Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Trying to ban the un-banable

It will be interesting to hear the debate that comes up Wednesday when the City Council takes up the cause of amending the ordinances that restrict firearm ownership and usage within the city limits.

The City Council will be Windier than usual on Wednesday. Photograph by Gregory Tejeda
The outcome is already known. These ordinances are the casualties of the Illinois government effort earlier this year to bring the concept of “concealed carry” to the state – a concept that goes contrary to what the city was trying to accomplish all these years.

SO THE ACTIONS to be taken by all the aldermen (and which were recommended Monday by the council’s Public Safety Committee) on Wednesday will be to repeal much of what has passed for local law in recent decades.

But will we get a collection of aldermen who want to rant and rage and whine and complain about the horrid act they are about to do – but will still do anyway because, in a sense, it’s already done!

The council will merely go along and create an ordinance that complies with state law.

All the rhetoric we’re going to hear on Wednesday is going to be a complete waste of time – except to the political people who just enjoy hearing themselves speak! Almost as if they think they’ll die if they don’t engage in endless debate.

I DO FIND it interesting to learn that the National Rifle Association has its objections to what the City Council plans to pass. Because it seems the Chicago response to having a “concealed carry” measure being rammed down our collective throat is to ensure that the people who feel completely insecure if they can’t have a pistol tucked in their waistband or in a shoulder holster under their jacket don’t get any more use of their weapons in public than the state law requires.

It seems that NRA officials are determined to find ways in which the city ordinance is not as lax as the state law that became official this summer following Gov. Pat Quinn’s unsuccessful attempt to impose tougher restrictions on firearms use.

So we’re still going to get NRA “trash talk” about Chicago not fitting their vision of what our society ought to be like – which probably says more about their vision than it does our desires.

It also was interesting to learn of the council’s actions last week that were meant to ensure that Chicago’s legal attitude toward firearms was more restrictive than the rest of Illinois.

THE STATE LAW approved this year included provisions that require restaurants doing at least half of their business in alcohol sales to post signs saying that firearms are banned from the premises.

Even for those people who manage to get the police-issued permits that say someone can carry a pistol on their person.

The idea is to keep firearms out of taverns – which makes a lot of sense. Although the firearms advocates seem to feel so threatened about life that they even want their pistols on them while becoming steadily intoxicated.

It seems the council is trying to make sure that provision of state law gets strictly enforced by working on a measure that says businesses that get lax about enforcing such a ban WILL lose their liquor licenses!

NRA-TYPES ACTUALLY HAVE their objections to strict enforcement of such a measure – trying to claim that it results in circumvention of state law. “Two classes of citizens” is what they claim is being created.

The bottom line about all this is that everybody is going to be determined to spew their rhetoric. Everybody is going to keep a hard line viewpoint on this issue.

Which might be why it is ludicrous to think that we can ever have a single stance on firearms within Illinois – a state that has quite the urban, suburban and rural mixture of societal elements.

The sooner we can realize we need to agree to disagree, so to speak, the better off we all will be.


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