As predicted immediately following the recent 2nd Amendment Supreme Court ruling, the gun banning crowd is right back at their attempts to abridge your God given rights as citizens of the United States. Once again, the attempt is to make owning a gun so cost or time prohibitive that people will “voluntarily” disarm. No other inalienable right do you have to pay and register to obtain. The very thought of registering for a right is offensive to the concept of liberty and the Bill of Rights. However, your right to self defense is a pay of service right, at least to the city of Chicago. Years and years of virtual gun bans in the city have done nothing except turn a criminal class loose on the unprepared public. Chicago leads the nation is number of murders a year. Obviously these gun banning schemes can not realistically be viewed as being in the interest of public safety.
Grumbling about a U.S. Supreme Court they say is out of touch with America’s cities, Chicago aldermen voted 45-0 today to approve a rushed-through compromise gun ban.
The law, weaker than the gun ban tossed out Monday but with some even stronger new provisions, allows adults in Chicago to buy one gun a month, 12 a year, but they must pay registration and permit fees and take five hours of training.
Within 100 days, anyone who wants to keep a gun in the city will have to register, get their training and pay the fees. Also within 100 days, any of the estimated 10,000 Chicagoans convicted of a gun offense will have to register at their local police station like sex offenders.
Police Supt. Jody Weis said that new list of where criminals live in Chicago will help police do their jobs: “Armed with knowledge is our greatest asset,” Weis said.
Chicago’s ban was the nation’s strictest. While New York City, Washington, D.C., Baltimore and other cities have adopted some of the provisions Chicago enacted today, Mayor Daley and his city attorney Mara Georges did not dispute that these gun restrictions are probably the nation’s “most comprehensive.”
The aldermen did not hold back their contempt for the five members of the U.S. Supreme Court who threw out the city’s gun ban Monday.
“No Supreme Court judge could live in my community and come to the same conclusion they did a couple days ago,” Ald. Sharon Denise Dixon (24th) said.
“I find it hard to believe that the Supreme Court justices that voted to strike our handgun laws have spent any time in the communities that many of us represent,” Ald. Toni Preckwinkle (4th) said.
“There’s no way if they knew the violence our young people face every day that they could decide this was a reasonable course of action.”
The court ruled Monday that the 2nd Amendment, which states, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed” means that Chicago cannot prohibit residents from keeping handguns in their homes.
Ald. Mary Ann Smith (48th) said that law was written for militias and, “they guaranteed the right to carry around muskets not Uzis.”
But Ald. Ed Burke (14th) retorted, “We can disagree with the Supreme Court all we want, but … this is the law and we’re going to have to follow it.”
Burke even went so far as to say perhaps the 1982 gun ban he championed earlier in his career went too far.
“I have to confess that back in 1982, when I was chair of the police committee that perhaps I and so many others that voted in favor of this ordinance exhibited too much ardor for the ban and we perhaps we should have been more sensitive to weighing the rights of legitimate citizens to have weapons.”
Burke spearheaded the drive to include the registry of gun offenders, which he notes New York City and Baltimore have. He defended the provision against Ald. Howard Brookins (21st), who said it might unfairly taint someone arrested for accidentally leaving the perimeter of their home with his or her registered gun.
“All the gang-bangers out there who have been convicted of gun offenses who think that they can flaunt this law, they’re going to be locked up,” Burke said. “Each day that you don’t register, it’s a separate offense. If you don’t register for 365 days, that’s 365 offenses.”
The city can lock someone up for up to six months, Georges said,
“If someone wants to come and take your daughter out on a date, don’t you have an legitimate interest in knowing whether or not that person. . .has been convicted of an aggravated battery with a gun?” Burke asked.
At the beginning of the week, Daley and Georges hoped to introduce an ordinance allowing residents to own just one handgun. But as the week went on and city lawyers assessed their chances of getting these laws held up under the Supreme Court’s new decision, they watered it down.
It’s still too strict for gun rights activists who spoke before the meeting. Georges said she fully expects to be challenged in court but she expects the package of laws will pass muster.
Gun rights activists point to statistics showing that jurisdictions that allow people to keep guns in their homes see drops in violent crime. But the aldermen unanimously rejected that claim, saying experts who testified before City Council committees this week convinced them that statistic is flawed.
“If people bothered to read as opposed to getting their news from the ‘Tea Party Times,’ they would understand and see that there is more harm done by the proliferation of handguns than there is benefit,” said Ald. Freddrenna Lyle (6th).