ISRA president says criticism of Gun Offender Dashboard 'bit hypocritical'
Illinois State Rifle Association Executive Director Richard Pearson reasons all the loud opposition to the Chicago Police Department’s (CPD) creation of its new Gun Offender Dashboard website is to be expected.
“I find it a bit hypocritical,” Pearson told Chicago City Wire regarding those who typically take an anti-gun position now standing up for the rights of legal gun owners. “There’s a lot of hypocriticalness going on in the whole situation. They do change their positions because they change the rules. They want to fit a certain narrative and if it doesn’t, they’ll change the rules. No matter what happens, they’ll switch it some way to make it anti-gun.”
The Gun Offender Dashboard program paves the way for CPD to broadcast adult gun-related criminal charges as well as post the bond statuses of those charged as a way of demonstrating to the public how much ground the department is covering in sweeping the streets of violent gun offenders only to see many of them back on the street in little time after posting bond.
“I understand what Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson is saying because there is only one way to reduce crime and that is to keep these individuals in jail,” Pearson said. “That’s the only proven thing that works.”
While critics of the program, like Cook County Public Defender Amy Campanelli, have described it as a “blatant intrusion” on the rights of some and yet another example of how CPD has failed to live up to its end of the bargain in the fight to rid the city of all its gun violence, Pearson begs to differ.
“By letting these people out, and so many of them committing crimes afterwards, it shows the problems of the system,” he said. “I think what the superintendent is trying to do is actually get the county to prosecute these people. We have a lot of people in jail, but if you do bad things, you need to be there. It’s not a popularity contest or unpopularity contest; it’s the fact that they’re committing crimes.”