Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Fire Away

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.


At February 28, 2006 at 3:44 PM, Anonymous Gish said...

I always wondered this:

Why is it in the State of Illinois' interest to promulgate rules which are more stringent than the Federal governments?

Do we not consider the Federal government to be capable of passing regulations which follow the principle of the Constitution?

At February 28, 2006 at 6:18 PM, Anonymous southernilrepub said...

Rep Fritchey,

First off thanks for your insight. Allow me to share some counterpoints.

1. Sure this is a dead horse, but I would like to see firm numbers from Chicago PD of FOID registered firearms that are used during the commission of a crime.

2. This could be a cause for a renewed movement for a Con Con. Allow Chicago to have their bans/limitations, but allow for Counties to have conceal-carry, gun ownership issues; if the voters so choose. We currently allow a huge assorted mess of laws conerning transportation. With this in mind why not allow rural residents to conceal-carry. Of course there are restrictions, such as schools, stadiums, public buildings etc.

3. You mention the issue of multi-purchases. Why limit commerce, I say. If we all of a sudden see a huge stockpiling of weapon caches in Illinois then maybe there could be cause for concern.

4. The current 2414 that has been proposed is too inclusive. It would make me a 10-15 time felon overnight. Currently, I have 10 firearms, including a so called assault weapon (AR-15), also I own two handguns. The problem with the bill is that when one does the scientific conversion of calibration, you ban 12 and 20 ga shotguns. You also ban 50 yr old 17 round .22 rimfire rifles. I will agree with you that I have no use for a .50 caliber rifle similar to that used by the US military. In Illinois there are few safe wide open areas to shoot these type of weapons. On the issue of ammunition, I often times in the past bought this type because it was a cheaper older Soviet caliber that could be used. But again as you pointed out with this right comes responsibility. So upon firing this type of weapon, I was sure of my surroundings and fired into a dirt burm.

I'll look at your post again and respond to the rest of your points. Overall I see a dangerous precident when we pick and choose which parts of the Bill of Rights we decide to obey. Both sides of all issues are guilty of limiting the framers intent. I think the judicial philosophy of Scalia is the best approach. Breyer fits in with what I call the pick and choose sort of mentality. Another hypothetical for you to respond to, where is the ACLU when it comes to gun-owners rights. I often get upset to hear they defend the rights of child molesters and bigotry spewed by the KKK.

I hope you've enjoyed my manifesto.

At February 28, 2006 at 6:36 PM, Blogger Hon. John Fritchey said...


I think you do a great job of setting forth some very valid points. If the rest of the participants in the big picture debate could do the same thing, I have a hunch that this issue would go a long way toward resolving itself.

At February 28, 2006 at 6:37 PM, Anonymous southernilrepub said...

Rep. Fritchey,

Would the divide between a Cook/Chicago - downstate compromise be possible?

BTW - Not a NRA member, but do belong to the ISRA because they are a legitimate organization that has the ability to defend against legislation like HB 2414

At February 28, 2006 at 7:26 PM, Anonymous southernilrepub said...

Solution to the problem,

Introduce this legistlation, HJCRA 0033. Calls for the gun debate to be in the hands of county boards to legislate the rules for ownership. Secondly the ISP can keep their authority over the FOID card.

At March 1, 2006 at 1:41 AM, Blogger ArchPundit said...

I think the idea of leaving it to counties is interesting including concealed carry. Given I live in conceal carry land, it's not been a big deal.

That said, I would prefer to export two features of Illinois gun laws. One is the FOID to go national, and the other is to have the waiting periods made consistent and permanent.

The first, I think, would cut down on straw purchases which is probably where there are some FOID bought firearms though I'm betting many more come from out of state where there are no FOID regulations.

The second is simply from the time I spent selling guns and a few too many people coming in thinking that if they felt threatened, but had never owned a gun, they could effectively defend themselves by immediately buying a gun.

It's struck me that for some time that Illinois' problems with gun violence and availability of illegal firearms have little to do with Illinois and a lot to do with other states.

At March 2, 2006 at 8:27 AM, Anonymous Todd said...

where to start......

I'll take it slow and do this over several posts so I get to focus on different points.

When supporters use phrases like amor piercing aammo or sniper rifle they show that they know nothing of the issue they speak of and it is just another phrase to be burnt into the mental fabric of the media.

What is armor pieiceing ammo that you speak of?

Just like the semi-auto gun bans being tossed around the details and definitions mean everything.

