Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Chicago City Council Bans Shooting Ranges, Endangers Public

In last week's historic case of McDonald v. City of Chicago, the city lost the right to ban citizens from owning handguns. But the council apparently believes they still have to right to make sure citizens won't know how to safely and accurately use handguns:

Four days after the U.S. Supreme Court gutted Chicago’s longtime handgun ban, the City Council on Friday enacted a whole new set of gun-control measures. . . And the ordinance outright bans gun sales, firing ranges and shooting galleries in the city.

For public officials ostensibly concerned with public safety, banning firing ranges and other venues for legal target practice is the worst possible thing they could have done. Rather than make the streets safer, this vote virtually guarantees that citizens exercising their constitutional right to own a hand-gun will not have sufficient opportunity to become proficient--and therefore safe--in the use of a handgun.

But no one need pretend that this bill has anything to do with gun safety--even some of the councilors who voted for it admitted to the charade:

Alderman [sic] voted 45-0 in favor even as some of them acknowledged how little the restrictions would do to quell violent crime . . . Several aldermen, however, said the ordinance is more likely to affect responsible, law-abiding gun owners than the thugs causing mayhem on hot weekend nights . . .

“You cannot legislate criminals, they are going to be criminals no matter what,” said Ald. Ed Smith, 28th. “And the people who intend to do crime, they are going to do it in whatever manner they can. They are going to get a gun wherever they can. And they are going to use it. And they are not going to register their gun.”

And yet Alderman Smith and the others voted for it 45-to-0! Such is the power of the Daley machine to squelch democratic (small d and big D!) debate that not a single member of the council had the nerve to vote for their convictions or for the safety or civil rights of their constituents. The situation speaks for itself.