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*** UPDATED x1 - Comments open to everyone *** I’m curious what some of you think

Wednesday, Aug 1, 2012

* A few weeks ago, I visited a very good farmer friend of mine in rural Madison County. Rob and I, along with his niece and son, ventured out behind Rob’s farm house and shot his AR-15 rifle at an old washing machine. We used a 40-shot clip. His niece was the best shot among us.

I have to admit that I had a great time. I haven’t really shot guns much since I was a kid, growing up on a farm. We had some harmless fun, except maybe for my ear drums.

* My point here is that both that rifle and the ammo clip we used would be banned under Gov. Pat Quinn’s proposed amendatory veto. Rob wouldn’t have to give up his gun or his clips, but he couldn’t buy new ones or sell the ones he has.

My former intern Owen Irwin knows Rob and recently called him “The most chill guy I’ve ever met.” That’s a pretty darned accurate description. Rob is the epitome of a law-abiding, upstanding citizen. He’s never been in trouble with the law. Not even a little bit.

I’m mostly an agnostic about guns. But Gov. Quinn said this week that the only reason for assault weapons was shooting at people. Rob’s never shot anybody.

And, indeed, Quinn’s proposed amendatory veto specifically exempts the possession of the big clips at Sparta’s World Shooting and Recreational Complex, at sanctioned Olympics events and for use “expressly permitted under the Wildlife Code.” Apparently, even the governor admits that there are more uses for these guns than just shooting people.

* So, for those of you who support the concept of an assault weapons ban and a ban on big bullet clips (if not the actual way the governor has gone about it), I’d like you to explain to me why Rob, specifically, should be prohibited by law from buying another rifle or clip like the ones he already has.

And I would appreciate it greatly if the pro-gunners would just lay back for a while and let the other side speak. Thanks.

*** UPDATE *** When I posted this story, I decided that I’d wait until it hit 15 comments to open the discussion up to everyone. That threshold has been met. Everyone can now jump into the fray.

However, stay civil, people. I mean it.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Not ready for prime time - Wednesday, Aug 1, 12 @ 11:29 am:

    Our society (through our elected officials) has made judgments on lots of things. We’ve decided that the speed limit is 65 miles per hour (or 55 mph or whatever it is in any particular location). Some people, could capably and safely drive faster than that based on their vehicle and their skill. However, as a society we’ve decided that a different limit is appropriate. It’s the same thing here. I’m sure Rob and millions like him are great human beings…but everyone is not like Rob. Having these types of weapons and ammunition on the streets is a fundamental danger to everyone and while a lot and perhaps most of the problem is the people, reducing or hopefully eliminating these weapons and ammo will go a long way to helping.

  2. - Not ready for prime time - Wednesday, Aug 1, 12 @ 11:30 am:

    Which is not to say that what Gov. Quinn did was done with noble intent or even with skill…

  3. - Tom B. - Wednesday, Aug 1, 12 @ 11:32 am:

    We don’t make laws for Rob. We make laws for the larger majority.

    The question is whether Rob’s inconvenience outweighs the greater public good of limiting the danger of assault weapons on folks like police for example.

    I’m not weighing in on this debate one way or another, but you didn’t ask this question in a way that said something like, “My friend Bob who is a cop and has had to face down criminals with 50 round clips.”

    That’s just as relevant.

  4. - Rob needs better aim - Wednesday, Aug 1, 12 @ 11:35 am:

    What’s he shooting at that he needs 40 tries to hit?

  5. - Been There - Wednesday, Aug 1, 12 @ 11:36 am:

    === Rob is the epitome of a law-abiding, upstanding citizen===
    If you could write a law that would assure that only those like Rob could have these, then yes I could agree these should be legal. But living up here in Chicago, somehow there seems to be many, many, many citizens who do not fit Rob’s description and somehow still get their hands on simple hand guns. My guess is there are plenty of these weapons stashed in safe places and have been used in crimes by those who are the opposite of upstanding and law-abiding.

  6. - Cincinnatus - Wednesday, Aug 1, 12 @ 11:37 am:

    Given that the weapons in question (ill defined what they are) already exist and would be available to criminals through the black market, I’d also like to hear an explanation why any bans help now. This is the underlying argument against allowing Iran processing capability of enriched nuclear materials.

    Once the thing exists, there’s little chance of regulating it.

  7. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Aug 1, 12 @ 11:37 am:

    First let me say that, like Rich, I am pretty agnostic when it comes to guns. I own a shotgun, and grew up in a rural area where guns were considered in much the same way power tools are: useful but dangerous if mishandled.

    Having said that, I tend to side with the gun control crowd, mostly because of the extreme rhetoric coming from the NRA crowd.

    Specifically to Rob’s situation: he already has an AR-15 and a 40 round clip. The ban would only prevent him from purchasing new ones. It wouldn’t take his away and unless I’m missing something, why would he need another?

    Of course, this ban stunt will only succeed in selling more AR-15s in Illinois (hurry, before it’s too late!). Somehow the gun manufacturers and those who fundraise off this issue (on both sides) are the only winners in this debate.

  8. - reformer - Wednesday, Aug 1, 12 @ 11:40 am:

    Large-capacity magazines have been used in numerous mass shootings, including in Aurora, CO, Tucson, AZ, VA Tech, Fort Hood and Columbine.

    At Tucson, in just 15 seconds, the shooter was able to fire 30 shots from a single magazine, hitting 19 people. Large-capacity magazines make such incidents more lethal.

    A recent Washington Post study found that after 10 years of a federal ban on large-capacity ammunition magazines, (which expired in 2004),many fewer were used in crimes.

    A ban on large-capacity magazines to protect the public does not prevent law abiding gun owners from having AR-15s, just from having 100-bullet magazines the way the killer did in Aurora, CO.

  9. - amalia - Wednesday, Aug 1, 12 @ 11:41 am:

    cause he already has what he needs.

    but, seriously, unstructured fun (as opposed to, perhaps, well regulated target shooting) is not enough of a reason to triumph the potential for bad use of an extremely powerful weapon by evil people. I prefer not to have more weapons in general circulation that are more powerful than the average weapon used by a police officer.

  10. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Aug 1, 12 @ 11:42 am:

    ===unless I’m missing something, why would he need another?===

    Things break. Also, why not?

  11. - Cheryl - Wednesday, Aug 1, 12 @ 11:50 am:

    It’s not Rob we’re concerned about owning this kind of weapon. And by making sure he can’t buy another one (or a clip that holds 40 bullets) we’re inconveniencing him. We’re not making his life a living hell. He’ll get over it.

  12. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Aug 1, 12 @ 11:58 am:

    Like you, Rich, I grew up in rural Illinois with guns in the home, but haven’t been shooting out on the back 40 since I was a kid.

    I appreciate the complaints of all of the safety-minded, law-abiding citizens out there who feel they are being punished for the actions of a relative few.

    It sucks. The same way it sucks that you can no longer enjoy the occasional “road cola” or throw back a few on your fishing boat all weekend.

    No one ever argued that DUI laws were going to eliminate every drunk driving fatality, they have been subject to abuse, but at the same time there is no denying they have saved lives. Dramatically.

    And while, as I’ve said elsewhere, gun laws are most effective when implemented nationally and uniformly, the sovereign state of Illinois should not sit back twiddling their thumbs waiting for Congress to act.