20 years ago, the phrase was saturday night specials? Can anyone tell me what one of those is? Ten years ago is was assualt weapons, five years ago it was pocket rockets and today it is the sniper rifle that anti-gunn groups vilify and want to ban.

I'm all for having an open debate on the topic and disscussing the issue in a rational way. But to do so, then we need to know what we are talking about.

So to those who wish to ban or control what I do, must explain what those measures are.

While some think that parcing the state in to different areas may work, it goes against a fundimental principal of or representative republic -- yes republic as we are not a democracy. The Founding Fathers set it up that way.

I do not subscribe to the notion that it is ok to have two sets of rights. If that were true, then we would still live under the Dred Scott ruling of the Supreme Court.

proponents of gun control never cease to seek more restrictions on my rights. And I would agree that with rights come responsiblities. I don't yell fire in a theater and I don't shoot my gun in the air on news years eve.

But how many background checks and waiting periods, permits and red tape must I go through before enough is enough?

If all the gun control laws worked, then Chciago would be the safest city in the country. the problem of violent crime is more than just guns. It is one of social and economic problems that requires more thought then the idea of banning a gun.


At March 2, 2006 at 9:14 AM, Anonymous southernilrepub said...


I suggest this proposal yet again but in more detail

Chicago can have their ban, we as gun owners'activists should quite wasting our time on this debate. What we need to do it draw a line in the sand and compromise. We say hey have your bans in Cook/Chicago, but when you want to regulate guns in the South/Central NO WAY. Most of the owners of firearms are out of Chicagoland. Why waste my ISRA dues fighting an eventual losing battle that hinges on three votes, way too close for comfort. Lets rethink that way they lobby, lets go for an amendement to the IL Const. and let the voters of the state decide how they want to regulate guns and if they even want to regulate them at all.

At March 2, 2006 at 11:47 AM, Blogger Kanyon21 said...

Here is an idea....up the ante for any crimes committed with a gun. Even if no one is harmed by the gun, add an additional 10 years to their prison sentence for all crimes that have a gun present in the situation. Do you think that this idea might curb some crimes involving guns?

At March 2, 2006 at 3:44 PM, Anonymous Todd said...

Southern --

we tried that. And even when we proposed bills that would allow the city to keep what they have and exempt them out. They still work to kill the bill and there is no room for compromise.

WE got a law on gun shows last year and gun locks at point opf sale. And still they are back for more.

If you look at the orginal bill, you'll see they wanted confiscation of currently owned firearms.

And by the way, Cook county and Chicago already have gun bans on semi-autos, handguns in the city and a whole host of other ordinances. The let them do what ever they want hasn't kept them happy in their own little world. They continue to try and force their view on others.


At March 2, 2006 at 5:11 PM, Anonymous southernilrepub said...

Todd V. maybe? Well I'm guessing if this is whom I think it is, I'd be willing to possibly defer to your expertise on this issue. Has ISRA explored the Const. Amendment route? I'm quite aware of the huge range of current muncp. ordinances on guns and transportation. Its like a puzzle determining if and where it is okay to have a firearm in case or broken down. Is there anyway to reason and broker a deal that is exceptable to both sides?

I saw the original HB 2414, I counted today and realized that I would have 16 current violations. My AR would get me into a world of trouble.

At March 2, 2006 at 11:25 PM, Anonymous todd said...

Yes it is me. Rep. Fritchey asked me to stop by and comment.

All a constitutional amendment would do, is cost a lot of money and subject us to a supermajority vote. Take a look at the referrendum MO ran a few years ago. There are a lot of reasons not to go that route and none for it.


At March 3, 2006 at 7:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

upping the ante with more prison time has its own challenges. many who commit crimes, or try to, with guns, aren't thinking about prison. They're thinking about whatever is motivating them to commit, and most likely they're not thinking with a clear mind. Increasing prison time simply adds to the already severe overcrowding in prisons and forces us to spend a greater amount of misguided funds to house individuals with limited access for reform, treatment or education.... all things that help to keep individuals out of prison and out of street life to begin with.

At March 3, 2006 at 8:25 AM, Anonymous southernilrepub said...


As I said I'll defer to you, because you ge paid the big bucks to do the dirty work. You've been successful in dampening my spirits on this issue. Well there is some comfort that can be taken as to what law enforcement agency in their right mind would enforce this measure South of I-80. I'd have a hard time thinking my rural sheriff is going to send out his deputies to collect guns. I think I heard a quote from J. Jones saying "how many body bags would it take." However cryptic is statement is, its not too far from the truth.
Again keep fighting the good fight on behalf on the 2nd Amendment.

