Monday, August 27, 2007

29 Counties in Illinois Stand Against Further Gun Laws

Yes, they're non-binding. The point of the resolutions are to show the governor and the Cook County elected officials that their love of excessive gun laws should stay in Cook County. The board members in Pike and Brown Counties have put their counties on record saying that the Cook County legislators need to stop thinking that their laws work for everyone. All of the gun laws that Governor Blagojevich wants to sign will have a deleterious effect for anyone trying to buy spare parts or extra magazines for their preferred guns.

Using myself as an example, I do competitive practical shooting with handguns at this time and in the future I'd like to expand that to 3-gun matches. 3-Gun matches test your skills with handguns, rifles and shotguns. A full course will have you firing multiple magazines of ammunition from your rifle, so 30-round magazines are a plus. I understand why some Cook County types get antsy around semi-automatic weapons such as the ones based off of the AR-15/M-16 platform. These are built on the same pattern as rifles used by military and police forces. Gangs want these weapons as well, though they'd rather have the fully-automatic versions instead. Contrary to popular belief it is not easy to convert a semi-automatic version of the AR-15 to a select-fire or automatic-only operation. In most cases it's downright impossible without access to a machine shop, and even then you will most likely destroy the lower receiver before you make it a functioning automatic rifle. Nonetheless, these weapons scare the living daylights out of politicians, because of their cosmetic features. It appears that they'll try to restrict the number of rounds fired instead since banning the guns outright is a non-starter. All this does is drive up sales of rifle magazines. If I were a conspiracy theorist, I'd say the Democrats were getting kickbacks from gunmakers to drive up their sales. I'm not a conspiracy theorist, however.

The main reason Cook County pols do this stuff is to placate their voters. A kid gets shot when criminal activity occurs, the people in said victim's neighborhood go out in front of the cameras and demand that something be done, so the pols put together a law that affects the entire state. Meanwhile, another kid gets shot, and the pols get pressure from religious "community leaders" to ban all guns. The pols try passing a law while another kid gets shot. The pols got those laws passed, so they get re-elected. It doesn't mean that all violence ceases. It just means that more people are unable to defend themselves and get their assailants to back off. Laws which do little to empower the law-abiding get passed and weaken the common people to further predations by criminals. If Cook County wants to force every city, town, and village to be a gun-free community, they need to ensure that the law goes no further than the the Cook County line.

Sangamon County needs to step up and pass a resolution similar to Pike County's resolution. Sangamon County is the home to the state capitol, and it would be a great win for the gun-rights crowd. It might also embolden other counties in Central Illinois to do the same. Seventy counties out of 102 saying "no more" may only be a blip to the politicians who only look out for their neighborhoods, but it's a large enough blip to make them take a second look. The resolution-setting crowd would do well to focus on counties like Sangamon, Macon, McLean and Peoria. Getting these counties on board will help to spread the idea that Cook County needs to police its own messes in its own territory before dictating to others how they should live.

I've only had the pleasure of driving through Pike countys on my way to some Knights of Columbus events in Quincy, though I've wanted to stop by PASA Park to check out its shooting ranges. A trip may be necessary some weekend.

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