    President Bush supported the assault weapons ban, so this need not be a partisan issue.

    As for Rob and everyone like him, I think and have strong reason to hope that you’ll find that target shooting with a pistol or other rifle is just as much fun. I’d say the Walther P22 is a good choice, but Todd probably has better ideas.

  13. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Aug 1, 12 @ 12:00 pm:

    My problem with prohibition is that assault weapons are available in other states, so banning them in Illinois would seem to be futile. If criminals want to commit crimes with assault weapons in Illinois, they can get them from other states.

    I would like stronger regulation for assault weapons. I am not comfortable with people going to gun shows or any other place and buying them sometimes without even an ID.

  14. - Wensicia - Wednesday, Aug 1, 12 @ 12:02 pm:

    Surely there will still be plenty of weapons to choose from without the AR-15 and like assault weapons on the market? These weapons can cause incredible harm in the wrong hands. Unless and until we can be assured they can’t reach wrong hands, they shouldn’t be available to anyone. Absent this, get rid of higher bullet number magazines.

    I do acknowledge the problems with preventing illegal weapons from reaching the wrong hands. I don’t think a state only restriction or ban would be effective; not with today’s Internet.

  15. - Rod - Wednesday, Aug 1, 12 @ 12:14 pm:

    When I was sent to Vietnam, supposedly to actually go into combat, the M16 Caliber 5.56 mm rifle I carried only had a 20 shot clip. The reason for this is that bullets have weight and carrying more weight in your arms while in combat is not a great idea.

    Eventually NATO began to use a 30 shot clip. Now Rich, the AR 15 (basically a non-auto version of the M16) you shot was not fully auto, meaning you had to pull the trigger for each shot. So why in the world for target shooting purposes does your friend need a 40 shot clip?

    I will also say this, I was generally lucky and avoided heavy fire fights while in Vietnam. But I never, ever took my weapon to full auto and kept it in three shot burst mode as I recall. I was fearful of a jam which meant that a spent cartridge case remained lodged in the chamber after a bullet flew out the muzzle. The jams were caused by a dirty residue, making the M16 more likely to have a stoppage, the more bullets flying the more likely a jam. Stopping to clean the rifle really was not an option, so I elected to not go auto.

    In all honestly I do not understand why a target shooter needs a 40 shot clip to shoot up an old washing machine, when we were not given such big clips to shoot at people were shooting at us.

  16. - Wrong logic - Wednesday, Aug 1, 12 @ 12:23 pm:

    RM, this is the wrong logic process to use. The question is not - why punish this law abiding citizen?

    Here’s my answer to that question, however: If Rob being allowed to buy another AR-15 means that it is legal for ONE psycho to buy an AR-15, then it is a bad idea to allow Rob to buy another AR-15.

    Dick Cheney had a famous saying, his 1% doctrine. His theory was, terrorism is so bad that there is a likelihood of having a terrorist attack is 1%, we must do everything in our power to reduce that 1% - even if certain aspects of our freedoms that we enjoy are compromised. It was a matter of saving lives.

    While I’m no fan of Cheney, I’m shocked to see that conservatives cherish this principle when it comes to terrorism, but not guns, which kill hundreds every day.

  17. - Robert - Wednesday, Aug 1, 12 @ 12:26 pm:

    ==Given that the weapons in question (ill defined what they are) already exist and would be available to criminals through the black market, I’d also like to hear an explanation why any bans help now.==
    Totally agree with you that criminals will find these assault weapons via the black market. But the black market is still a market, and so is subject to some basic laws of supply and demand. And the black market’s supply of assault weapons comes from legally-sold guns. So any bans on legal guns also reduce the supply of assault weapons. Reduced supply means decreased quantity of assault weapons even in the black market.

  18. - Tommydanger - Wednesday, Aug 1, 12 @ 12:27 pm:

    How would the State know if you already had one or not? How would they know if you bought it in another state?

  19. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Aug 1, 12 @ 12:28 pm:

    –We don’t make laws for Rob. We make laws for the larger majority.

    The question is whether Rob’s inconvenience outweighs the greater public good of limiting the danger of assault weapons on folks like police for example.–

    What Tim B said.

    And to borrow from Madison, “If all men were Robs, there would be no need for laws.”

  20. - 3rd Generation Chicago Native - Wednesday, Aug 1, 12 @ 12:32 pm:

    I believe having guns, to protect yourself, or hunt are fine. But what would any normal citizen need with an assault weapon is what I question. To the best of my knowledge you can’t hunt with assault weapons, and I hope we will never have a need to use them for protection in this country. Or at least if this type of protection is needed we will have the law enforcement, or military using them.

  21. - Liberty First - Wednesday, Aug 1, 12 @ 12:32 pm:

    Clearly all these comments indicate the wisdom of demanding a bill of rights before the constitution was ratified.

  22. - lake county democrat - Wednesday, Aug 1, 12 @ 12:32 pm:

    If “we should be able to have harmless fun” is the standard, pretty much everything would be legal. And if you’re an utter libertarian, that argument has pull, otherwise this seems pretty trival: is Rob being denied the ability to shot washing machines? No, he’s being denied the ability to shoot washing machines ultra-fast and 40 at a time - seriously?

  23. - Chembros - Wednesday, Aug 1, 12 @ 12:32 pm:

    I am also an agnostic when it comes to gun control. I have been issues a FOID card, I do instruct scouts on how to use a rifle, clean them and respect them. But, I do not personally won a gun.

    That said I don’t understand the logic of some. Cars and vehicles in general kill Illinois citizens every day. I have personally lost family and friends from accidents. I don’t know anyone personally killed by a weapon.

    Why do we let people drive cars since they seem to kill more than guns? Because we have deemed them a necessity in our society. Weapons we do not. That is the difference.

  24. - lake county democrat - Wednesday, Aug 1, 12 @ 12:35 pm:

    Chembros - actually though when car driving was much more dangerous, the federal government DID regulate them (as well as highways). Highway accident death rates are nothing like what they were in the 40’s and 50’s and while some of that is due to tech inovation that may have otherwised happend, regulation played a part.

  25. - John D. - Wednesday, Aug 1, 12 @ 12:36 pm:

    What always throws me in these debates is that both sides continually ignore the fact that you don’t need a gun to commit a mass casualty crime.

    None of the 9/11 perpetrators carried a projectile weapon. The commuter train attacks in Britain and Spain we conducted using household chemicals and off the shelf electronic devices… Though some may argue that the C4 used as the detonators were not easily accessible, and I’ll give them that; Same with the the Oklahoma City bombing which was done almost entirely “off the grid” and for less than $5000.00. The Sarin Gas attack on the Tokyo subway could be replicated in just about any modern city by someone with the internet and a high school level chemistry education, say about the same level required too “cook” methamphetamine.

    My point being that, an evil person, intent on doing evil doesn’t have a shortage of methods to conduct his crime. Limit the “guns” all you want. It won’t stop bad people from doing bad things, it just makes it harder for the rest of us to defend ourselves.

    Following that train of thought… How different would the news coverage be today if just one person in that theater had be licensed to carry a concealed weapon? Would be be having talks about “vigilantly justice” now instead of gun bans?

