Chicago, IL—Chicago’s gun registration efforts began in 1968. Since then thousands of guns were registered by the most upstanding and law-abiding citizens.
How many crimes were solved because of the registration program you ask? Nobody can cite a single instance of serious crime being solved.
Police have looked to see if expired registrations were renewed and made life Hell for those who failed to notice the expirations.
Of course the records were used and abused by nosy bureaucrats and cops checking on their own neighbors from time to time.
The state has a much more effective Firearms Owner Identification system that citizens are required to obtain before they can possess firearm or ammunition. Those cards, the personal information and photos of the bearers provide law enforcement with plenty of information.
The rub here is the people that bother to obtain the FOID cards behave themselves rather well. The FOID records don’t exist for criminals since they never obtain them.
There are two separate U.S. Supreme Court opinions that have held that, convicted felons cannot be forced to register or submit applications that reveal they have firearms! The reason is that registration violates their right against self-incrimination.
Gun registration has become a pointless and meaningless concept if criminals can’t be charged with failure to register the guns that are forbidden to own. Registration laws should have been repealed after the two rulings but they managed to live on.
What’s needed in Illinois is a pre-emption law barring local governments from creating a patchwork of laws nobody can keep up with. The FOID system is intrusive, cumbersome and unconstitutional. You simply can’t be forced to obtain a license to exercise a right. Despite the objectionable nature of the FOID law, gun owners have accepted it with few grumbles except for delays in processing them.
Often people say you need a license to drive a car and requiring one to own a gun seems reasonable. The same people forget that driving a car is not a right but a privilege. Owning and carrying a gun is a right.
Mayor Rham Emanuel would serve Chicago well to convince the City Council to simply eliminate the gun laws of Chicago. The rank and file cops understand only too well Chicago’s gun laws only victimize the law-abiding. It has cost taxpayer a bundle defending Mayor Richard M. Daley’s over-emotional and unlawful personal gun philosophy.
Mayor Emanuel would gain some real respect from the Chicago police officers by taking this step. He’d buy even more credit by staying out of the concealed weapon debate.
Mayor Emanuel needs to visit police districts and solicit ideas from the cops on the street. Rank and file cops can help Emanuel get a handle on department problems much better than those schizophrenic political creatures with gold stars. Most gold star ranked officers are to frightened to tell the mayor anything they think he might not want to hear. Beat cops will be much more straight forward. I have been trying to imagine a day with the morale of the cops was at an all time high rather than in the basement.
I have placed Barack Obama’s baggage on Emanuel because he was the Whitehouse Chief of Staff. Perhaps that was hasty and unfair. Mayor Emanuel can reduce city government and figure creative ways to bring employers and taxpayers back into the city. There is nothing preventing him from being a great mayor except to repeat the same mistakes of the past.
So far Mayor Emanuel seems to be an improvement over what Chicago had on City Hall's fifth floor during the last few decades.