An editorial in the Chicago Sun Times demanding “stronger federal laws to reduce gun violence” complains about guns crossing state lines and showing up at Windy City crime scenes completely ignores the most important part of the city’s homicide equation.
All of those murders are being committed by people who live in the city, regardless where they get the firearms. At least some of the perpetrators have had criminal records prohibiting them from legally possessing guns, yet they are on the streets, with guns obtained illegally.
Criminals ignore background check requirements. That was repeated several times during Wednesday’s House debate on H.R. 8, the “universal background check” bill. Proponents of the bill were deaf to the argument.
The newspaper editorial is also alarmed that “in more than a dozen states, lawmakers have introduced legislation to nullify new federal laws designed to reduce gun violence.”
“Some state bills would even penalize police officers and others who work with federal law enforcement or dare to enforce the federal laws,” the Sun Times complained. “That’s a problem for every state, given how guns later connected to crimes flow across borders. In Illinois, 60% of guns that turn up at crime scenes are traced to sources outside the state.”
Lest anyone not understand this, it’s illegal trafficking in firearms. There is a law prohibiting this illegal commerce, but that evidently hasn’t prevented it from happening. Likewise, there is a law against homicide, another law against assault with a firearm, yet these crimes continue in Chicago and elsewhere. There is a message and perhaps a moral in that, say gun rights activists.
The editorial observes, “A record number of people in the United States — at least 19,223 — were killed by guns in 2020.” But according to the Second Amendment community, that’s erroneous because guns don’t kill anybody on their own. It’s the perpetrator using the firearm who does the killing, same as knives, blunt instruments, baseball bats, bricks and other weapons don’t kill anyone, either.
The notion that one more law, at the federal level, mandating background checks on virtually all firearms transfers is going to change this is nonsense, according to grassroots gun rights advocates.
Those same activists have repeatedly challenged gun control proponents to explain what they will do next when—not “if”—the current proposals do not work. Instead of repealing these laws, they will apparently want something even more restrictive.
Gun owners are alarmed that members of Congress think H.R. 8 is just the first step. The timing is “ripe.” That was underscored by remarks from Congresswoman Lucy McBath of Georgia, who was quoted by the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
“It’s not going to be easy, but I truly believe that now is the time,” McBath said Monday. “And the country is really, really ripe. I cannot tell you how many people every week I’m talking to that are anxiously waiting for us to pass legislation. They are tired; they are afraid.”