Eric Zorn: Inside The Twisted Mind of a Gun Control Advocate

“What if we took some of the fear and desire for safety that animates the call for extreme vetting of refugees from the Middle East and turned that energy into a call for extreme vetting of those who want to purchase firearms?” chicagotribune.com columnist Eric Zorn asks. And the answer is . . .

Hawaii. A state so zealous in its vetting procedures that it hasn’t issued a concealed carry license since the year 2000. (Say aloha to gun rights in the Aloha State.) New York City is similarly “extreme,” saving concealed carry licenses for celebrities and wealthy, politically connected residents (e.g., President Trump). New Jersey? Same difference.

Mr. Zorn’s call for “extreme vetting” for all gun purchases and transfers reflects his inability to separate wishful thinking — a hope that “keeping guns out of the wrong hands” would reduce Chicago’s carnage — from the proven reality of its implementation (disarming law-abiding citizens). So we could call him a misguided fantasist. But what are we to make of this?

I know it’s not quite fair to attack the irresponsible use of guns by additionally burdening responsible users. Eighty percent or more of those who use guns in crimes did not purchase them through conventional legal means, according to research analyzed by PolitiFact in 2015. The evildoers borrowed them, stole them or purchased them on the black market.

And I know our criminal justice system needs to get tougher on those who use or carry guns illegally.

But I also know that we’re not going to arrest and imprison our way out of this problem, and that gun violence is much less severe in countries that aren’t awash in firearms.

So “universal background checks” are unfair and ineffective, but the Windy City should institute universal gun registration because England. Or Sweden. Or someplace like that (rather than, say, Mexico, where civilians are defenseless against rape, robbery, kidnapping, torture, extortion and murder).

For anyone familiar with the term, that’s not a good example of what passes for logic. It’s emotion [poorly] wrapped in the mantle of logic in a self-serving attempt to appear reasonable. Sane, if you will.

But Mr. Zorn isn’t sane about gun rights or gun control. As we can see from the third plank of his program (after universal background checks and microstamping):

Purchase limits. No one’s right to keep and bear arms would be meaningfully infringed by restrictions on the creation of home arsenals that are vulnerable to theft and that facilitate illicit private sales by straw purchasers.

If you squint hard enough, the first part of Mr. Zorn’s rationale for limiting the number of guns American should be able to own almost makes sense. The more guns someone owns, the more guns there are to steal.

Setting aside the fact that any such ban would be a clear infringement on Americans’ Constitutionally protected right to keep arms, setting aside the enforcement implications (“Hello Mr. Johnson, we’re here to check your “arsenal”), how does the number of guns owned increase their vulnerability to theft?

Surely firearms security has more to do with how the guns are secured — the efficacy of which can only be encouraged not mandated (safe storage laws don’t work). And with stopping people from stealing guns by keeping criminals under lock and key. Known criminals.

What kind of country limits citizens’ ability to purchase legal items? A country run by people who think that restricting legal firearms purchases would limit the number of illegal purchases. Crazy people. To be more charitable, stupid people.

That could well be a distinction without a difference. The only other possibility: gun control advocates are crazy like a fox. They know that their goals would lead to a police state or worse, and hide their true intentions under the guise of public safety.

I like to believe that isn’t true, at least for the majority of gun control proponents. But then I like to believe my third and final wife will be an Israeli supermodel. Go figure.

comments

  1. avatar John Thomas says:

    if you look closely, you can see his hatred for us and our liberty mindedness behind his crooked patronizing smile.

    1. avatar nativeson says:

      I’ve vetted Mr. Zorn and found his reasoning to be asinine and his proposal extremely un-American. I suggest that he immigrate to Syria or Afghanistan and try out his theories in the real world.

      1. avatar Rick Hess says:

        That would be emigrate. We want him to leave and not immigrate back into the US.

        1. avatar Kirby says:

          Rick,

          “When a person emigrates, she leaves one country or region to live in another, either temporarily or permanently. When she immigrates she arrives in that other country. In other words, she emigrates from one country to immigrate to another country.”

          http://www.diffen.com/difference/Emigrate_vs_Immigrate

          We would want him to emigrate FROM the U.S., and immigrate TO Syria.

    2. avatar bLoving says:

      All I see is a bigot that wants to keep the civil right of self-defense away from blacks, hispanics, women, poor people and anyone else who doesn’t look like, think like, or make as much money as him.

      1. avatar Chris Morton says:

        Well it IS Chicago…

    3. avatar Barry Soetoro says:

      They should channel some energy into vetting those that want to be journalists. Weed out the liberal. Return to the facts.

