Op-ed raises excellent points on IL assault weapon ban

Op-ed raises excellent points on IL assault weapon ban
AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

Illinois is desperate to pass an assault weapon ban, ostensibly in response to the tragedy in Highland Park back in July.

Once again, lawmakers are blaming the weapon used rather than the myriad of failures that led to the deadly shootings. It’s almost amusing how often we find the system supposedly put in place to prevent these shootings not working, and so lawmakers use those failures to create more laws that won’t work.

Yet a recent op-ed from the Land of Lincoln makes some interesting points about the measure up for discussion there.

As I was traveling visiting friends and family when I received a notification on my phone that read “House passes new ban on high-powered weapons, large capacity magazines”. The article went on to state: “Already-possessed guns on the list of weapons could be kept, but they would need to be registered with Illinois State Police within 300 days, ABC 7 reported.” Illinois House passes new ban on high-powered weapons, large-capacity magazines (dailyherald.com). What I find a bit contradicting is what happens to those who don’t register their firearms, commit crimes and end up back on the streets? Who is this law really targeting and is it more political theater, which I believe we are all tired of watching at this point.

It’s a fair question. We know the bad guys won’t register their so-called assault weapons, so why does it matter?

So what does the author think we should do instead?

Well, he tells us.

In the village of Orland Park, they are adopting an interagency program with the ATF to get guns and offenders off the street. It’s a program similar to one I advocated for as a congressional candidate that was referred to as “Project Exile” in Richmond VA or Face 5 in Atlanta GA. The program has demonstrated up to 50% reductions in homicides in these areas starting in the mid to late 90’s. “Project Exile was formally initiated in February 1997 when indictments of the first group of Project Exile defendants for Federal firearm offenses were announced. Project Exile is based on the principle that, if police catch a criminal in Richmond with a gun, the criminal has forfeited his or her right to remain in the community and, as such, will face immediate Federal prosecution and stiff mandatory Federal prison sentences.” Project Exile, U.S. Attorney’s Office — Eastern District of Virginia (ojp.gov)

Now, I’ve got some concerns here, but they’re relatively minor.

Instead, this idea is to go after those who represent an actual problem in the community. After all, we know that most cities only have a problem with a small group of individuals, most of whom are already known to law enforcement.

These are the same people who are usually causing trouble.

However, since a lot of these people were released from prison due to concerns over COVID, it’s unsurprising that they’ve been causing all kinds of problems since then.

A program like this focuses not on some idea that certain guns are somehow problematic but instead that certain people are the issue.

Since people are the problem, that just makes sense.