Saturday, January 5, 2013

Illinois' Gun Control Problem

Illinois remains the state with perhaps some of the strictest anti-gun laws in the US. Yet, the state's largest city, Chicago, still ranks among the highest in violent crimes to include over 500 murders in 2012. By and large, these murders were committed with firearms.

Illinois still bans both concealed and open carry of firearms by non-police personnel. By state law, one must apply for and be issued a Firearm Owners' Identification Card (FOID) prior to purchasing any firearm or ammunition. In addition, federally mandated background checks must pass favorably for each purchase. The firearms must be registered with the state. The state also has a required waiting period.

Despite all of these measures that deter law-abiding citizens from owning firearms and prevent those same law-abiding citizens the right to bear them, there is a rash of gun violence in the state. Chicago, with its own additional restrictions has the largest problem.

The reason behind this is clear. Private, law-abiding citizens with concealed carry permits do not go out and randomly shoot people. Private, law-abiding citizens who exercise their Second Amendment rights do not commit murder. Criminals do. Criminals do not care about the law. They intend to break the law by committing murder. So what is a little illegal firearms possession charge in comparison? Nothing. They still acquire the weapons illegally. They steal them. They buy them on the black market. In some cases, they make "zip-guns" in their garages. The bottom line is, although illegal or controlled, they still have them. Those who obey the laws do not and are soft targets for the criminals.

In places that are less restrictive on exercising the right to bear arms, violent crime is much lower. The reason is that criminals are far less likely to prey upon people who are more likely to be armed with a means to adequately defend themselves. Criminals are cowards. They are predators. Predators prey upon the weak, not the strong.  For one glaring example, compare per capita crime stats of Chicago and Kinnesaw, Georgia.

So what is Illinois answer to their gun problem? Their state legislature proposes to ban all semi-automatic and automatic firearms within the state. The ban would be on any firearm that uses a detachable magazine. In addition, one of the new bills puts higher restrictions on privately owned firearms ranges. It limits usage to only those with Illinois issued FOIDs. That means Joe, who has a concealed carry permit issued by Indiana, must apply for an Illinois FOID to shoot at his brother's range across the border in Illinois.

To further demonstrate common sense's exodus from Illinois, that bill also gives state and local police the authority to determine if a range is legal and safe. That doesn't mean that the law enforcement agencies just have the responsibility to inspect, it means that those agencies will have the power to, at whim, decide those standards subjectively. This just opens the door for extortion, graft, corruption, and bribery. Then again, Illinois houses Chicago, a city with a long history of all of the above.

The irony is that both Chicago and the state of Illinois have had their anti-gun laws struck down by federal courts over the past few years. Chicago's handgun ban was struck down by the US Supreme Court as unconstitutional and a violation of private citizens' rights to self-defense. The Illinois laws were struck down most recently by Federal Appeals Courts. The state legislature was given a time limit to pass less restrictive and invasive laws that would not infringe upon these rights. These latest laws do not meet the federal courts' criteria. Instead, they appear to be even more restrictive, infringing upon the rights to own (keep) and carry (bear) arms.

Some may argue that the regulations on ranges do not do infringe. However the law indicates nothing less than the evacuation of all sense and reason from the socialists and tyrants in the Illinois legislature. For people to be responsible firearms owners, they need to practice. Practice at ranges limits the change of collateral damage. It improves the chances of accidents due to improper safety procedures (ranges are where people learn how to safely handle a firearm). Setting up training scenarios on a range also improves decision making, helping firearms owners understand target selection and situational awareness. In other words, they know that bullets don't stop when they hit the bad guy and may hit the old lady behind him as well.

Though these range restrictions are part of a "public health and safety" legislation, they indicate that the politicians do not really care about public safety. If they did, they would mandate minimum range time per year for firearms owners. What they do care about is enslaving people and taking away their abilities to protect themselves and others. What they care about is leaving people unarmed and unable to defend against tyranny.

What they care about is instilling a tyranny. The first step in doing so is to take over the schools. Illinois already controls public schools in their state with socialist-back unions indoctrinating the kids. The second step is to disarm the people so they cannot resist. That is what they are trying to do.