At March 3, 2006 at 10:02 AM, Anonymous Gish said...

Based on my local news team, the 'assault weapon' ban also seeks to ban maufacture in Illinois.

Is there any indication of how that is supposed to help curb this 'gang violence' that they keep talking about?

It isn't like the manufacturers haven't already stated they'll just move somewhere else.

At March 3, 2006 at 10:06 AM, Blogger Hon. John Fritchey said...

First off, thanks to Todd and everybody else for weighing in on this issue. In case some of you hadn't heard, it looks as if the assault weapon ban will NOT be being called this year.

At March 3, 2006 at 1:13 PM, Anonymous southernilrepub said...

Rep. Fritchey,

Did notice that Sen. Pres. Jones had made that statement. He is looking after the reelection of Blagojevich. I assume that by this time next year a whole new slew of bills will be introduced.

At March 3, 2006 at 1:19 PM, Blogger Hon. John Fritchey said...

Jones made the statement about the bill's fate in the Senate. It was the House sponsor that chose not to move it in the House, either because the votes weren't there or because they didn't want to string members out on a bill that was DOA in the Senate.

But I agree, the return of these bills is probably a given.

At March 3, 2006 at 6:42 PM, Anonymous Todd said...

The bill was not called by the sponsor becuase they did not have the votes. Despite some chest thumping by other lobbyists, they were short from the start and their tactic of forcing certain reps into a "tough" vote in an election year backfired on them. they also lost votes for the way the handeled the issue and we began picking up more defections as facts played out.

Add into it the absense of members from day to day, and they would have been lucky to get 50 votes today.

I agree it will come back and as I have said all along, its prosepcts wil depend on how we do in the eviction -- err, I mean election.

Since John has jumped in, I'll restate my first question, What do you consider armor piercing ammunition that you spoke of in your opening?

We can begin the debate there.


At March 5, 2006 at 9:19 PM, Blogger Hon. John Fritchey said...


Without getting into the physics of it, let me restate to say armor-piercing bullets for handguns. I understand that most rifle rounds will penetrate armor.

At March 5, 2006 at 10:48 PM, Anonymous Gish said...

Someone can correct me if I am wrong but there is only one season for handguns in Illinois and it is not even an option in many counties.

I, myself, live in Sangamon county and know many deer hunters but not one who hunts with a handgun.

As a point of interest Hon. Fritchey, where did you find handgun hunters to ask about armor-piercing ammunition at?

At March 6, 2006 at 9:12 AM, Blogger Hon. John Fritchey said...


That's my point, hunters don't need them, which is why it would appear to make sense to draw a distinction between handgun ammo and rifle ammo. If I am incorrect, or this isn't feasible, please let me know. Thanks.

At March 6, 2006 at 4:59 PM, Anonymous Todd said...

John --

thanks for the clarification on the armor piercing ammo.

First, it's illegal. 720 ILCS 24-2.1.

We wrote the law. What happens often times in the debate is a buzz word is tossed out. Then broad definitons ban all kinds of stuff, until we step in a fight it.

So, sine the ammo designed to puch through soft body armor from a handgun is already Illegal, why is it an issue?

I understand trying to open up the debate as to where many people are in the debate, but this one is a red hering. In this case it is not a "need", or even legal. It is an issue that gets dragged up when people don't know the status of the law.

Recent attempts at banning so called armor piecing ammo, woul dhave outlawed all ammo that would penatrate a vest. thus outlawing all modern rifle ammo.

Are there some handguns that will penatrate a vest, yes. It goes back to the standards that are used and the fact that everyone wants a vest that weighs in at about tissue paper and stops a tank round.

It is a game of physics. Trying to stop something flying between 800 fps and 2000 fps (feet per second)in less than 3/8 of an inch, without it being steel.

Take for example the S&W .500. a Modern handgun designed for hunters and competitve shooters. Vests were designed to stop .38s, .357, 9mm, .40 cal, .45 acp. Level 2a vest go a bit farther and with soft trama paltes will stop a .44 mag. The vest may stop it, but you might not survive it. The blow could do other damage and send your heart in to arithma.

It wasn't designed to go after cops. it was designed for a specialty in the hunting and shooting world.

So what do you do?

The first call from the Mayor of Chciago was to ban the gun. So no matter how small or how big and expensive, it doesn't matter. Terms like armor piercing ammo are used to create and issue and make for some justification for a ban or an attack on something.


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