Stand for the Second Amendment in the Land of Lincoln!

by Whitney Pitcher

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I’m not a gun enthusiast. I’ve never even shot a “real” gun. The closest thing I’ve used is a paintball gun or a nail gun. However, I am a constitution enthusiast, and even in my limited knowledge of world history, I’m aware of what has happens when guns are taken away from citizens. With all that in mind, I’d like to share some information about some pressing legislation that’s being proposed in Illinois that I originally posted at Illinois4Palin. While you may or may not live in Illinois, please be aware of this and be engaged if you so desire.

In writing his “Commonplace Book”, Thomas Jefferson quoted the Italian philosopher and legal scholar Cesare Beecaria’s book Of Crime and Punishments:

“Laws that forbid the carrying of arms … disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed one.”

Beccaria very well could have been describing present day Illinois where gun control often means the law abiding are punished for the actions of those who will continue to break gun laws no matter how numerous or restrictive. Despite having some of the most onerous gun laws in the country and currently being the only state in the union without some form of conceal and carry laws, Illinois’ largest city of Chicago had more than 500 homicides in 2012. Gun control is not evil control.

In mid December the US Court of Appeals declared Illinois’ ban on concealed carry unconstitutional and gave the state 180 days to craft ” a new gun law that will impose reasonable limitations, consistent with the public safety and the Second Amendment as interpreted in this opinion, on the carrying of guns in public”. For anti-gun proponents of Illinois, this judicially imposed deadline,the Chicago violence, the ineffably saddening shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, and a lame duck legislative session have provided the impetus to simultaneously meet the court’s demands while also restricting guns in new ways.

With the lame duck session ending on January 9th, the Illinois legislature is trying to ram through two pieces of legislation that would heavily restrict guns. The NRA’s Institute of Legislative Action notes several aspects of these bills that are particularly draconian:

Among other things, House Bill 815 would:

- Prohibit anyone without a FOID card from using a commercial shooting range, which in many cases would make it impossible to introduce new shooters to the safe and responsible use of firearms.

- Grant the State Police broad discretion to impose design, construction and operation standards that could shut down most commercial shooting ranges.

- Ban possession of magazines and other feeding devices that hold more than ten rounds of ammunition. A “grandfather clause” would require registration by owners of such devices and give the State Police discretion to impose and charge fees. Registration would require “proof of ownership” that could be impossible for most people to provide, and even registered owners could not transfer magazines within Illinois, except to an heir or a licensed dealer. Transfers of “grandfathered magazines” would have to be reported to the ISP.

- Violations of this magazine ban would be a felony. Failure to report theft or loss of a magazine would be a misdemeanor until the third violation, which would be a felony.

House Bill 1263 would:

- Ban, at a minimum, all detachable-magazine semi-automatic rifles and pistols. Remington 7400 deer rifles, Ruger 10/22 squirrel guns, Glocks, 1911s, etc. This ban would include about 80% of handguns now sold in the U.S.

- Possibly ban all semi-automatic rifles and even revolvers or single-shot pistols with the capacity to accept muzzle brakes or compensators.

- Ban “assault weapon attachments,” so possession of a thumbhole stock, a pistol grip,or a fore-end (a “shroud” that “partially or completely encircles the barrel”) would be a crime even if you didn’t possess a firearm.

- Ban all .50 BMG rifles.

- Contains “grandfather” provisions that would require registration by owners of devices and give the State Police discretion to impose and charge fees. Registration would require “proof of ownership.”

- Create felony penalties for violation of this ban on guns or attachments.

- Create lost and stolen penalties that would criminalize victims of gun theft

These bills moved out of the Senate’s public health committee on Wednesday, but have not been voted on in the Senate at this point. However, the Illinois House will discuss an additional gun control bill (SB 2899) and additional amendments when they reconvene Sunday. These overly restrictive bills do not seem to honor the court’s request for “reasonable” legislation. After all, what’s reasonable about disallowing citizens the opportunity to learn how to use a gun safely at a gun range?

Your voice can make a difference. Use your first amendment rights to re-affirm your support for the second. Please call or email your representatives to voice your support for the second amendment and your opposition for even more government impingement on our liberties. You can find contact information for your representative here. As this legislation is being discussed in Springfield and national legislation is being proposed as well, exercising the right to bear arms in Illinois shouldn’t only refer to Michelle Obama’s right to wear sleeveless dresses!

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Stand for the Second Amendment in the Land of Lincoln!

  1. Well said, and they won’t stop with these measures. They’ll continue on until only the police and government have guns, which is a very dangerous way to live.

    It’s not about gun control, it’s about controlling people, period, especially the ones whose views disagree with officials in power.

    The fact that this is happening in Illinois is laughable because of the crime rate there. It can only make things worse.

    • pol

      “It’s not about gun control, it’s about controlling people, period, especially the ones whose views disagree with officials in power.”

      The very same could be said about legislators who block access to women’s health care. It’s not about contraception, it’s about controlling people. Especially the ones who disagree with the white, male establishment.

      • whitneyz

        Pol,
        I think that’s comparing apples to oranges. Politicians are desiring to ban a good deal of guns, thus limiting a constitutional right. With the birth control mandate, politicians force employers to cover birth control against their religious beliefs. That’s limiting a constitutional right. The people being “controlled” are thus the employers, not women with a birth control prescription. Without the mandate, women are still free to purchase contraception outright or pay a co-pay for birth control. If finances are a problem, a good deal of pharmacies have cheap prices on generics, or women can go to a public health department. Personally, I’m just fine with birth control, but I don’t think employers should be forced to cover it for others against their conscience.

        To look at it another way, to make the gun control and birth control mandate equivalent, that would men that gun proponents would be demanding employers to pay for their guns against the employer’s personal beliefs. Gun proponents are simply wanting their constitutional rights upheld at their own cost, not the cost of others.

      • Gary P Jackson

        By “women’s health care” do you mean abortion? Abortion is not health care. Also, unlike the right to own, and bear arms, which is protected by the Constitution, abortion is not a “right”. Our founders thought that God given right to bear arms so important it is the 2nd Amendment, coming right after the 1st, which protects citizens from government interference in free speech and the right to worship as one chooses.

        Oddly enough, abortion, or the right to have one, is mentioned absolutely NOWHERE in the Constitution.

        As a society we have come to tolerate those who wish to murder their unborn children, which is sad. But comparing a barbaric act of murder to a God given right SPECIFICALLY protected by the Constitution is simply not a legitimate comparison.

        As for contraception, and an employer being forced to pay for someone’s contraception, violates the 1st Amendment rights of those who’s religion precludes this.

        No one is trying to stop women from buying contraception, it’s just that certain religions forbid this.

        Contraception is dirt cheap. If a woman can’t afford to pay for her own methods of contraception, then she has no business having sex, because she certainly can’t afford the ramifications of that either.

        In both cases though, whether it’s tyrannical, totalitarian liberals who wish to destroy our 2nd Amendment rights, or those who infringe on others’ 1st Amendment rights to practice their religion WITHOUT government interference, it’s wrong, and unconstitutional.

        People seem to forget the Constitution doesn’t give us our rights, we get those from Nature’s God. The Constitution protects us from GOVERNMENT and those within Government who would infringe on our God given rights. Sadly, liberal politicians have ignored the Constitution so long many of our rights have been either destroyed outright, or severely infringed. This is about to come to an abrupt end.

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