The Chicago Way: Just pass another gun ban

Chicago has always had a bit of a problem with federal controls. Remember all that trouble Elliott Ness had getting any cooperation when Capone ran things (in the movie, at least)?

Well, the Chicago alderman made it really clear how little they thought of the Supreme Court striking down the city’s gun control law Monday.

The rest of the nation, pro- and anti-gun, talked and talked about it. But that’s not the Chicago Way. They’re into action.

The aldermen didn’t even let the week pass before they passed a new one, 45 to zip:

Grumbling about a U.S. Supreme Court they say is out of touch with America’s cities, Chicago aldermen voted 45-0 today to approve a rushed-through compromise gun ban.
The law, weaker than the gun ban tossed out Monday but with some even stronger new provisions, allows adults in Chicago to buy one gun a month, 12 a year, but they must pay registration and permit fees and take five hours of training.
Within 100 days, anyone who wants to keep a gun in the city will have to register, get their training and pay the fees. Also within 100 days, any of the estimated 10,000 Chicagoans convicted of a gun offense will have to register at their local police station like sex offenders.
Police Supt. Jody Weis said that new list of where criminals live in Chicago will help police do their jobs: “Armed with knowledge is our greatest asset,” Weis said.

What did ya think Chicago was gonna do? Lie down and whimper in frustration? Not the City of Big Shoulders.

How about that? Y’all go ahead and discuss this, but please — no gunplay.

12 thoughts on “The Chicago Way: Just pass another gun ban

  1. Kathryn Fenner

    A friend’s boyfriend had his eye shot out on one of the expressways—just a bystander–or by-rider—

    I believe in a well-regulated militia, not individual whack-jobs with handguns and worse. The Supremes messed up on this one (and campaign finance, too)

  2. Michael P.

    I’m one well-regulated individual who has enough to arm a militia, if that makes you feel better.

  3. Bart

    Not being a whack-job, I own handguns and a shotgun or two. So far, I have resisted the temptation to ride around, indiscriminately shooting at people, putting their eye out.

    As a gun owner and defender of the 2nd amendment, like the overwhelming majority of like-minded Americans, we do not take the responsibility of gun ownership lightly nor do we treat guns with disrespect. We fully realize what harm they can do if placed in the hands of persons who want to do harm. Even though the neighborhood I live in is relatively crime-free, my home was broken into several years ago. Now, I have a gun close-by and if someone tries it again, it may be the last criminal act they commit. For that, I do not apologize nor do I make excuses to anyone.

    But, then again, anything can be used for harmful purposes if one desires to do so. Should we outlaw knives because they can be used to stab another person to death or used to slice up the face of a woman by an angry significant other? All too often on crime shows, the weapon of choice is a bat or some object other than a gun.

    Then you have the ever dangerous scissors, especially dangerous if you try running with them in your hand. Remember our parents warnings?

    Years ago, my brother-in-law was driving on the freeway, heading into Detroit on business. As he approached a pedestrian overpass, a brick was thrown from it and it went through his windshield, almost blinding him. Instead of outlawing bricks, enclosures were built to prevent the use of a brick or similar objects for harmful purposes, or at least throwing them into fast moving traffic.

    If you want to do something about violent acts committed with guns, then prosecute the hell out of anyone using a gun in the commission of a crime. Add 20 years to life if a gun is used during the commission of a robbery. Put some teeth in the law, don’t go after the average citizen because they happen to believe in or engage in gun ownership.

    The Supremes got it right.

  4. Kathryn Fenner

    How many people or their CHILDREN are killed each year by their own handguns?

    What if some poor innocent soul stumbles into the wrong armed household?

    In countries where guns are highly regulated, the criminals have many fewer guns.

    Unlike knives or scissors, there’s no reason to have a gun except to kill or intimidate. A handgun, in particular, exists solely to kill humans.

    Hunting rifles, I’m cool with, so long as proper training has been had…but so often it is not.

  5. Bart

    @ Kathryn,

    You are absolutely right. Handguns are generally meant to kill or intimidate. If someone tries to break into my home, I have all intentions of either intimidating the criminal with my handgun and if the criminal is not intimidated and still comes in, then, guess what? No more criminal.

    Maybe you have been lucky and no one has violated your home by breaking in to steal. My wife was plain lucky. When she arrived home from work, she noticed the glass in the side entry door was broken and she went to the closest phone and called the sheriff’s office. When she returned to the house, the front door was open. The S.O.B.s were in the house when she first arrived. Not only that, but they had already broken in that morning and had come back for more in the afternoon.

    Walk a mile in my shoes and then get back to me.

    As far as the number of people killed accidentally each year by guns, the average is between 600 and 700 each year and approximately half is from legal intervention.

    Sure, it is a tragedy when a child is accidentally shot with a gun. No doubt about it. My best friend in grade school shot and killed his younger brother by accident. It affected him for his entire life. Tommy was a great kid and the three of us had a lot of fun.