      1. avatar Jeff K says:

        I’d like to know how many journalists AREN’T liberals; bet it’s not many.

  2. avatar SteveH says:

    Zorn’s lemon.

  3. avatar Andrew Lias says:

    Why create laws when you’re not going to arrest or imprison people? That’s the stupidest thing I’ve heard all day. Why even have a law then?

    1. avatar Jack says:

      Those laws give them the OPTION to lock you up. They get to decide whether or not to exercise that option. If it’s in their best interest, they’ll lock you up.

      It’s bull.

  4. avatar ARChambers says:

    Great Idea! I’m willing to go through the same background check to buy a firearm as I do to vote.

    1. avatar Jon in CO says:

      I’m down for this one. And both are civil rights, so what’s the issue? It’s ok to ask for ID to buy guns, but not to vote?

      1. avatar strych9 says:

        But, but, but you can’t harm anyone with voting! It’s not like you could elect someone who is “literally Hitler” and “wants to round up minorites and put them in camps” while “encouraging an atmosphere of bigoted violence and oppression”!!

        Oh, wait…

        1. avatar Rusty Chains says:

          One of the heroes of the left rounded up American citizens and put them in camps and allowed the theft of their possessions. No, not Hitler, it was FDR that did that to Americans of Japanese descent. Since it was FDR they just try to pretend it didn’t happen.

        2. avatar Swilson says:

          Rusty Chains,

          Prior to that: putting Indians onto reservations.

      2. avatar JOSEPH L SEXTON says:

        Just like it’s okay to lock Fathers or Mothers up when they commit a crime breaking up Families BUT not okay to deport Illegals who broke into our country, live off our tax dollars BUT don’t deport them if they have Anchor Children, you’ll be breaking up their Family, asinine reasoning, typical Liberal BS.

    2. avatar Jim says:

      Not only that but you have to check off whether you are citizen , legal immigrant or here illegally on the forms. They don’t do that for voting.

    3. avatar Jason says:

      I had to provide a photo ID and Social Security number to vote.

  5. avatar Bosko says:

    Just more proof that real journalism, i.e. Seek The Truth, hasn’t existed for many decades.
    The media has become an unelected, unchecked, easily bribed wing of our “government”.

  6. avatar Bohica says:

    How about some extreme vetting of every article before it’s published? (I feel much more threatened by fake news and hysterical diatribes than I do by my armed countrymen.)

    Zorn and the rest of the yellowstream media would be howling at the moon!

  7. avatar strych9 says:

    “But I also know that we’re not going to arrest and imprison our way out of this problem, and that gun violence is much less severe in countries that aren’t awash in firearms.”

    This is what annoys me about libtards; they can make a decent point and then in the same breath manage to sound like they were dropped on their head as a child and since then their diet has consisted mainly of paint chips, hard liquor and bath salts.

    Yes, you can’t incarcerate your way out of a multifaceted problem. Acknowledged, but why is it that you only care about violence that takes place using a firearm? Why are you content to openly label yourself as an asshole that doesn’t care if people are stabbed, cut, strangled, beaten, poisoned, lit on fire, drowned, or blown up as long as, God forbid, their violent demise doesn’t involve a firearm? Why don’t you care about rape, sexual assault, physical assault that doesn’t cause death, robbery etc? What is this obsession with making yourself look like a callous jackass who doesn’t have to brain cells to rub together?

    Then on top of that he fails to put this comment in context. Africa in general, and many countries throughout the world are awash in firearms and have sky high levels of violence. The guns are generally “illegal” so does that make the level of violence acceptable? Seriously, WTAF?

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      “… their diet has consisted mainly of paint chips, hard liquor and bath salts.”

      Consider that stolen. 🙂

      Not quite on-topic but it sure can involve guns…

      A very big news story broke last night that is getting relatively little publicity.

      China, apparently having had enough of tin-pot dictator Jim Jong Un’s assassination of Kim’s older brother living under Chinese protection has announced they will buy no more NK coal (lovingly extracted by hand from NK coal mines with slave labor) until the end of this year.

      NK earns roughly 50 percent of their hard currency from that coal China will no longer buy.

      Some real screws have just been turned on the ‘Dear Leader’.

      It *could* turn very interesting (in the China ‘interesting times’ curse way) in both of Korea’s near future…

      1. avatar strych9 says:

        If things get rough the Norks can eat that tubby bastard…

        1. avatar Geoff PR says:

          Being Asian food, they’ll just be hungry again in an hour.

