The PJ Tatler

Paul in Chicago: Street Violence 'Just Sort of a Thuggishness That's Out of Control'

On a recess trip to Chicago to promote school choice, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said the “horrific” scourge of street violence there is “more of a sickness of the spirit than it is actually ownership of guns.”

“In fact, if you look at the rules and the laws, the cities that have the most significant gun control seem to still have the highest violence. So, yes, there is a problem. There is mental illness with some of these shootings. There is also just sort of a thuggishness that’s out of control that no longer knows right from wrong,” Paul told Fox last night.

“But it’s something really maybe even beyond government. It’s spiritual. People need to be taught right and wrong, there needs to be an influence in their lives and there has to be a police presence. You know, it’s not as simple as banning guns. Because they have tried that in Chicago, and they have tried that in D.C. and frankly, it hasn’t worked.”

Paul said the “complicated” problem involves poverty and unemployment. “But it also involves lack parental guidance, lack of church guidance, lack of pastoral guidance,” he added.

That rolls into the issue of school choice, he stressed.

“And, you know, that’s one of the things about the school of choice event that I went to. It was an all girls’ school. But the thing is, is that there is really hope. And you can just see in the eyes of these young ladies that they’re going to be the leaders of the next generation. And there is hope for them. It’s hard for me to imagine how people can oppose charter schools, can oppose school choice. I just can’t imagine the people on the other side of this equation,” he said.

“…In Chicago and in Illinois, we have been trying to get scholarships passed by the state legislature. But the Democrats have uniformly opposed scholarships for poor children to go to both public and private schools and for charter schools. And this is all being opposed. And that’s the real answer. You want equality, education is the great equalizer. But you have to start at a young age. And you have to be for innovation. And so many of these people are so beholden to the establishment that they are opposed to it.”