Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Does Chicago have cause to fear?

Should Chicago Residents Fear the Dismantling of Their 1982 Handgun Ban?

Should residents of the City of Chicago fear the United States Supreme Court finding their twenty eight (28) year old ban on handguns from 1982 unconstitutional? Should Chicago residents live in abject fear of the United States Supreme Court restoring some form of 2nd Amendment rights to the city of Chicago? In a word.... NO!


In the city of Chicago there is a lot of fear. People are afraid. Murders in the city of Chicago are almost at one hundred twenty (120) at the end of April 2010. Chicago homicides are on a pace to exceed four hundred murders once again. In 2008 and 2009, Chicago homicides exceeded the number of United States Military deaths in the countries of Iraq and Afghanistan COMBINED.

This horrendous number of murders are keeping the men and women of Chicago's police department hopping. During the week of Saturday April 18th to Sunday April 24th there were seven (7) murders and eighteen (18) people wounded by convicted thugs wielding illegally obtained firearms in the City of Chicago.

Democrat Representatives John Fritchey (D-Chicago) and LaShawn Ford (D-Chicago) have called upon Illinois Governor Pat Quinn (D-IL) to call out the Illinois National Guard to battle the outrageous surge in violent crime in the Windy City.

Governor Quinn made it clear that he was going to defer to Mayor Daley on the matter. He is not entertaining the idea of sending in armed troops to the streets of Chicago unless Mayor Daley and Chicago Police Superintendent Jody Weis specifically made the desperate request for the troops.

Mayor Daley and Superintendent Weis refreshed their tired, old, outdated, useless, pathetic and so 1990's calls for stricter gun control laws. I do not know how much stricter one can get in the City of Chicago than a twenty eight (28) year old total ban on handguns, but Mayor Daley and his underlings seem quite willing to ride the misguided train of gun control, without a single morsel of evidence that Chicago's ban on handguns has done anything more than diminish the Bill of Rights.

Do the people of Chicago have something to fear toward the end of June when the United States Supreme Court tells them that their 1982 ban on handgun possession is unconstitutional? No, absolutely not. There is nothing to fear and I'll tell you why...

It is really quite simple. In fact, it is so simple that a child in Kindergarten or even Pre-K could tell you. Law abiding citizens do not commit violent crimes. That is such a simple statement, but it seems as if the idea has never crossed the clouded minds of Chicago politicians. Good people behave themselves.

Good people who own handguns are never a public danger. In fact, I read somewhere and I believe it to be true, that those American citizens who have obtained concealed carry permits actually have a lower rate of criminal convictions than members of the law enforcement community.

Someone who may not be familiar with this issue may well be confused. I can hear them now... "If handguns have been banned in Chicago since 1982, then why is one person in Chicago being murdered with a handgun every day?" If handguns have been banned for twenty eight years, how are felons getting them?

That is the $64,000 question isn't it? Well, let us go back to our kindergarten-age child and ask him/her shall we? Asking the typical five or six year old child, they might say something like this; "People who want to shoot and kill other people don't care about a gun ban." Or something similarly simple, which again seems to elude the convoluted mind of the Chicago politician.

If the 2nd Amendment gets restored at some level to the good people of Chicago, will it increase the number of murders in the city? Our kindergarten child would remind us that good people who can pass a background check to lawfully buy and carefully store a handgun in the home are not going to be involved in street violence, gang violence or in the out-of-control illegal narcotics trade.

So how do felons actually get the guns they use? Please keep in mind that the following sources of actual guns used during a crime come from a study of the general population and not the City of Chicago. Obviously in Chicago, the sources are different, because of their total handgun prohibition.

Source: (Table 9)

1.) 22.8% get the gun they use off the street or through a narcotics sale.

2.) 17.9% of felons borrowed or even rented the gun through a friend or family member.

3.) 13.5% bought or traded the gun from a family member or friend.

4.) 10.9% got the gun from a theft or burglary.

5.) 8.8% got the gun from a fence or 'black market' source.

6.) 7.8% got the gun from a family member or friend through other means not listed.