  26. - lake county democrat - Wednesday, Aug 1, 12 @ 12:38 pm:

    @Liberty - please, even Anton Scalia has said that there’s room for some regulation of guns. I’m sympathetic to the “handgun bans are unconstitutional” argument because there’s a non-trivial civilian use for a handgun.

  27. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Aug 1, 12 @ 12:38 pm:

    ==Why do we let people drive cars since they seem to kill more than guns? ==

    Seriously, you can’t get past that?

    What is the intended-design purpose of cars? What is the intended-design purpose of assault weapons?

  28. - Liberty First - Wednesday, Aug 1, 12 @ 12:40 pm:

    I bet none of the people here wanting to ban “assault weapons” actually knows what that means… The federal law a few years ago basically said any two of the following make an assault weapon: folding or telescoping stocks, pistol grips, bayonet mounts, flash suppressor or grenade launcher. So a shooter could take a western style rifle into a theater and still kill 30 people.

  29. - Happy Returns - Wednesday, Aug 1, 12 @ 12:41 pm:

    @ Rod -
    ” …when we were not given such big clips to shoot at people were shooting at us.”

    So, the benchmark you want is based on the wisdom of the Vietnam era military?

  30. - Plutocrat03 - Wednesday, Aug 1, 12 @ 12:43 pm:

    I wish the gun law proponents would make up their minds. First hand guns are bad, then ‘assault weapons’ are bad. Is there a firearm that is OK to own for the law abiding citizen? It makes me believe that the long term objective is to eliminate privately owned weapons.

    Chasing the chimera of legislating away gun crimes by eliminating private gun ownership has been a common theme of the left forever. The problem is that additional legislation does not eliminate gun crime.

    Those who believe that ‘one more law’ will make a difference are likely well intentioned, but simply ignore the fact that the current laws were the last ‘one more law’ and have not done what that law promised to do. They simply move on to promote the next ‘one more law’

  31. - Chembros - Wednesday, Aug 1, 12 @ 12:49 pm:

    Wordslinger - they are both tools.

    I understand that assault rifles are intended to be used to kill. But in the original question the tool was being used for recreation and most owners that is the case. I won’t defend the idea of having 40 rounds vs 20 rounds.

    Cars have the intent of getting us from point A to B. But, some still use them for crimes, and I am assuming that everyone will agree that they kill way more than assault rifles.

    If this is the case should be limit how much you drive or think about reducing the speed limit to a more life saving speed? Most would agree that isn’t a good idea…why? Because, cars getting you for point a to point B is deemed more of a necessity in our society than ownership of a weapon.

  32. - Anon - Wednesday, Aug 1, 12 @ 12:50 pm:

    My focus is on the high capacity magazines.

    An individual like Rob could probably own a bazooka, use it responsibly, and have quite a bit of fun doing it. That doesn’t mean it should be legal.

    Rob having that magazine means he doesn’t have to reload every one in awhile while shooting in the back yard. It’s a small convenience.

    A criminal having that magazine means dramatically increasing the amount of people that could be injured. It’s a game changer. I don’t know how long the Colorado shooter was shooting for, but in those 15-30 seconds he would have had to spend reloading without a high capacity magazine, imagine how many more people could have safely made it out the door, or even if someone could have tackled him.

    I hope this isn’t skirting your request for why he SPECIFICALLY should not be able to own these, but my answer is that the benefits provided to him are far outweighed by the disadvantages of others owning it.

  33. - Bigtwich - Wednesday, Aug 1, 12 @ 1:02 pm:

    I have fired an M-14 on full automatic and admit that there is a wow factor. But some things are just so potentially dangerous they need to be baned or heavily regulated. I think assault weapons fall into that category, although how you keep people from modifying some semi automatics to full automatic is beyond me. I have also set off a Claymore. That also has a wow factor but I don’t think anybody wants to argue that they are for general use.

  34. - OneMan - Wednesday, Aug 1, 12 @ 1:03 pm:

    “What is the intended-design purpose of cars? What is the intended-design purpose of assault weapons? ”

    Well the intended-design purpose of assault weapons is to shoot things (which may include people).

    The intended-design purpose of a screwdriver is to remove and insert screws. Using a screwdriver you can kill (definitely hurt) a lot more people if you know what you are doing than a guy with a 30 round clip.

    So we want to use design intent of things as guide?

    So the nature of the grip on the shotgun (not the number of rounds it holds) speaks to intent?

  35. - Cincinnatus - Wednesday, Aug 1, 12 @ 1:18 pm:


    These weapons are made all over the planet, not just in the US. The laws do not address the supply of weapons in any way, all they do is affect the price of an illegally purchased weapon.


    I think you would be surprised at what type of guns are normally on the “assault weapon” list. Any list created is inaccurate.

    Wrong logic,

    About 12.5k deaths are caused by homicides with guns. About 5 million people die in the US every year. Gun homicides constitute about 0.25% of all deaths.

    Generally speaking, we should punish the behavior, not regulate the means. If you want to pass a law, how about mandatory death to people who unjustifiably murder multiple individuals (including the unborn) no matter the means.

  36. - Jade Rabbit - Wednesday, Aug 1, 12 @ 1:18 pm:

    If this is the case should be limit how much you drive or think about reducing the speed limit to a more life saving speed? Most would agree that isn’t a good idea…why? Because, cars getting you for point a to point B is deemed more of a necessity in our society than ownership of a weapon.

    Having an armed populous/society was intended to keep government in check.
    The same TOOLS available to local law enforcement should be available to the public. Otherwise there is an imbalance and armed government becomes unchecked. I would rather have Rob as my armed neighbor than Drew Peterson as an armed Law Enforcement Official.

  37. - Logical - Wednesday, Aug 1, 12 @ 1:18 pm:

    The biggest problem is that today’s “assault” weapons ban will include eventually include bolt action weapons. Realizing there is a chance of dying, I would much prefer to have a wacko spraying bullets out of an “assault” weapon than a sane killer with a bolt action rifle using stripper clips and aiming his shots.

  38. - JoeVerdeal - Wednesday, Aug 1, 12 @ 1:23 pm:

    I have a fairly large gun collection. I live in a rural area and cannot reasonably expect law enforcement backup to be promptly available. I do own a rifle (one rifle out of a collection of approx. 90 firearms, mostly of older vintage) that would be considered an “assault weapon.” It is kept in a gun safe in my basement.

    My main home-farm defense weapon is a 12 gauge shotgun. With 00 shot (AKA Double-Ought Buckshot) in each shell, it blasts out nine .36 caliber lead balls with each shell fired out of the shotgun…and it has a five-round capacity.
    Each shot fired by this shotgun, therefore, is quite similar to a nine-round burst from a submachine-gun.

    My point in mentioning this is that when the “gubment” figures out that my humble 1930 Winchester Model 12 is able to have this sort of performance, guess what they will want to take from me next…..????

    Gun-control is a slippery slope. It opens up new opportunities to relieve us of our rights. If I lose my right to keep firearms of the sort that you got to enjoy, recently……..why would it be unreasonable for the state or Federal authorities to relieve our press of its right to publish “disturbing” news items…?????

  39. - Wrong Logic - Wednesday, Aug 1, 12 @ 1:33 pm:

    Cincinnatus - yea, because harsh punishment has proven to be a deterrent in the US. We incarcerate more than any other country in the world, but still this violence. Great strategy.

