The gun rights gang are abuzz with rumors that one of Illinois Governor Quinn’s “political operatives” is organizing a referendum to ban assault weapons in the Land of Lincoln. I’ve called around the state bureaucracy—with about as much success as you’d expect. As far as I can tell, there is no county-wide referendum on assault weapons set for Illinois’ November elections. Meanwhile, according to highly credulous and more-than-slightly-alarmist gun bloggers, the man behind the plan is one Maz Jackson. “Maz Jackson is a top field operative for the Quinn gubernatorial re-election campaign,” the Illinois State Rifle Association reports. Yes, well, the only Maz man I can find on Google (other than the one named in the instant proliferation of links related to this rumor) is an artist, who’s home site is non-operational . . .
Be that is it may not be, you can certainly understand the panic. Given Quinn’s unwavering support for gun control in all its forms. Given that there’s nothing like a good gun grab scare to motivate the gun rights advocates’ “base.” And fill their coffers.
Which is no secret to a major political playa like Governor Quinn. There’s only way Quinn would risk grabbing the gun rights tiger by the tail: to motivate HIS base. In light of the recent Supreme Court ruling striking down the Chicago handgun ban and the increasing liberalization of gun laws around the country, I don’t think he’d go there.
Factor in the fact that the usual “we need an assault weapons ban to fight hardened criminals” meme has lost steam. To wit: a completely unscientific, self-selecting Internet poll of law enforcement folk at officer.com asked “Do you believe that the so-called ‘assault weapons’ ban makes police officers safer?”
185 votes: 12%: Yes, they are important to officer safety
704 votes: 48%: They make no difference
549 votes: 38% No, and in fact they impede my on- and off-duty safety
Commenting after the poll, MCSO Chief Dep explained the seemingly counter-intuitive conclusion that cops don’t see an assault weapon bans as an effective addition to the country’s crime-fighting tool belt.
As a LEO in North Dakota, the proliferation of firearms here is normal and a part of life. There are still people who must hunt in order to eat. Having said that, there are very few incidents statewide of gun crimes here. Partly because anyone who tries to commit a crime, stands a good chance of getting killed doing it by a civilian with a legally-owned firearm.
If there were another ban on firearms, like the totally useless Clinton one, it would do nothing but generate paperwork for my agency, create another market for pre-ban weapons and accessories and do nothing about the firearms already out there. Additionally, it will only affect the law-abiding citizen, who will then be hampered in their defense options, because the law will not apply to criminals anyway. They do not obtain their firearms legally and usually modify them to make them illegal anyway.
When the ban was in effect, even law officers had to have paperwork permitting them to have magazines that held more than 10 rounds. Completely ridiculous.
If there is ever another one signed into law, I will be sure to properly equip my people before it goes into effect, should those issues arise. Fear the government that fears your guns. Stay safe everyone.