7.) 6.9% of the guns used came from an unknown source.

8.) 6.0% got the gun they used fraudulently from a retail store.

9.) 3.7% obtained the gun they used through a pawnshop.

10.) 1.1% got the gun from a flea market.

11.) 0.7% of the offenders, the lowest recorded source in the study, got it from a gun show.

Going back to our kindergarten age child, we might ask the following question. Of all of the above sources of firearms that were actually used by felons to commit crimes with, which of them would be greatly affected by a restoration of the right to keep and bear handguns?

The first source would not be affected at all. 22.8% of felons get their gun in an off-the-street sale or through a narcotics trade where a firearm is traded for drugs. A restoration of the right to keep and bear arms to the honest citizens of Chicago would not affect this highest source of illegal firearms.

The second and third sources would not be affected because good people do not let felonious friends borrow their guns. Neither do they sell them to felonious thugs. Nor do they trade firearms to friends of family members who are willing or inclined to commit crimes of violence. Good people are also unlikely to even have felonious friends.

The fourth source could possibly rise slightly as a result of an increase in firearms found during burglaries in the homes of good people who now would own guns. But we can help prevent that by imposing a $5,000 fine upon anyone convicted of a home burglary where a gun was stolen. The City of Chicago could also give a property tax break for gun owners who chose to purchase a strong gun safe and submit the receipt.

The fifth source, the black market would not be affected at all by law abiding citizens getting the right to purchase handguns again. Good people are not involved in the black market.

The sixth most common source demands a reference back to the 2nd and 3rd source. Good, law abiding people who pass background checks and obtain handguns are not willing to let family members or friends who are felons to have them.

The seventh source? We don't know what that even is. But we do know what it is not. It is not law abiding people who pass background checks selling or lending handguns to felonious thugs.

The eighth source is the 6% of the criminal element who obtain their firearms at retailers who lie and misrepresent themselves on documents and provide false identification. This source would likely not be affected very much at all by the restoration of the 2nd Amendment to the City of Chicago. One way to combat false identification is to require a current utility bill or paycheck stub proving that the prospective firearm purchaser actually lives at the residence indicated on the driver's license or pistol permit. In addition, the penalties for fraudulently attempting to purchase a firearm at retail should be followed through with instead of ignored, which they typically are.

The ninth, tenth and eleventh sources is through a pawnshop, flea market or gun show. Once again, proper identification and a federally required background check would help diminish this small source as well. It is federal law that if one is in the business of selling firearms, that they obtain a federal firearm license and perform the mandatory background check.

There are a small number of gun dealers, perhaps 1% or less who are careless about who they sell a firearm to. These disreputable dealers should be properly punished. These sources would likely remain largely unchanged due to the United States Supreme Court restoring the 2nd Amendment to the city of Chicago.

So in conclusion, because of the fact that law abiding gun owners do not commit crimes, do not lend, rent or trade firearms with known felons and do not peddle their cherished guns on darkened street corners, the people of the City of Chicago should not fear the restoration of gun rights due to the impending McDonald v Chicago case to be decided in June.

In fact, just the opposite is true. The people of Chicago will very likely begin seeing a significant reduction in the number of murders. Why? Our kindergarten child could tell you why. More law abiding, righteous and upstanding citizens and business owners having access to deadly force will make thugs think twice about committing a violent crime upon them or in their presence.

Even a child could figure these things out. How these basic truths evade the weakly firing synapses of Chicago politicians is a mystery that is best left to future generations to study. But for the time being, just be glad that the Bill of Rights is about to be restored to another American city.


Cheryl said...

And no offense but why make it even harder for those of us that are law abiding citizens to buy a gun. What about those people that don't have a current utility bill to show residence. The only thing I have that has my name is my Drivers license. I don't pay utilities where I live. The only other thing that has my name is my disabled placard paperwork that also comes from the DMV. If you really want to do a check to see if someone is eligible to have a gun just do a DOJ check. Its that simple. Trust those of us that live in California jump through more hoops than most to buy a gun and well they have the same arguments that you bring up on why guns should be banned.

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