While guns are easier to obtain legally in Chicago than they used to be, it’s still not “easy” to get a gun and comply with the law. For the criminals, though, it’s never much of a stretch. They have numerous sources for illegal guns and they’re more than willing to avail themselves of all of those.

An Arkansas man was sentenced to seven years in prison for his role in helping to provide those guns.

An Arkansas man was sentenced to more than seven years in prison for buying guns in his home state to sell illegally in Chicago and the southwest suburbs.

U.S. District Judge Ronald A. Guzman sentenced 28-year-old Klint Kelley of Malvern, Arkansas, to seven years and three months in federal prison on Wednesday, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Kelley pleaded guilty earlier this year to one federal count of unlawfully engaging in the business of dealing firearms and one count of selling firearms to a known felon.

The buyer was a childhood friend of Kelley’s who had turned informant for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. He was arrested in a sting operation after the Chicago Ridge sale.

Some friend, right?

The fact of the matter was that Kelley had to know what he was doing was illegal and now he’s going to prison for it. I’m sorry, but I don’t have a lot of sympathy for him. While I’m often skeptical of the ATF and how some of their informant work, it doesn’t negate the fact that Kelley still broke the law.

However, let’s also face one very simple fact here. Only an idiot would think Kelley is the sole source of guns to the Chicago area.

Anywhere there is a market for a product, that product will exist. It’s why the free market works, after all. In Chicago, people who can’t buy guns legally are a huge market, and because they are, someone will provide products to sell to that market. It’s why all the gun control efforts in Illinois have done little to curb the violence in Chicago.

Kelley isn’t the problem, he’s a symptom. He’s a symptom of a criminal culture that wants guns, cares nothing for gun laws, and will pay whatever they have to in order to arm themselves. If it hadn’t been Kelley, it would have been someone else. It’s just that simple.

If you somehow prevent guns from coming in from anywhere in the country, they’ll start flowing in from outside the country, same as drugs. In fact, the cartels will become gun runners on top of drug smugglers. They’ll get the guns into the country, get them into criminals’ hands, and never lose a wink of slip.

The problem of armed criminals won’t go away.

Instead, we need to spend more time looking at why they become criminals in the first place and work to reverse that trend. We need to find the roots of violence and then unroot it, so to speak. Then, you deal with violence without infringing on the rights of law-abiding Americans in the first place.