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January 30, 2013

Rahm Emanuel Pirouettes 180 Degrees on Guns

One of the little known facts about Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is that he spent his high school years training as a ballet dancer, even receiving a scholarship offer from the Joffrey ballet. Don’t take our word for it, you can see for yourself, including a picture, right here.

His ballet training would come into play again years later, as his political position on guns has made several pirouettes in direct correlation with political expedience, first in the Clinton White House, to serving in the U.S. House, then the Obama White House and now as mayor of Chicago.

Once called “our guy in the White House” by the Brady Campaign, Emanuel was the leader of Clinton’s nearly decade-long assault on our industry and the Second Amendment. Every “novel” attack, like the costly municipal lawsuits that threatened to bankrupt our industry to the HUD “settlement” and the threat of federal agency boycotts against gun makers who dared not capitulate bore his fingerprints.

Then, when he ran for a House seat and became directly accountable to the voters, Emanuel suddenly toned down his antagonism. In fact, when he quickly ascended to the chairmanship of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), he took pride that his personal recruitment of conservative pro-gun Democrats in rural districts helped the Democrats recapture the House in 2006. And in the Obama White House, Emanuel counseled against taking on the gun issue so the president could instead focus on signature issues like health care – and winning re-election in 2012.

Now that he is comfortably ensconced as mayor of Chicago, the anti-gun beacon city (and aspiring murder capital) of our nation, he has pulled his old anti-gun playbook off the shelf. Combined with his personal political credo that “no crisis should ever be allowed to go to waste,” Emanuel now sees an opportunity to resuscitate all of his attacks against the industry. Suddenly, mayors are again talking about boycotting gun makers who don’t surrender to the anti-gun agenda, and Emanuel himself is trying to put the thumb on financial institutions to sever their ties to gun makers.

This week, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) sent a letter calling out Emanuel for his ham-fisted tactics. The letter correctly states that “Attempts to put law-abiding gun makers out of business hardly qualify as ‘modest common-sense gun control.’ Instead, they are a manifestation of an unabashed agenda to deprive law-abiding citizens of our right to keep and bear arms.” The letter goes on to point out that Chicago’s “long-standing policies stripping citizens of their constitutional right to keep and bear arms have, in turn, produced some of the very highest crime and murder rates in the nation.”

You might think this common-sense observation would cause Mayor Emanuel to focus more on fighting crime and less on trying to harass a lawful industry out of business. But we’re not holding our breath.

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