          (Yeah, it was a lame pun…)

        2. avatar Vhyrus says:

          I’m pretty sure I laughed hard enough to go to hell on these jokes.

    2. avatar Swilson says:

      Or as RF points out, why not compare to civilian disarmed states like Mexico…which is awash in gun violence. The antis love to point to Europe as an example (as though that continent wasn’t awash in blood). Not to play the race card, but do they not care about non-white majority countries? Talk about sounding like an asshole.

  8. avatar Soylent Green says:

    Chicago could probably use some “extreme vetting” when it comes to who is a suitable parent.

  9. avatar Ing says:

    Who says things like “How about instead of extreme vetting for noncitizens trying to get in, we use extreme vetting against our own law-abiding citizens”?

    Fascists, that’s who.

    Inside every progressive is a totalitarian screaming to get out.

    1. avatar TyrannyOfEvilMen says:

      Exactly. And since Trump’s inauguration you can find evidence of this every day that has absolutely nothing to do with firearms at all.

  10. avatar W says:

    “… turned that energy into a call for extreme vetting of those who want to purchase firearms?”

    Okay, Zorn, I’ll bite. Why don’t we ask the friends, family, and criminals(1) who illegally transfer to criminals to walk into police stations and ask for background checks?

    Answer: because people on this side of the issue are not idiots.

    1. https://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/fuo.pdf

  11. avatar Marcus (Aurelius) Payne says:

    It’s almost like they don’t know what “infringed” means.

  12. avatar Ironhead says:

    This idiot is just one of the many reasons Chicago is a warzone. Don’t go after the bad guys… just law abiding citizens.
    It’s like PETA. there is a reason the go after women in fur coats and not bikers in leather. Who’s the easier target?

    1. avatar Howard A McClellan says:

      That’s a real good point and right on the money.

  13. avatar Mark N. says:

    Wait a minute Zorg, uh I mean Zorn, Chicago already tried “extreme vetting.” It was called a total handgun ban. Lasted over 20 years. How’d that work out? Not too good, huh? So why are you suggesting that we try the same thing again (in essence) and expect that the result will be any different?

  14. avatar 2aguy says:

    And to go even further…there is no reason a journalist like Zorn needs more than 200 words to express himself…..right? More than that and you run the risk of allowing enemies of freedom to write things that damage democracy…so controlling the number of words journalists and writers can put into print is actually a way to ensure freedom for everyone…….isn’t that the type of reasoning these jack asses use?

  15. avatar Mark Kelly's Diapered Drooling Ventriloquist's Dummy says:

    Didn’t Liberal Media types including Eric Zorn promote the false “Hand Up! Don’t Shoot!” lie that led to the brutal physical attacks on innocent White civilians and deaths of police officers nationwide? Why “yes” he and they did all while exercising their 1st Amendment Rights, now THAT should be “looked in to” I mean we just CAN’T have people even those charged with reporting the “news” spread outright lies I mean it actually gets people killed. I say everyone in the “News” Media who has advanced the aforementioned fallacy out of Ferguson (or was it Obama’s White House?) has forfeited their “right” to “Free Speech” after all they proven they are not to be trusted and people died due to their inability or refusal to tell the truth in order to advance a socio-political agenda and THAT in and of itself should be a Capital crime.

  16. avatar Mark Kelly's Diapered Drooling Ventriloquist's Dummy says:

    Damn typo! It’s supposed to be “they have proven they….”

    BRING BACK THE “EDIT” FEATURE!

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      The code that runs TTAG is *strange*.

      For *months* the edit function was non-existent on every ‘puter in this house.

      Then, about 2 weeks ago, the edit function works again.

      Why would it work for some, but not others, and then after a period of time change back again?

  17. avatar Hannibal says:

    The Constitution applies to citizens of this country but not to those who are neither citizens nor are in the country*.

    But since people like him don’t value the Constitution for anything unless it happens to agree with them, I guess an argument based on that document means nothing to him.

    *- significant portions of it do apply to anyone in the nation, regardless of citizenship; you can’t torture someone just because they’re here illegally. But he Constitution does not apply to non-citizens who are seeking entrance. No one has a ‘right’ to migrate to the United States. For the reasons why, see the current political crisis in Europe.

    1. significant portions of it do apply to anyone in the nation, regardless of citizenship; you can’t torture someone just because they’re here illegally.

      Actually, that is prohibited by laws against assault and battery.

      1. avatar Hannibal says:

        Even if state laws do not exist or are not enforced, federal prohibitions on cruel and unusual punishment apply to non-citizens as well as citizens.