  40. - Todd - Wednesday, Aug 1, 12 @ 1:43 pm:

    Where to begin. . . my points come from living in Illinois, as an Illinois gun owner.

    The guns. First, the ban is very broad. So broad that it in fact would ban the sale of ALL new Glock handguns. Stop and think about that for a minute. And there are more handguns that would fall into that category if I look a bit more, but it is one that people recognize.
    Beyond that, it goes to modern firearms used for hunting, competition, self defense and just collecting. Yes Justice Scalia recently talked about regulation of firearms, but this type of ban seems to fall outside of those regulations as mentioned in Heller:

    “Some have made the argument, bordering on the frivolous, that only those arms in existence in the 18th century are protected by the Second Amendment. We do not interpret constitutional rights that way. Just as the First Amendment protects modern forms of communications, e.g., Reno v. American Civil Liberties Union, (1997), and the Fourth Amendment applies to modern forms of search, e.g., Kyllo v. United States (2001), the Second Amendment extends, prima facie, to all instruments that constitute bearable arms, even those that were not in existence at the time of the founding.”

    If some of you had your way, and we read the First Amendment the way you want to interpret the Second, we would be left with only the printing press and the spoken word protected by it. Just as many say the Founding Fathers could not have envisioned today’s firearms, I doubt they could foster the concept of the internet, TV, Radio or cell phones. But we seem to deal with all that. All under the guise of the First Amendment. We see the Second as being no different.

    Are their limits? Yes, I think that under Heller they drew a line dealing with machineguns and “dangerous and unusual weapons” the easyiest way to describe the differeance id things that go boom, not bang. And if you need more than 1 person to tote it, I think that goes to what the Court said in Heller. So everything short of that should be protected under the Second Amendment.

    And yes you can use an AR for hunting in Illinois, I do. They are legal for hunting with coyotes even with a 30 round magazine. Shotguns with extended mags are legal during the Snow Goose season and on hunt clubs for Pheasants/chuckers and Qail.

    But again, the legislation goes beyond just the black rifles like ARs, HK91s and the old AK47 types of guns. Guns that are rarely used in crimes. Look at the Chicago reports and you will seldom see a rifle being used. They can be big, bulky, heavy and difficult to either conceal or move around with inside a vehicle (for those trying to commit a drive by). I know I had to use one from the inside of a humvee from time to time.

    The Mags: most modern handguns, in 9mm or 40 cal use a 13-17 round mag as standard. Most of the rifles use a 20 – 30 round mag. And in a self defense type of situation, I don’t want to have to reload. That being said, I have a picture that was taken by the tribune. It show at least 4 CPD officers standing in front of a CPD officers home after he was killed, holding 4 AR-15s. Why? Cuase that is what they thought they needed to protect that home from a perceived gang threat after the officer was killed by a handgun. If it is good enough for them, that’s what I want. Same for handgun mags, if the cops like or use 12, 13, 15, or 17 rounds mags cuase they think it will help them protect themselves, I want the same thing.
    Matter of fact my 3 home defense guns are an AR-15, Sig 9mm and a 1911, 45. 3 of the 3 use magazines that hold more than 10 rounds.

    And at this point, in order to be able to own a gun or ammo, I have to have a FOID card. I have to wait 30 days to get my first one, then wait 24-72 hours to get my first gun, and go through another background check if it is from a retailer. So when is enough, enough?

    The anti-gunner wanted a statewide license – got it. Background checks – yup my name is run almost every day to see if I have done anything or been committed to a mental hospital. Background checks at retail piont of sale – yup. Waiting period to pick up my gun, yup.

    And now, you say that because a few miscreants, I cannot be trusted to own any of my ARs and handguns with 15 rounds in them. I can’t own my turkey gun or my .22s I and my sons use for hunting or target shooting. Oh yes I can keep them if I surrender my privacy and give all my name, make, model and serial number and pay a fee/tax on my property to keep it. But I can’t transfer it or sell it. Not even sure if my kids can get it in my will.

    But for all the hoops I have to jump through to get a gun, it still isn’t enough for many of you. The Collective is more important than the rights of the individual. And that is very dangerous. I don’t agree with Dick Cheaney on his terrorism thing, and I served under him. But yet the same people who willingly want to curtail or eliminate my right to own a firearm, want me to be tolerant as we redefine the rights of others for their equality. What other rights would you willingly have me give up? My 4th amendment right to the Governor and State Police can come check on me and my guns without a warrant? My 5th amendment rights to remain silent? Maybe I should be allowed to have a trial by jury since I own these evil black rifles and am up to no good because of it.

    But we are only talking about these evil “assault rifles” – today. And the bill goes beyond that. And today it’s 10 rounds mags, hey a Smith and Wesson only holds 6, why not limit it to 6? And as we have seen with other legislation, it is never enough. So I pose two questions to those who don’t like these guns or think I shouldn’t be able to own any more:

    When is enough, enough for us gun owners to go through?

    How would you feel if I applied those same restrictions to other parts of the Bill of Rights against you?


  41. - Nieva - Wednesday, Aug 1, 12 @ 1:44 pm:

    I am a life member of the NRA and owner of a large assortment of guns including an AR15 with at least a dozen or more high capacity Mags. I have enough ammo to shoot up several washing machines. We will never stop the mentally disturbed from commiting murder in the world we live in. To try and control criminals with laws that are only honored by the Joes in this world will not work.

  42. - OneMan - Wednesday, Aug 1, 12 @ 1:46 pm:

    Wrong Logic

    Cincinnatus - yea, because harsh punishment has proven to be a deterrent in the US. We incarcerate more than any other country in the world, but still this violence. Great strategy.

    And Chicago and Cook County have some of the toughest gun control laws in the nation and we see how that is preventing shootings….

    Because yeah, strong restrictions have proven to be a deterrent in Chicago…

  43. - Hello - Wednesday, Aug 1, 12 @ 1:46 pm:

    @John D who writes, “My point being that, an evil person, intent on doing evil doesn’t have a shortage of methods to conduct his crime. Limit the “guns” all you want. It won’t stop bad people from doing bad things, it just makes it harder for the rest of us to defend ourselves.”

    How do you defend yourself after you’ve been shot dead?

    I can see defending yourself against a knife attack even to point of sacrificing your limbs to protect your neck and chest, etc. But you can’t swipe a bullet away with your forearm.

    And as a result of OKC and other mass attacks such chemicals are now tracked by the FBI, etc.

    Gun sales are not tracked with anywhere near as much robustness as fertilizer, if they’re tracked at all. Why not?

    But in Colorado Holmes had not just an AR-15 and a high-capacity clip but also tear gas and a body armor vest. Of course the theater itself was a dark interior.

    John recommends we have not just a gun but also night-vision goggles, a gas mask and, for lack of a better term, E.S.P. so we can correctly predict when we’ll need to use a gun to defend ourselves before someone w/ an AR-15 comes up from behind in a dark room filled with tear gas.

    Others, including Gov. Quinn, suggest that perhaps we don’t sell those AR-15s or high-capacity clips in the first place…

    Excuse me if this is over the top but frankly the relatively regular (albeit horrific) nature of these types of gun assaults begs the question: are you with the victims or are you with those wielding the guns for ill-intent? The two are mutually exclusive.

    …And it’s the Robs of the nation that end up stuck between the two.

