recounts his marathon battle against the gun industry.

He talks about the 116,000 children and teenagers killed by firearms in the last 30 years. That's the equivalent of 190 Connecticut school massacres every single year, he said.

Daley questions when the United States will "finally stop favoring" the gun industry over the "human rights" of America's children.

"If thousands of young people were harmed each year by household products, Americans would clamor for regulation. We chide other nations for landmines, child labor and sex trafficking. But, when it comes to guns, we have a blind spot," Daley wrote.

Noting that President Barack Obama has resurrected "many of the commonsense proposals that have been thwarted for years," Daley wrote, "If America wants to continue to call itself civilized, it must seize this rare moment of shared outrage."

Daley writes in the FT:

During nearly four decades in public service, including two as mayor of Chicago, I saw gun violence escalate in cities nationwide. At the same time, I saw firsthand how the gun industry has used the "right to bear arms" as cover for its effort to increase profits.

. . .

In Chicago we seized an average of 13,000 illegal guns from our streets annually. But a city cannot tackle this problem alone. While gun shops are banned in Chicago, criminals can easily obtain guns in states with lax laws and transport them around the country. Mayors Against Illegal Guns reported that, in 2009, just 10 states supplied half the guns recovered at crime scenes elsewhere. Mayors and local authorities lack the authority to fight or prosecute such trafficking but there is no law that makes it a federal crime, and the federal government has few tools to stop it.

. . .

If America wants to continue to call itself civilised, it must seize this rare moment of shared outrage and come down on the side of the children, not the gun industry.

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