Chicago’s ban on handguns is facing a serious challenge in the U.S. Supreme Court, and when a reporter asked if the ban is working, Mayor Richard M. Daley didn’t mince any words.

Chicago Reader reporter Mick Dumke asked whether the ban is effective, given the amount of gun violence that continues to plague the city.

“It’s been very effective,” Mayor Daley replied at the City Hall news conference Thursday, smiling as he walked away from the podium and picked up a long rifle from a table of confiscated weapons. “If I put this up your butt, you’ll find out how effective it is. Let me put a round up your, you know.”

Daley said without the gun ban, people would be in danger from people with weapons such as the one he picked up. But since such weapons can be confiscated, lives have been saved, he said.

“For a moment the room was very, very quiet. I took a good look at the weapon. It had a long bayonet. (Was it seized during the Civil War?),” Dumke recounted in his blog on the Reader’s Web site. But soon afterward, “The photographers snapped away. Suddenly everybody started cracking up.”

Asked about the mayor’s comment, Daley Press Secretary Jacquelyn Heard called her boss’ words “less than ideal.”

Mayor Daley says he is hopeful that the city will prevail in the pending case McDonald v. Chicago, which challenges the city’s 28-year-old handgun ban on Second Amendment grounds. But if the city does not prevail, the mayor is calling for new ordinances to regulate guns.

Source: CBS Chicago

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