Chicago Tribune columnist Eric Zorn, apparently unhappy that HB 4391, the one-gun-a-month "Constitutional rights rationing" bill, failed (thanks, in large part to the hard work of some committed gun rights activists in this blighted state) to draw enough votes for passage (I wrote about that here), wants to know how we could object to something so "reasonable."
Longtime readers can attest that I'm not a gun-grabber, and I respect the right of law-abiding citizens to bear arms for self-defense.I guess I'm not a "longtime reader," because I cannot attest to his lack of gun-grabbing tendencies--my take is that he sees himself in that light because he only supports "reasonable" infringements of that which shall not be infringed. There are few things I like better than to have my commitment to holding onto a basic, fundamental, human right dismissed as nothing more than a "hobby," or, better yet, being called a "firearm fetishist."
That said, it's beyond me why gun-rights folks are opposed to the modest, one-gun-purchase-a-month measure that failed in the Illinois House last week. It's intended to reduce straw-buying and illegal sales — good goals! — but the complaints of hobbyists and firearms fetishists killed it. The floor is open to any and all who can explain why it insults the Constitution and common sense to limit people to a dozen new guns a year.
Anyway, I don't know if he is adequately capable of learning as to be worth the effort, but if you would like to educate the guy, you can leave a comment here.
First, please don't refer to guns rights advocates as "hobbyists," or "firearms fetishists." Far too many heroes have shed far too much blood for the defense of liberty to be dismissed as a "hobby." Likewise, defenders of free speech are never, to my knowledge, referred to as "printing press (or pen, or word processor--what have you) fetishists"--perhaps you will see that defense of the Constitutionally guaranteed fundamental right of the individual to keep and bear arms cannot be fairly compared to (for example) sadomasochism.I don't think I'm quite done yet--the issue of the folly of the entire concept of "prohibited purchasers" has yet to be addressed. If he's genuinely interested in soliciting food for thought, then a couple commenters, particularly "Carl in Chicago," have laid out a veritable sumptuous feast for his edification.
I also reject the reference to "one-gun-a-month" rationing laws as permitting "twelve-guns-a-year. " Opportunities to buy the specific firearms one seeks are not necessarily distributed evenly across the course of a year.
The foregoing, however, is not really the point. The point is that I claim that "shall not be infringed" means what it says. If not, we might as well throw the Bill of Rights away, because if the people in power (our public servants, ostensibly) can arbitrarily decide that provisions of it that don't fit neatly with their agenda can simply be ignored, it is rendered meaningless.
Actually, it seems that Zorn is more closely monitoring the more extensive column he wrote about this subject here, so it probably makes more sense to leave your comments at the bottom there.