AP Photo/Michael Conroy
Someone once said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again while expecting a different result. I’ve argued that gun control efforts fit that definition perfectly. Every time a law fails to do what it is supposed to do, anti-gun activists demand more laws.
Such is the case in Illinois after the workplace shooting in Aurora. Despite Illinois’ strict requirements for background checks, the shooter–a convicted felon–passed, not just the background check to obtain a Firearm Owner’s Identification (FOID) Card, but also the NICS check the dealer performed when he purchased his weapon.
The failure wasn’t in too few laws being in place. The laws didn’t work.
Now, anti-gun activists in Illinois want what anti-gun activists always want: More laws!
A group of concerned Chicago area moms boarded a bus early Wednesday morning with the goal of convincing lawmakers to fix the FOID Act.
Advocates are rallying for legislation that would close some loop holes in the Firearm Owner Identification card process.
“I think this is realistic reform that many people can get behind. We are trying to fix the gaps in the FOID to make sure people with violent criminal histories cannot have firearms,” stated Laura Singer of the Gun Violence Prevention PAC.
The bill comes in the wake of the Aurora workplace shooting that killed five people. The shooter’s FOID card had been revoked, but his gun was never confiscated.
“We are going to give the state police the authority and the ability to take care of that,” said Illinois State Rep. Kathleen Willis, D- Addison.
So, the law that anti-gunners demanded didn’t work, so now they want yet another law to try and “fix” it.
The problem occurred because another state failed to update the relevant databases with the killer’s information. Nothing Illinois can do will change that…except by complicating the process to such a degree that it creates a serious infringement on people’s rights.
For example, this increases the fee from $10 to $50, thus increasing the cost to exercise one’s Second Amendment rights. It also reduces the length of time a FOID is valid from 10 years to just five.
How that would have kept the gunman from purchasing a handgun is beyond me.
Further, the proposal calls for potential gun buyers to be fingerprinted like criminals, all while ignoring that the killer in Aurora never tried to hide who he was. How would fingerprinting help? I mean, it might if he’d been using an alias to obtain his firearms, but he didn’t. So far as I’ve heard, he provided all the correct information, it just never popped up on either background check.
So, like most knee-jerk legislation proposed after a mass shooting, it doesn’t address anything approaching the problem. It lets lawmakers strut around pretending they’re accomplishing something without making a meaningful difference.
That would be fine if it didn’t also infringe on the civil liberties of people who had nothing to do with the Aurora shooting. Since it does, it’s a problem.
This is Illinois, and I’d be shocked if this doesn’t pass.