  18. avatar Joe R. says:

    More sChitcagoan’s “We’re F’d up we need to fix you crap”.

    Save it a-holes.

  19. avatar Sprocket says:

    “But I also know that we’re not going to arrest and imprison our way out of this problem” Keep repeating this long enough and people might believe it’s true. The truth is the people responsible for making Chicago the crap hole it is have long violent criminal histories and should be serving lengthy prison sentences.This dimwitted monkey and his fellow travelers have demanded a catch and release justice system that allow the worst elements of society to roam free and perpetrate savagery. They then have the temerity to try to shift the burden of the problem they created onto us. The mess their ghetto pets have made on their lawn is nobody’s problem but theirs, let them deal with it.

  20. avatar Jean-Claude says:

    Wait—so he can say his illogical nonsensical crap, but if someone were to offer a solution that would actually WORK, the media and such would freak out.

    What’s that solution?

    Farago is going to come unglued, but here you go.

    MAKE IT ILLEGAL FOR BLACK PEOPLE TO OWN GUNS. Make possession of a firearm by black people a capital offense. Black people are 13% of the population and commit 51% of the murders. Most black people are killed by other black people, and in cases of interracial murder, blacks kill whites at a rate far higher than the opposite.

    A high percentage of blacks in an area always leads to high violent crime—except for a few enclaves around suburban DC(and those are filled with government workers drawing high salaries). Neighborhood, town, city, state, nation—-when there are more blacks, there is more violence.

    America doesn’t have a gun problem. It doesn’t have a mental health problem. America has a negro problem.

    1. avatar Noah says:

      Look, pal, we really don’t need that here. Even assuming your suggestion weren’t an affront to the basic civil right that the Second Amendment is, and rather hard on the Fourteenth, it wouldn’t work. Again, people get guns illegally. As they get every other conceivable way to kill, maim, and murder.

      1. avatar Jean-Claude says:

        More blacks = more crime. Always. Don’t call me pal, either.

        It’s not the fault of the Democrats. It’s not the fault of the welfare state. Black communities were riddled with crime way before LBJ’s “Great Society”.

        Have things worsened? Absolutely. Encouraging bastardry and the EXPLOSION of amoral, conspicuous consumption-centered hip hop culture have eaten away at the black community like twin cancers. But it’s not like they were great before.

        It’s just that in the past, the black community was kept in check by good cops like Daryl Gates. The blacks knew the cops would beat the snot out of them at the drop of a hat. Farago will hate that—but blacks don’t fear jail. They don’t. Their friends and family are already there, and doing a stretch only gains them street cred. But they do fear Officer Murphy beating them with a big stick. Can’t do that anymore, and now you see the result.

    2. avatar JJ Swiontek says:

      I respectfully disagree sir. We do not have a race problem. We have a liberal democrat problem. We have 50 years of a social experiment that has failed on every level. We have a statist problem. And, last but not least, we have a collectivist problem.

      It is not their skin color, sir, that causes the crime statistics. It is their training and ethics.

      I have taught all colors. And it is the quality of the person that makes them an asset to their community. Not their color.

      1. avatar Jean-Claude says:

        Kindly provide an example for me, then, of an area which increased test scores and lowered crime once it became majority black.

        Bet. You. Can’t.

        1. avatar JJ Swiontek says:

          First, test scores are irrelevant because the schools could give everyone A+ but still not teach them anything. (Which is just one of the public school problems.)

          How about this? Your premise is that black skin causes crime. Yes? Then a major urban city with a low percentile of black skinned individuals should have less crime.

          East LA and Phoenix come to mind as disproving your theory.

        2. In the past, the five Points in Manhattan would have disproved his theory.

      2. avatar Jean-Claude says:

        Oh, dark skinned Indian/Mexicans are also crime-prone. That’s why areas filled with them are crime-riddled. East LA, Phoenix—your examples.

        You know who’s not crime-prone in America? Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, Indians, Vietnamese, etc.

        Do you know who runs things in Mexico? Spaniard-descended white people. They are European in their behavior. The Indians and Mestizos are the savages who commit crime.

        It’s genetic. Sorry to burst your kumbaya bubble.

        1. avatar JJ Swiontek says:

          There is no kumbaya bubble to burst sir. I can see that you are set in your beliefs. As am I. So I will part with this: Bon chance in your future endeavors and may your search for truth be fruitful. I will continue to teach gun safety/conceal-carry to all who wish to learn.

        2. avatar Michael Ejercito says:

          Since when was east L.A. populated by indios?

