Illegal guns are always going to be a problem. No matter how much gun control you push, criminals will create pathways around it. In fact, more gun control actually makes the illicit arms trade more profitable, thus potentially making the issue even worse.
However, some people don’t see it that way. They can’t imagine a world where gun control doesn’t actually work and they can make some of the most inane statements saying as much.
Sometimes, those people are the editorial board of the Chicago Sun-Times.
Illinois can’t stop all the crime guns that flow into the state, but it can keep some firearms out of the hands of the criminals who take so many lives and hurt so many. Legislation known as the Block Illegal Ownership bill would close some of the loopholes. In 2020, it passed in the Illinois House, but the Senate failed to act on it during the pandemic.
Gun safety advocates are planning a press conference and a digital day of action on Thursday with gun violence survivors to try to get the BIO bill across the finish line. If they fail, it could be another two years before the Legislature takes another serious look at the legislation. There’s always an election coming up or some other excuse not to act.
The BIO bill has several components, but the two most critical are requiring mandatory fingerprints for people getting Firearms Owners Identification cards and universal background checks by a federally licensed gun dealer for person-to-person sales. Those measures can help stop criminals from getting easy access to guns.
Honestly, only the truly stupid could possibly think this will do much of anything.
Fingerprinting for FOID cards might have stopped the Aurora, Illinois shooting from taking place, maybe, but how many of Chicago’s criminals have FOID cards? Seriously, how many have been arrested and actually had a FOID card of any kind, valid or not?
Yeah, that’s just what I thought.
The illicit trade of guns in Chicago is, in part, driven by the fact that criminals want guns and the government doesn’t want the criminals to have them. So, someone decides to meet that demand, much as they do for any other illicit item. You’re not going to stop it.
Nor are you going to force illegal gun dealers to conduct background checks. I mean, they’re already breaking the law intentionally. Do you think they’ll balk at breaking one more?
All the BIO bill will accomplish is making it just that much more difficult for law-abiding citizens to get a firearm. It does nothing to the criminals who are causing all of the problems in Chicago and have for years.
The problem is that politicians in Illinois and the media are unified in trying to blame their issues on other states when the problem is so much more localized.
After all, it wouldn’t matter what gun laws were in Indiana or anywhere else if there wasn’t a criminal element demanding those firearms in the first place.
Until/unless the city of Chicago and the state of Illinois address that, then there’s really no way you’re not going to see violence continue regardless of what new gun control laws get passed.
Violence isn’t as simple as people think. It’s a complex issue with complex causes, but none of those causes are the availability of firearms. A gun is not a problem if there’s no will to use it to hurt other people. Fix that and you fix the problem for good.
Unfortunately, that’s difficult and we can’t have that in Illinois. I mean, it might make sense and actually accomplish something other than gun control, and some parties such as this editorial board simply can’t tolerate that.