  44. - BirdseedI - Wednesday, Aug 1, 12 @ 1:46 pm:

    I don’t think mentioned - it really takes minimal time to change clips. Are we going to regulate the number of clips you can own too?

  45. - Anon - Wednesday, Aug 1, 12 @ 1:49 pm:

    You lose me even at the shooting at the old washing machine on the back 40. I’m from rural IL where relatives do this. If you miss the washing machine, don’t these bullets travel miles. If there’s some kid out there riding his four wheeler across your 40 acres, isn’t he in danger of getting hit? Just seems silly to me. Save up and go to the shooting range where it’s safe to shoot. Without an understanding of the need to blow things up for no apparent reason, guess I’m not much help in this discussion. I stay very quiet when this subject comes up at the Thanksgiving or Christmas table where camo NRA hats are in full view. Funny though, everyone wearing them would say they hate all lobbyists (apparently excluding the ones that work for the NRA). I just wish people could get rational and realize someone has to be willing to balance the needs for guns in cities vs. guns in rural areas. And no one needs a freaking automatic weapon to kill deer in Central IL. And they won’t die if they don’t get to shoot one at washing machines any longer.

  46. - Anyone Remember? - Wednesday, Aug 1, 12 @ 1:50 pm:


    Actually, certain types of vehicles ARE banned. If you don’t think so, try to buy, title, and insure an Indy pace car … they usually will do 180.

    But you can still drive a Cooper. So, why not permit handguns but ban weapons that can’t even be used for hunting in Illinois? Why not ban private ownership, but allow the such weapons to be owned and stored at shooting ranges (something the Europeans do)?

  47. - BirdseedI - Wednesday, Aug 1, 12 @ 1:58 pm:

    == And no one needs a freaking automatic weapon to kill deer in Central IL. ==

    You do know that automatic weapons are already illegal, right?

  48. - OneMan - Wednesday, Aug 1, 12 @ 1:58 pm:


    Actually, certain types of vehicles ARE banned. If you don’t think so, try to buy, title, and insure an Indy pace car … they usually will do 180.

    What? Some cars are may uninsrable or even untitleable (never heard of that before but whatever), fairly sure that is different than illegal. There are even places you can drive cars like that…

  49. - Wensicia - Wednesday, Aug 1, 12 @ 2:00 pm:

    ==If you want to pass a law, how about mandatory death to people who unjustifiably murder multiple individuals (including the unborn) no matter the means.==

    Do you really think the death penalty is a deterrent to the sociopaths and criminally insane that usually commit these mass killings?

  50. - Chembros - Wednesday, Aug 1, 12 @ 2:10 pm:

    Thanks Rich for the topic. I am learning quite a bit today. I guess I am not clearly making my point. For that I applogize to the commentors. I am open to some restrictions or compromise on the topic (although my opinion really doesn’t have an impact on policy).

    I guess my trouble with the Governor’s approach is that it seems reactionary to a tramitic event that took lives. It happened because someone used a gun.

    Last night I heard on the news that another motorcyclist lost his life and the day before a family lost thier daughter due to a car accident.

    Where is the same outrage? Why doesn’t the Governor make a announcment that he wants the General Assembly to reduce the speed limit to a safer limit? or ban small cars, ban big trucks for using the highways? The outcome is still the same someone was killed.

  51. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Aug 1, 12 @ 2:12 pm:

    ===How would you feel if I applied those same restrictions to other parts of the Bill of Rights against you?===

    As any registered lobbyist or person planning a public demonstration are fully aware, there are plenty of rules and restrictions and even criminal penalties regarding other very plain constitutional rights.

  52. - kimocat - Wednesday, Aug 1, 12 @ 2:19 pm:

    It was interesting to read all these comments — so different than where I now live. The same discussion question elicits entirely different response in the south. Oh, lots of the guns don’t kill people,etc. arguments. But far more of the argument that gun control is not a personal safety or hunting issue — it’s freedom to violently stop an “oppressive government.” I suppose like one that would make you buy health insurance. And it is scary how many of those crazies are out there. Almost enough to make you miss IL state government, well maybe not.

  53. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Aug 1, 12 @ 2:20 pm:

    Hate to point this out to the Pessimists, but gun control appears to be working elsewhere in the world.

  54. - archimedes - Wednesday, Aug 1, 12 @ 2:23 pm:

    I can see the limit to number of cartirdges in a clip. I can see the limitation for a bayonet mount, grenade luancher. Other than that - not sure I see any difference between the funtional aspects of an “assault weapon” and all the other rifles, shotguns, and handguns that would still be legal.

  55. - jake - Wednesday, Aug 1, 12 @ 2:23 pm:

    The analogy to cars is a good one. Misused, or not maintained, cars kill people. Our system of licensing drivers, registering cars, and regulating how people drive, does not completely prevent automobile injuries and deaths. But it does reduce them way below what they would otherwise be. An analogous sensible system of registering guns, licensing gun owners, and regulating the parameters of gun usage, would not completely eliminate gun deaths, but would reduce them, without infringing on anybody’s legitimate rights. Certainly a system could be devised that would not interfere with Rob’s recreational use of guns and still have made it much harder for the Aurora shooter to accumulate the firepower that enabled him to kill so many people in such a short time. Equally certainly, moving towards such a system is not helped by the Governor exploiting people’s concerns to get a press pop to urge a legislative maneuver that has no chance of success. What he should do as Governor, if he really wanted to solve the problem, is to bring key legislators together privately to figure out what useful measures might actually be legislatively and politically feasible. I never like to give up hope completely, but I am becoming afraid we will have to wait at least until after the 2014 elections to have a Governor who is capable of doing that.

  56. - OneMan - Wednesday, Aug 1, 12 @ 2:27 pm:

    o you really think the death penalty is a deterrent to the sociopaths and criminally insane that usually commit these mass killings?


    Do you think a smaller clip is going to be a deterrent either?

  57. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Aug 1, 12 @ 2:28 pm:

    Also, posting audio on the Internet of an on-duty police officer speaking is currently a felony in this state, with a penalty of 15 years in prison.

  58. - Wensicia - Wednesday, Aug 1, 12 @ 2:38 pm:

    ==Do you think a smaller clip is going to be a deterrent either?==

    If the difference is between six or sixty shot, yeah.

  59. - Colossus - Wednesday, Aug 1, 12 @ 2:39 pm:

    If you truly believe that the 2nd Amendment is meant to keep the government in check, then go ahead. Try it. The moment the United States Army decides you’re a threat, they will kill you in the most efficient way devised by man before they pry your gun from your cold dead hand, no matter how fast it shoots, how many bullets you have, or how many guns you have.

    And if you somehow manage to defend against the first wave, how will you take care of the Abrams tank that drives down your street blowing up houses of known enemies to the United States of America? Once you raise up arms against the government, you become an enemy to the Constitution to be defended against by all members of law enforcement and the armed forces who have sworn to uphold it against enemies both foreign and domestic.

    Not to paint with a wide brush here, but this kind of argument is why us “gun banners” don’t take your protestations seriously. It’s nothing but fantasy to make this claim, yet here it is.

