S0-called “gun violence” is a problem. Let me be clear about it. Then again, any kind of violence is a problem. If you lose someone to violence, you’re not going to feel better because they were killed in an explosion or stabbed 43 times. The weapon used is far less important than the fact that someone you love was injured or killed.
And yet, there are those who seem to think that gun control isn’t just an answer to violence, but the only possible answer.
This idea, as misguided as it may sound, popped up again in a story about the anniversary of someone killed in a driveby shooting. It seems that the problem is that Chicago just doesn’t have enough gun control.
Raul Montes Jr., a community activist who organized the rally on Sunday, said Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx is too lenient on offenders and that Mayor Lori Lightfoot is not doing enough to keep police officers safe amid recent incidents of looting and civil unrest. The city needs better gun control and better policy to end soaring gun violence, Montes said.
Now, up until that last sentence, I was sitting here nodding along with Montes’ points. Far too many violent offenders are getting back out on the streets and creating more chaos and strife in their wakes.
Yet the last sentence is what gets me. Better gun control? Honestly, what does that even mean?
After all, the state of Illinois requires all law-abiding citizens to get a license just to purchase a firearm. Further, all lawful gun sales must go through a licensed gun dealer so a NICS background check can be performed. There’s literally no law that can be put in place that would do more to restrict guns than these besides, maybe, outright bans.
And yet, criminals still get guns in Chicago.
See, the problem with Montes’ thinking on gun control is that it always feels like you need just one more gun control law on the books. Just one more new rule and maybe then the streets will be safe. All it will take is just one more restriction and everything will be better.
Then they get it.
They get the new rule they want and nothing changes. Nothing’s better. Violence still plagues the streets and the police simply can’t stop it. So these folks look to their legislators and demand yet another gun control law.
The thing is, gun control will perpetually be a case of needing just one more law. Proponents will continue to claim they need another law and another law until there’s nothing left for them to take.
Meanwhile, the criminals have figured out how to bypass these new regulations before the ink is even dry on them. That is if they even bother. Most illegal gun transactions are black market anyway, which means the new laws don’t do a thing to hurt them.
Yet proponents will continue agitating for just one more law. Always just another law or two and then all will be well.
It never is and it never will be.