Chicago Tribune columnist and self-proclaimed "non-gun-grabber" Eric Zorn has been trying to stimulate discussion on the issue of gun rights vs. "gun control." Unfortunately for Mr. Zorn's best-laid plans, the "debate" has been rather one-sided.
I've written several posts and column items recently on the issue of gun control -- the most recent one asking for ideas from both sides about compromises that gun-rights people and gun-ban people might be able to live with.That's from a week ago today.
And each time it has struck me how tiny, uninspired and vague the response has been from those who favor new laws to try to keep guns out of the hand of evildoers.
While the gun-rights folks weigh in quickly and forcefully with links to studies and detailed arguments, the gun-ban folks are mostly quiet. The suggestions seem to be mostly on the order of Police Supt. Jody Weis' call in today's paper to ban AK-47 rifles, which, as I have argued before, is beside the point, at best.
If gun-control advocates don't want to or can't join the conversation here, I'm prepared to shut it down as the futile exercise it may well be.
Yesterday, he tried again:
Monitoring the feisty and zesty comment boards at Change of Subject these last two weeks has reminded me of something I became aware of in the mid-1990s, when I wrote rather often on the subject of firearms policy:Could it be that enthusiasm for infringing that which shall not be infringed is not as strong as some would have us believe? Could be--the fact that thousands of concerned Illinois gun owners converged on Springfield--any way they could get there--to lobby for gun rights, while the Chicago Public Schools system buses students, at tax payer expense, to lobby for more restrictive gun laws, would seem to indicate which side the grassroots support is on.
Gun-control advocates are weak. Whether they're badly outnumbered by gun-rights advocates, lazier than gun-rights advocates or simply don't have the statistical or philosophical ammunition to keep up with gun-rights advocates I'm not totally sure.
But the undeniable truth is that, whenever this subject bobs to the surface of the news pond, as it has lately, those who favor tough new laws to restrict access to guns prove to be no match for their passionate foes in the rumble-tumble of online debate.
"Gun-control backers: Where are you?" I pleaded in a headline last week.
Cue the sound of crickets.
Similarly, the fact that 77 of Illinois' 102 counties have passed resolutions of opposition to more gun laws is another indication of where most of the state stands on the issue.
Days of Our Trailers has more.