    There is no “magic bullet” (pun not intended) to keep everyone safe, whether it’s from street crime or from lunatics. But that doesn’t mean that, in absence of a hard and fast solution, we should allow anyone not currently in prison or the psych ward to buy tools that are designed to efficiently end life with no oversight. We track fertilizer sales as a result of OKC. We have to be carded and recorded to by cold medicine because of meth makers (who aren’t on AMC). It’s not unreasonable to allow the government to keep an eye on who is buying large amounts of ammunition or what kind and how many guns a person is purchasing. This is not an outrageous infringement of your civil rights - this is a responsible approach to public safety that allows maximum freedoms (to own weapons for personal use) while still allowing for obviously dangerous combinations to be monitored and interdicted when necessary.

  60. - Anyone Remember? - Wednesday, Aug 1, 12 @ 2:45 pm:


    Speed is not the only reason a car is not “legal” in this country. See

  61. - Chembros - Wednesday, Aug 1, 12 @ 2:47 pm:

    Thank you so much jake. You used the words I couldn’t find.

  62. - Cincinnatus - Wednesday, Aug 1, 12 @ 2:56 pm:


    I really think that these sociopaths and criminally insane people would commit a similar crime using other available means (c.f. Unabomber, McVeigh). Even this Colorado nut used tear gas. He could have just as easily used a more poisonous gas that he brewed in his kitchen (he was trained in chemistry) using common chemicals, an odorless one at that which could have killed everyone in that theater.

    I really think that young thugs that are executed will not commit additional murders.

    I really think that it is the act is what should be punished, not the means. I’ve used the same logic when arguing against all of the new “diving while using XXX,” laws. This issue is distracted driving, not the use of a device.

  63. - Logic not emotion - Wednesday, Aug 1, 12 @ 2:56 pm:

    Rich: You captured well how the overwhelming majority of people use their AR-15s. I’ve introduced a lot of people to shooting who have never shot before and they’ve all had fun. I have an AR-15 that I’ve only shot targets with. My wife, sister, and sister in law all have the .22 caliber versions. They shoot fairly often at targets and it is a fun family event much like others may go bowling, golfing or boating.

  64. - reformer - Wednesday, Aug 1, 12 @ 2:59 pm:

    No one needs a 40-bullet clip — or a 100 — to kill deer in central Illinois.

    Better to make it inconvenient for a target shooter to have a 40-shot clip to shoot up an old washing machine, than to make it convenient for a would-be mass murderer to shoot more patrons in a movie theatre.

    John D
    == Limit the “guns” all you want. It won’t stop bad people from doing bad things, it just makes it harder for the rest of us to defend ourselves.==

    That’s an argument for repealing the ban on machine guns, too. The fact is that restrictions make it more difficult and reduce the incidence of problems, not totally eliminate them. Which is why we see so few machine guns used in crimes. But that’s no argument against all restriction.

    == We will never stop the mentally disturbed from commiting murder in the world we live in. ==

    This sounds like an argument to repeal all gun laws. Is that your intention?

    Joe Verdeal
    == a slippery slope ==

    Do you protest the Patriot Act, if you’re worried about the loss of our freedoms? Do you approve of the president being judge, jury and executioner (via predator drone) of American citizens in Pakistan or Yemen? Those seem like a much more slippery slope than, say, a ban on 100-bullet magazines.

  65. - He Makes Ryan Look Like a Saint - Wednesday, Aug 1, 12 @ 3:06 pm:

    In the old country, the government started taxing and taking away liberties. People came to this country to get away from that. Granted they are not taking away our right to have guns, but they are starting to. Once this gets passed, they will try for something stricter, then that will pass and they will want more. It has happened in other avenues (SEE MADD)

  66. - Jade Rabbit - Wednesday, Aug 1, 12 @ 3:10 pm:

    @ Colossus - Wednesday, Aug 1, 12 @ 2:39 pm:

    Down the road, I pray, a court will start to see the protections that the people have been giving in the libraries. Then those protections will be extended into our everyday lives again. The last 30 years have been great for civil rights and not so great for civil liberties.

  67. - RNUG - Wednesday, Aug 1, 12 @ 3:11 pm:

    jake / chembros,

    The FOID card all us legal gun owners in IL have is (was) supposed to be that regulation / licensing you keep talking about. That was the compromise struck between the two sides back in, I believe, 1968. Like a lot of us, I got my first FOID back then.

    As Todd and others emphasize, once FOID was in place, the battle to further restrict guns started and hasn’t stopped. Enough is enough.

    Let’s just ban being crazy … that will stop the violence just about as well.

    And to address Rich’s initial topic, I have zero problem with your friend Rob having whatever firearms he is allowed to have under current IL law.

  68. - Logic not emotion - Wednesday, Aug 1, 12 @ 3:19 pm:

    “Hate to point this out to the Pessimists, but gun control appears to be working elsewhere in the world.”

    Really?! I’m pretty certain I could find links proving that violent crime increased in several countries after they instituted gun control measures. I think other countries’ experiences and cities like Chicago’s experiences are some of the best arguments one can make against gun control.

  69. - Anyone Remember? - Wednesday, Aug 1, 12 @ 3:21 pm:

    He Makes Ryan Look Like a Saint

    Are you complaining about MADD? If so, what specifically?

  70. - reformer - Wednesday, Aug 1, 12 @ 3:42 pm:

    == I have zero problem with your friend Rob having whatever firearms he is allowed to have under current IL law. ==

    Why is any current law acceptable, while any new law is not, other than a bias for the status quo?
    If FOID cards are superfluous nowadays, why should we keep them?


    If we take your slippery slope argument seriously, then we would ban all taxation, since it could become confiscation. We’d ban the police, since it could become a gestapo.

    As George Will writes, “Life is lived on a slippery slope…But the benefits from taxation and police make us willing to wager that our judgment can stop slides down dangerous slopes.”

  71. - Liberty First - Wednesday, Aug 1, 12 @ 3:51 pm:

    Yellow Dog- Mexico has some of the strictest gun laws yet highest murder rates. Britain has strict gun control and low murder rates. There is no correlation between gun control laws and murder rates.

  72. - Colossus - Wednesday, Aug 1, 12 @ 3:55 pm:

    @Liberty First - To what would you attribute the difference between the murder rates in Mexico and Great Britain?

  73. - Cheryl - Wednesday, Aug 1, 12 @ 3:58 pm:

    assault rifles are intended to be used to kill people.

    There. Fixed it for you.

  74. - RNUG - Wednesday, Aug 1, 12 @ 4:05 pm:


    I was making the statement under the staus quo … I could make arguments for more or less regulation, but it seems to me the current IL FOID is about right when it comes to ownership regulation.

    Concealed carry is whole ‘nother discussion …

  75. - haverford - Wednesday, Aug 1, 12 @ 4:07 pm:

    Okay - let’s start from the place that I’m pretty anti-gun. But sounds like you, Rob and everyone else had fun doing some harmless shooting. Sounds good to me.

    I’m also pretty anti-firework for amateurs. Sparklers, pretty harmless. Bottle rockets can’t do that much damage. My dumb friend blew off a good chunk of his hand lighting an m-80 in my friend’s car back in HS - but aside from him, everyone was fine.

    But the harm potential of explosives go up the more firepower they pack. Which means that if someone wants to use them to hurt others, it’s easier the bigger the explosive.

