Jul 5, 2010

New Chicago Gun 'Restrictions'

Well that didn't last long. The Second Amendment was forced down upon Da Mayor Richie Daley and his handgun ban was ruled ridiculous. Sure, it took 30 years and thousands of lives to do it - but it finally happened. And of course, leading up to the decision, Da Mayor, like a toddler having to go to bed, was unwilling to concede. And he's still at it.

He immediately forced his aldermen to slap on new ordinances which pretends to respect the rights of gun owners, even as it tries to prevent anyone from figuring out how to get one. While some of these provisions are of good intention, they are still over reaching and will likely to be struck down by the courts. But, but they have good intentions!

Here are some of the provisions. Handgun owners have to get a city permit, costing $100 for three years, and register their weapons at $15 apiece. They would have to go through a training class. They could register no more than one new gun per month.

Guns would be allowed in homes, but not in garages, front porches or yards. Only one weapon at a time could be kept in ready-to-fire condition. Gun sales and firing ranges would be banned in the city.

The rational is that these requirements have some kind of merit without putting an 'undue burden' on gun owners. They claim that knowing there are guns at a residence would be helpful to police when they respond to a call. Gun owners will now be more likely to report to police when a weapon is lost or stolen, because they wouldn't have been violating the ridiculous law in the first place.

And yes, training is valuable to owners and everyone else by minimizing the chance of unintentional discharges — and makes owners respect their weapons.

However, let me put into context the ordinances in another way. Let's say the city required me or someone else a $100 fee to exercise my first amendment rights to criticize the government? How about if I or one of my fellow citizens were only allowed to exercise our 5th amendments right once a month? In this context, these city provisions would be laughed at and wouldn't even be considered because of their restrictions of an individual's rights - which were being taken away by the government. Isn't that one of the main rationals for the holiday we celebrated yesterday? Even the ACLU might step in and shake some lawsuits at city 'leaders.'

And to further examine these new restrictions, prohibiting a resident from confronting an armed intruder in his garage undermines his right to act in self-defense. The $100 fee is a shake-down as it is higher than needed to cover the costs of administering the regulations. The cost should be 50 cents, and with the 42 cent stamp should be less than a buck. The four-month wait allowed for the processing of application would stink to high hell, but we're talking about city workers hired by patronage, so we'll just kindly overlook that one.

Having learned nothing from his battle with SCOTUS, banning sales is unconstitutional. "Just as a city can't ban the commercial provision of abortions, so it can't ban the sale of guns," says UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh. And double stupid points, at least by selling guns in the city, you could mandate a database to monitor the gun dealers selling to its citizens. Banning this, you lose the other as well.

I'm not going to pretend that gun violence isn't a daily tragedy in Chicago. But we're not enforcing the good rules, and everyone knows that the bad guys are laughing at the idea of the man even being able to do anything - let alone make them follow the rules.

But we should look to the courts who allow ex-convicts who get caught with guns on the street plea down a gun crime into lesser offenses. What's the point of having these laws and regulations if you're not going to enforce them?

And then there's my idea, teach the bad guys to shoot straight so that they quit killing kids on playgrounds. And then, the survivors can go to the military and win medals for killing actual bad guys.

Or if you would like me to get super radical, let's have a discussion about our drug policy and useless Chicago Schools... oh, no, that's hard! Let's just ban the guns.

1 comment:

Sabotage said...

Once everyone realizes that the Constitution isn't an ala carte menu, the closer we'll be to understanding. To support one right that the government may not intrude without also embracing all the other rights is to fix the wheels of your vehicle without putting gas in the engine - a non starter.