The state of Illinois has a plan. They think they’ve figured out the way to stop violence as a whole. Maybe. Who knows quite what they’re thinking here.

What we do know is that the state has a bill under consideration that will seek to bar people convicted of animal abuse from owning firearms.

A proposed first-of-its-kind law in the nation would ban gun ownership for anyone in Illinois convicted of animal abuse.

“People that have abused animals, every study has said they abuse women, they abuse children, they’re serial killers. … So what we’re saying is if you’re convicted of animal abuse, no guns for you the rest of your life,” says Jerry Elsner, executive director of the Illinois State Crime Commission.

Under the proposed law, those convicted of abusing an animal would be denied a Firearm Owners ID card, or have their current license revoked.

Elsner expects a stiff backlash but cited the old chestnut of how if it saves just one life, it’ll be worth it.

Not true. If that same law costs two lives, isn’t the cost too great? Or is the one life saved worth more than the two it costs?

Further, Elsner doesn’t understand science.

“People that have abused animals, every study has said they abuse women, they abuse children, they’re serial killers. … So what we’re saying is if you’re convicted of animal abuse, no guns for you the rest of your life,” says Jerry Elsner, executive director of the Illinois State Crime Commission.

No, that’s not what those studies generally say. What they say is that people who abuse others and become serial killers tend to abuse animals too. It doesn’t say that those who abuse animals go on to necessarily do all those things.

Keep in mind that there are various degrees of animal abuse. None of them are OK. None at all.

However, someone who is negligent about the care of their animals is very different from a guy who stabs a cat 43 times with a screwdriver. Both are exhibiting some very bad behavior, but only one do you figure will be found later with parts of four college co-eds stored in an ice chest under his bed.

Yet Elsner is using this bit of correlation data to try and create law, law that will ban people from ever exercising a civil liberty regardless of whatever other amends they make in life.

This is a problem.

It’s not a problem because I have some love for animal abusers. Far from it. It’s a problem because with every move anti-gun crusaders make to restrict who can buy a gun is an encroachment that will continue until checked. Today, it’s animal abusers. It’s a group that no one really wants to defend.

However, keep in mind that there are people in this country who consider hunters to be animal abusers.

As with anything, it becomes easy to shift the definition of a thing until it covers more and more people, people who were never even considered as such when the law was first written. Who will be next?

Further, Elsner uses the fact that those convicted of domestic abuse are already banned from gun ownership as an example of a group already blocked from firearm ownership. Do you think this won’t be used to justify the next group or the one after that? This incremental creep will likely continue with other groups of decreasing degrees of actual threat to society until almost everyone is part of some forbidden group, and that’s likely the goal.

They can’t outright ban gun ownership. But if you make it so everyone is part of some restricted group, well…what can you do?

So yeah, gun rights advocates are going to fight this, and for good reason.