    It’s the same with guns. Use them responsibly, you’re probably not going to hurt anyone. But for the same reason I want regulations and bans on types of explosives (Molotov cocktails, missiles, nuclear weapons, even m-80s), I want regulations and bans on the types of weapons that can be used to kill people rapidly and in great quantities.

    I’m sure your friend Rob could have a heck of a time blowing up a missile safely in the desert somewhere (and I don’t doubt that it would be cool as all get out). But I don’t want him to because not everyone is careful and smart.

    I’m sure someone’s going moan about how ‘oh lord, it’s totally different, and you said nuclear’ - but to me it’s the same thing. Fun/cool doesn’t outweigh dangerous - a society’s got to draw a line when it comes to what you can access in terms of firepower (and I include capacity in firepower).

  76. - Brian - Wednesday, Aug 1, 12 @ 4:08 pm:

    If the threshold where it’s ‘ok’ to limit a constitutionally protected right is “potential to harm the general public,” then how come there isn’t a vocal majority attempting to regulate what we all eat and drink?

    Perhaps we could start with a ban on large fast food portions and licenses to purchase ice cream, and work our way down from there?

    From the CDC, 2010 causes of death:
    Diseases of the heart: 595,444

    Assault by discharge of firearms: 11,015 (page 20)

  77. - Debbie Reynolds - Wednesday, Aug 1, 12 @ 4:22 pm:

    You know, dear, I don’t see what all the fuss is about. It seems clear to me that the intended use of an “assault rifle” is to “assault”. and since we don’t issue duck/deer “assaulting licenses” or have duck/deer “assaulting season(s)” - then these are meant to shoot only one thing - people.

  78. - Brian - Wednesday, Aug 1, 12 @ 4:27 pm:

    All this talk about how an “assault” rifle is good for only injuring people seems to ignore that Governor Quinn’s own proposed amendment admits that there are sporting uses for regular capacity magazines, and the firearms that use them:

    “And, indeed, Quinn’s proposed amendatory veto specifically exempts the possession of the big clips at Sparta’s World Shooting and Recreational Complex, at sanctioned Olympics events and for use “expressly permitted under the Wildlife Code.” Apparently, even the governor admits that there are more uses for these guns than just shooting people.”

  79. - Annoymous - Wednesday, Aug 1, 12 @ 4:28 pm:

    Put the mental imbalanced people back in institutions instead of letting them run around ‘free’ off their meds. We didn’t have this sort of thing when we had mental institutions.
    Now, they are showing up in our nursing homes and harming good people there too.

    Stop the insanity and bring back institutions.

  80. - reformer - Wednesday, Aug 1, 12 @ 5:13 pm:

    You compare heart disease caused by bad diets to shooting deaths. If all the shooting deaths were suicides, then you might have a valid comparison.

  81. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Aug 1, 12 @ 5:13 pm:

    @Liberty First -

    Yes, Mexico has strict gun laws. Where do all those guns come from? Texas.

    Great Britain, as you know, is an island. Makes it much easier to enforce gun laws.

  82. - amalia - Wednesday, Aug 1, 12 @ 5:45 pm:

    “I don’t agree with Dick Cheaney on his terrorism thing, and I served under him.”

    are you talking about Vice President Cheney?

  83. - Newsclown - Wednesday, Aug 1, 12 @ 7:14 pm:

    I was born and raised in the big city but spent decades in the country. I’ve always been for allowing long arms for hunting and sport target shooting, but have always been against handguns. Handguns can be used for hunting, but really are optimized for killing people. Assault rifles can be used legitimately for hunting, but no real hunter needs or wants 40 shots to bring down his game. I’m sorry o ruin Rob;s fun, but for all the Robs out there, there are a smaller number of Sideshow Bobs who are going to abuse what’s out there and hurt a lot of people. I’m for making that as difficult to happen as possible, within the law.


    I’ll say it again; the governor was grandstanding on the Assault rifles AV when he knew it was DOA. A real gesture to respond to Aurora would be to restore the cuts in mental health facilities and funding, not meaningless nuances to lists of banned guns and gun parts. Nobody who kills more than one person at a time is sane. And laws don’t stop insane people.

  84. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Aug 1, 12 @ 8:08 pm:

    Yellow Dog- Mexico has some of the strictest gun laws yet highest murder rates. Britain has strict gun control and low murder rates. There is no correlation between gun control laws and murder rates

    Yeah but Mexico is right next to the U.S., so smuggling guns is easy, even if you get them from ATF.

  85. - Jimbo - Wednesday, Aug 1, 12 @ 9:05 pm:

    Folks who smugly proclaim that a ban on multi round clips are not for Rob are wrong. The ban is only for Rob.He and other law abiding citizens will probably follow the law,accept another unnecessary loss of freedom ,while those who could care less about the law will continue to ignore it.

  86. - wishbone - Wednesday, Aug 1, 12 @ 9:07 pm:

    “…although how you keep people from modifying some semi automatics to full automatic is beyond me.”

    It is already illegal to do this. Fully automatic weapons are hardly ever used in crime. Pat Quinn wants to ban so called assault weapons because they look scary. Treating a free people as if they were children because a few do terrible things results in even more who act like children. This is the inevitable tension between liberals, conservatives and libertarians in this country.

  87. - PeteyPal - Wednesday, Aug 1, 12 @ 9:15 pm:

    Of all the firearms carried by “The Joker” during his rampage, the AR-15 is probably the least lethal at close range. I’d rather take my chances getting shot with a 55 grain .223 bullet than get blasted by a load of #4 Buck from the shotgun he was carrying or taking a hit from his .40 Glock, which has an 85% one-shot-stop rate.

    Focusing these arguments on firearm design is a total waste of time. Banning semiautomatic firearms or magazines of a certain size isn’t a meaningful game changer in situations when you have a determined perpetrator.

    I’d say that the reason that more people were not killed in Aurora was because the AR-15 was the perp’s weapon of choice rather his shot gun or other firearm that fires a bigger, slower moving bullet.

  88. - amalia - Wednesday, Aug 1, 12 @ 10:34 pm:

    Since Todd quotes from Heller, I decided to go back and read Heller. It’s kind of confusing to me, but that could be partially because I believe litigating whether an individual right exists was a gigantic waste of time. people own guns, it’s not going to be otherwise, move on to reasonable regulations. so reading all the why was mind boggling. I don’t even know that I believe it was an adequate explanation to my mind.

    but I do wonder two things. I would love to ask Justice Scalia what should happen now that the “militia” is so far out of regulation? things are in chaos. many, many people own guns who are unlawful and who create disorder, who do not fight against tyranny, but actually create tyranny. what do we do to handle that?

    and, I would like Justice Scalia to expound more in the lines of his recent comments concerning colonial times laws on specific weapons to be prohibited things that are extremely dangerous that can be handled by one person (he referred to laws that prohibited those things). and, more of an explanation of this passage:

    “Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited. From Blackstone through the 19th-century cases, commentators and courts rou- tinely explained that the right was not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose. See, e.g., Sheldon, in 5 Blume 346; Rawle 123; Pomeroy 152–153; Abbott 333.

    For exam- ple, the majority of the 19th-century courts to consider the question held that prohibitions on carrying concealed weapons were lawful under the Second Amendment or state analogues. See, e.g., State v. Chandler, 5 La. Ann., at 489–490; Nunn v. State, 1 Ga., at 251; see generally 2 Kent *340, n. 2; The American Students’ Blackstone 84, n. 11 (G. Chase ed. 1884).