    The average gun owner hopes beyond hope they never have to use their weapon. I don’t ever want to use mine but if necessary I will.

  6. Kathryn Fenner

    @ Bart– I supposed if I didn’t have two big dogs, and dog snot six feet up on my front door sidelights, I’d be more concerned. I guess the concern is that either your gun is handy all the time, in which case it’s handy for the wrong people, too–kids and crooks, or it’s not handy because it’s appropriately locked up.

    Say your wife comes home and finds a similar situation. Does she have her gun drawn every time she comes home? If so, what about purse snatchers? What about those times when she leaves her bag unattended for just a second, or things fall out (my phone has a habit of doing that in my bag–same issue–you want to be able to grab it quickly, yet not fall out or be easy for others to snatch)…

    I live in a higher crime area of the central city, near the University. Even with the dogs, I lock my doors all the time–regardless of whether I am home alone or not. I have an attached garage that I can close the door on before exiting my car. I have automated front porch lights. I know my residential patrol officer.

  7. Kathryn Fenner

    Another issue is the public use of firearms—not just on your own propitty, but the sort of Wild West shootouts where the bad guys get taken down by a conveniently armed citizen bystander…I don’t want to live in the Wild West, and I don’t trust most of my fellow citizens to have very good aim, so I’d really rather everyone not start shooting armed aggressors, even if it might save my life. If you want to carry a firearm and be “licensed to kill,” you need to demonstrate your shooting skills and your ability to determine appropriate use of force first–like a sworn officer!

  8. Brad

    First — well, I don’t really want to get into what I think about gun control, because it would just get both sides mad at me. And the gun lovers REALLY mad.

    But to react to what Kathryn just said — even if you’re trained and highly skillful, shooting in a crowd is not advised. In fact, if you’re well-trained, you won’t shoot.

    But there are those rare — exceedingly rare, as in there’s more chance of your being hit by lightning than of finding yourself in such a situation — cases in which having a lot of citizens packing heat would be a good thing. Such as a Virginia Tech shooting.

    Of course, in some of those cases, unarmed people could take down the shooter if enough of them tried. It’s just that it would take suicidal bravery. And people quite naturally want to keep their heads down at such times.

    I was flabbergasted at the account I heard on the radio of a kid who was there during the VT shootings. He was in the room with the killer, lying on the floor expecting to be killed at any moment, and lying next to a girl who was indeed wounded. He tells of what it was like lying there in great detail — including LISTENING TO THE GUY RELOADING.

    I tend to think that at such a moment I would rush the guy, throwing a desk, a trash can, a backpack, anything handy at him to distract him from reloading while I closed the distance — not out of bravery on my part, but out of frustration, anger, indignation. If I was already sure I was going to die, why not die taking HIM down?

    But maybe not. Maybe I’d be paralyzed. But it seems that somebody would get crazy and rush the guy. I don’t know.

  9. Kathryn Fenner

    I understand that in such moments, it is common to be paralyzed by shock.

    The problem with the infinitesimally probable example you describe is that in order for it to work, you have to have people walking around with guns *handy*–people who may well overreact to much less clear-cut instances.

    In law school, we spent a fair amount of time analyzing the use of force–how much and when….I imagine they do in police academies and military training as well, yet look at how often the police or the military get it “wrong”….

  10. Doug Ross

    Naturally, I believe that anyone who wants a gun should be able to own one (or ten or fifty). But using one in any sort of criminal activity should result in a mandatory jail sentence that is measured in years.

    A person has every right to defend his home from intruders to whatever degree he feels is necessary. If someone enters my house and threatens me or my family, he should do that knowing the potential consequences of his action.

    Here’s some death statistics for 2006:

    642 deaths by accident firearms discharge. 698 people died by drowning in swimming pools. Maybe we should ban swimming pools?

  11. Bart

    This discussion is going a little further than it should.

    I don’t walk around with a gun drawn, waiting to shoot the bad guys. I don’t carry one on my hip, ready to fastdraw with any varmit who “gits in my way”, and I do follow the rules as a responsible gun owner.

    Unstable people go on rampages like VT. In a collegiate environment, one expects to be safe from harm and when a real whack-job goes on a killing spree, no one is prepared.

    Keeping a gun at home for protection is not the same thing. Mine is kept in a safe place during the day and we keep the doors locked with the alarm on. We depend upon these measures first and a gun for self-defense as a measure of last resort.

    This is the way 99% of gun owners handle their weapons. It is the 1% that creates the problem. If someone is intent on killing or doing harm, they will find a way.

    We know what each thinks or believes about the subject. I will live with mine and respect yours.

  12. Kristin Sinclair

    the greater the number of guns, the greater potential for gun shot wounds.
    Which country has the highest level of citizen gun ownership.
    Which country has the highest level of school shooting incidence.
    Which country has one of the highest levels of the population fearing harm from others with armed weapons when their home land is not under current occupation by armed militia from another country.
    Is there any common denominator to the answers to these questions.


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