Last week, I blogged about Amy Campanelli’s post in the Chicago Tribune. The Public Defender claimed that the Windy City’s “War on Guns” was a doomed effort. Her remedy for Chiraq’s gangland death toll was half-baked, but at least she didn’t call for more gun control. A point not missed by the founder of Illinois’ Gun Violence Prevention Political Action Committee.
According to Tom Vanden Berk (above), Ms. Alverez ignored “the most obvious root cause of Chicago’s gun violence crisis: guns.”
Unlike illegal drugs, guns are legal products and may be lawfully owned by persons who are not prohibited by law from possessing them. But because of weak gun laws, guns are readily diverted from legal users to the illegal market.
Research from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the University of Chicago Crime Lab make clear there are multiple ways guns are diverted to the illegal market. They are stolen; they are sold or traded in off-the-books transactions without a background check on the buyer, often in person at gun shows or online; they are sold by gun dealers to straw buyers.
Each of these pathways is preventable. Gun owners should be responsible for making sure the buyer can pass a background check and should be held accountable if they fail to do so. Likewise, they should be required to notify law enforcement if a gun is lost or stolen and held accountable for failure to report. Gun dealers must be liable when they look the other way and sell to straw purchasers.
And lo, the river of guns flowing to Chicago’s gang bangers would dry up and the record-breaking “gun violence” would become a trickle. And if you believe that, you’ll believe that Americans’ natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms should be sacrificed on the altar of imbecility.
One point: gun dealers are liable if they “look the other way and sell to straw purchasers.” That’s a fact, Jack. Sorry, Mr. Berk (a name to delight our British readers). But facts are never close at hand when gun control advocates seeks to degrade and destroy Americans’ gun rights — even if they want you to believe they are.
There is empirical evidence that stronger gun laws reduce the diversion of firearms to illegal users and save lives. [ED: no link provided] Despite this, most of these laws do not exist in Illinois — or if they do, they’re toothless.
Lawmakers in Springfield are sitting on a bill that would give Illinois the ability to encourage better business practices among gun dealers and hold corrupt dealers accountable.
Choking off the pipeline of illegal guns would curb the war that is raging in the streets of Chicago. Already this year, the Chicago Police Department has recovered more than 5,000 guns — a nearly 25 percent increase over last year, more than New York City and Los Angeles combined.
A war on guns would mean getting serious about the sources of illegal guns. That battle cry is long overdue.
I’d say that particular battle cry is well past its sell-by date. But what do I know? The fact that “gun violence” in a city with draconian gun control laws, without a single gun store, whose homicide rate wasn’t affected buy a 25 percent increase in gun confiscation, is probably just one of those correlation doesn’t equal causation things, right?