    Although we do not undertake an exhaustive historical analysis today of the full scope of the Second Amendment, nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws impos- ing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale ofCite as: 554 U. S. ____ (2008) 55 Opinion of the Court
    26 We identify these presumptively lawful regulatory measures only as examples; our list does not purport to be exhaustive.”

  89. - Quizzical - Wednesday, Aug 1, 12 @ 10:49 pm:

    Let’s say I have a friend who is able to use cocaine in moderation. He enjoys it without any notable ill effect. I still don’t think cocaine should be legal. And I’m someone who thinks marijuana should be legal.

    We do limit fundamental rights. Someone told me, “Not only can you not yell fire in a crowded theater, the government can and should stop you from saying anything in a crowded theater.”

    Man is born free, but everywhere he is in chains.

  90. - steve schnorf - Wednesday, Aug 1, 12 @ 10:50 pm:

    This general issue is one on which my thinking has evolved considerably over the past 10 or 15 years. To me, bottom line, it comes to this. The Robs of the world are really the only people these bans affect, because criminals, by definition, break laws, as do psychopaths. I’ll kill you, but I won’t violate the FOID law? Well, I won’t violate the clip or assault weapon ban, that would be against the law, but I’ll rape you and chop you up with this axe? C’mon!

  91. - Marty - Wednesday, Aug 1, 12 @ 11:16 pm:

    The people who write “It’s not Rob we’re talking about”, I suppose they would go for preventive detention of anyone who may have a troubled background or some other statistical basis for thinking they might someday do something criminal?

    And unless I missed something, it’s already illegal for people with violent criminal records to own guns, so as Schnorf says, who does such a law really affect? That old bumper sticker phrase, “When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns,” is actually true and intellectually a lot deeper than most gun control advocates seem able to think.

  92. - Colossus - Wednesday, Aug 1, 12 @ 11:17 pm:

    Amalia -
    Thanks for that. Very interesting.

    Newsclown - Preach it!

  93. - Quizzical - Wednesday, Aug 1, 12 @ 11:54 pm:

    Schnorf and Marty: In many, many instances of criminal behavior, the defects that corrupt peoples’ morals often affect their functional capabilities. Well wrought legal barriers can be effective against that type.

  94. - Todd - Thursday, Aug 2, 12 @ 7:19 am:

    Amalia –

    Yup not an unlimited right — check.

    Not the right to keep and carry any weapon — check. I would agree that the section you quoted, deals with a couple of issues. and one being right to carry.

    Do I think that Illinois ban on guns made to look like cell phones is constitutional — yes. I think it passes the dangerous and unusual test talked about by Scalia.

    I think cane guns could as well. I think rocket launchers, grenade launchers and light machine guns would as well. IF you go back and look at pg 52 where it says:

    rests its case.24
    We may as well consider at this point (for we will have
    to consider eventually) what types of weapons Miller
    permits. Read in isolation, Miller’s phrase “part of ordinary
    military equipment” could mean that only those
    weapons useful in warfare are protected. That would be a
    startling reading of the opinion, since it would mean that
    the National Firearms Act’s restrictions on machineguns
    (not challenged in Miller) might be unconstitutional,
    machineguns being useful in warfare in 1939. We think
    that Miller’s “ordinary military equipment” language must
    be read in tandem with what comes after: “[O]rdinarily
    when called for [militia] service [able-bodied] men were
    expected to appear bearing arms supplied by themselves
    and of the kind in common use at the time.” 307 U. S., at
    179. The traditional militia was formed from a pool of
    men bringing arms “in common use at the time” for lawful
    purposes like self-defense. “In the colonial and revolutionary
    war era, [small-arms] weapons used by militiamen
    and weapons used in defense of person and home were one
    and the same.”

    it goes on pg 53 to say:

    We therefore read Miller to say
    only that the Second Amendment does not protect those weapons not typically possessed by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes, such as short-barreled shotguns.”

    In these two passages, Scalia mentions NFA weapons twice — machineguns and short barreled shotguns. As the type that might not be protected or at the very least subject to regulation.

    He also said that people were expected to have weapons of “common use” The single most popular rifle today is the AR-15. In Illinois we have at least 6 manufacturers of them.

    I think when you read both sections in tandem, it show a line that was drawn, semi-auto fine. Full autos and SBS not so much.

    As far as the quote about concealed carry with State v Reid, if you google the case and read it, it was talking about a ban on concealed carry in a state that allowed open carry. What the Court was saying that because they had an opencarry law, they could prohibit concealed carry. But they could not have a prohibition of both. And the passage of a second ban — one on the remaining lawful carry would be unconsitutional.

    Adn lets not forget the Illinois Supreme Court had this issue before it this year and did not find for Cook COunty that their ban was lawful. As a matter of fact, the panel seemed to be very skeptical about the cook county ban with the Chief judge asking that if the gun in Heller was a Glock, would that Glock be legal under the Cook County ban — the answer was NO. Which left the unanswered question of if a gun protected by Heller, was banned by Cook, how could that be permissible.

    To Rich’s basic question, If I have submitted to the regulations of the state for my FOID and such, why shouldn’t i be allowed to own these? The fact is we don’t abandon the First Amendment beause some people engage in child porn. And I won;t excecpt that beauce a small numbver of people use these criminally that we then ban a firearm for sport, hunting, and self defense.

    The differeance between the 1994 Clinton gun ban and the Quinn gun ban show that the gun banners are never happy with what they want to take away from the rest of us.

    Some might be upset that people own these, well i own more than the nomenclature indicates, and I’m not done yet.

  95. - PeteyPal - Thursday, Aug 2, 12 @ 8:31 am:

    In reading this thread and others on the topic, I see that a lot of the “antigun” posters seem to be cherry-picking based on urban legend and a general misunderstanding of the practical characteristics of the firearms and accessories they would ban.

  96. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, Aug 2, 12 @ 8:38 am:

    === The Robs of the world are really the only people these bans affect, because criminals, by definition, break laws, as do psychopaths. ===

    In that case, Schnorf, why do we write laws prohibiting criminals and the mentally ill from possessing weapons at all, or those with orders of protection?

    After all, if they are intent on doing something criminal or insane, they are going to do it any way.

    Yours is a fine example of a Straw Man argument.

    No one argues that gun control laws — or any law for that matter — are going to prevent ALL criminal activity or prevent EVERY death.

    Would they prevent some crimes? Would they prevent some deaths? Would they close one loophole being exploited by criminals or the mentally ill, forcing them to find another?

    Without question, yes.

    What we’re really debating is whether that benefit outweighs Rob’s right to enjoy shooting a washing machine.

  97. - wordslinger - Thursday, Aug 2, 12 @ 9:11 am:

    ==I’m pretty certain I could find links proving that violent crime increased in several countries after they instituted gun control measures.==

    Show me.

  98. - PeteyPal - Thursday, Aug 2, 12 @ 9:13 am:

    I think it should be evident by now that the laws now on the books are about all gun owners are willing to accept and that further intrusions into their rights will be met with push back. We have a right to push back and we will.

  99. - East Sider - Thursday, Aug 2, 12 @ 10:35 am:

    Is Pat Quinn going to propose a ban on knives now?

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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