SouthernIllinoisRepublican has been extremely patient in waiting for me to do a thread about gun issues. Well SIR, here it is. Let me start in broader concepts. A lot of this issue has to do with how it is framed. If I go downstate and talk about 'gun control', the conversation is going to go nowhere. But if I talk about 'gun safety', it sets a different tone, and rightly so.
With very limited (Chicago, etc.) exceptions, we have a right to gun ownership in this state. But with rights come responsibilities. When I talk with gun owners about the responsibilities that come with the rights of gun ownership, they nod approvingly. I've talked with hunters and asked them if they need armor piercing bullets-they say no. I ask them if they need to buy 5-10 guns a month-they say no. I ask them if it is important to keep guns away from criminals, they obviously nod accordingly.
So where's the issue?
The issue results from the collision that occurs when an irrational fear of the slippery slope crosses paths with an anti-gun lobby that at times may try to overreach. Like most contentious issues, there is often a lot of common-sense room in the middle. But zealots on both sides tend to demonize those that try to find refuge in this zone.
The overwhelming number of gun owners nationally are not members of the NRA. They like to hunt, might want a gun for protection, but are just fine with other restrictions that don't impact these fundamental wants.
And most people that are sick and tired of urban gun violence are fine with hunters being able to do their thing.
But bills repeatedly get filed, by proponents on both sides of the debate that are intended more for political posturing or leveraging than they are for making any meaningful alteration to the landscape of gun legislation in our state.
So there you have my very amorphous thoughts on this very contentious issue. I'll try to jump into the debate when I can, but things are kind of hectic, even as I type this from the House floor. More importantly, I committed to setting up a thread on this issue and here it is.