  21. avatar Pwrserge says:

    Sounds like a problem in dire need of a policing solution. Here’s an idea, make shooting a known gang member rewarded with, say, a $1000 bounty. Then publish the mug books online. Problem solves itself in about a week.

    1. avatar Hannibal says:

      Sounds like the roman proscriptions. That ended swimmingly.

      1. avatar Pwrserge says:

        Can’t argue with the world’s longest running empire.

  22. avatar GS650G says:

    He’s all for tough laws law abiding people would follow because real criminals ignore his laws regularly. So he FEELS he can stop real criminals with laws on guns owned by the law abiding.
    Go suck an egg, pal.

  23. An estimated 7 out of every 10 people in my city carry a gun either concealed or open and we have been named the safest city to raise a family in the entire state. Weird. It’s no rural area either.

  24. avatar Jack Crow says:

    But guys, think of all the wonderful “logical” extensions that will save lives! Limit how much alcohol people can buy (that’s never failed before, right?) And drunk driving deaths will go down!

    Limit how much food people can buy, and we can reduce obesity and control diabetes! Make illegal drugs illegal, and then people won’t be hurt by them any more!!

    *spittle flies, eyes crazed*

    Make murder illegal, and nobody will be hurt! Elizabeth Warren for president!

    /sarc

  25. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

    “No one’s right to keep and bear arms would be meaningfully infringed by restrictions on the creation of home arsenals…”

    That’s his strongest argument right there, since it comes straight out of the Constitution in the Bill of Kinda, Sorta, But Not Quite, Rights, whose second amendment reads in part:

    “…the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be meaningfully infringed.” It’s settled law.

  26. avatar Icabod says:

    “And I know our criminal justice system needs to get tougher on those who use or carry guns illegally.”

    Following implementation, he will then protest that “too many black males are ending up in jail.”

    Chicago has a very low conviction rate compared to arrests for gun crimes. A lot is due to plea bargains. When sentencs are imposed, they regular fall on the low end of the guidelines. Finally there’s overcrowding, time off etc.

    1. avatar Michael Ejercito says:

      I never understood this contradiction. It is as if these people think that gun control laws will do something other than put more black people in jail.

      1. avatar JOSEPH L SEXTON says:

        The Second Amendment only reinforces a G-D given RIGHT to defend oneself & family & friends. I’ve had guns since I was 14 years old in the Bronx NY, I never harmed a soul & only would in self-defense, as would my Wife. There are over 22,000 Federal, State & county laws in the USA, how many do we need. Law abiding people follow the laws, criminals do not. These anti-gun freaks have an agenda, no amount of facts will change it, so if you truly believe in the RIGHT to Keep & Bear Arms then defend it. Join a group like SCOPE & NYSRPA in NY or NRA or GOA or JPFO & contribute to fight these inane idiots. I know many gun owners who shoot off their mouths at coffee BUT never follow up or donate. Cuomo would not have been elected IF the pro 2nd Amendment had ALL gone out & voted AGAINST this “I Want To Be President” Liberal.

  27. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

    Premise 1: “The pen is mightier than the sword.”

    The sentence was coined by Edward Bulwer-Lytton in 1839. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_pen_is_mightier_than_the_sword). The idea goes back as far as the early 7th century BC. Id. The phrase means that persuasion is more effective than violence. See id.

    Premise 2: The 2A is not “a second-class right, subject to an entirely different body of rules than the other Bill of Rights guarantees that [the Supreme Court has] held to be incorporated into the Due Process Clause.” McDonald, 561 U.S 742, 780 (plurality opinion).

    Premise 3: Courts review laws restricting rights by balancing the right and the government’s interest in regulating the protected activity. (See strict scrutiny and intermediate scrutiny).

    Conclusion: As persuasion is more effective than violence, the 2A is subject to the same body of rules as the 1A, the government’s interest in regulating speech and the press is greater than the government’s interest in regulating firearms and other weapons. Therefore, any the maximum constitutional regulation of firearms is less than the maximum constitutional regulation of speech/the press.

    Put another way, the press is constitutionally subject to greater regulation than firearms.

    Premise 2 & 3 are facts. They are the law of the land. That’s what cops, judges*, juries, and jailers go by. Premise 1 is an often cited aphorism.

    1. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

      *Judges seem to be ignoring premise 2 all over the country, but especially in the 9th Circuit.

  28. avatar Alan says:

    If Zorn’s ideas were actually put into effect, heaven forbid, and it turned out as it likely would, wthat criminals were still armed, as likely they would remain, and that they continued to bring violence to the unarmed citizenry, which they most certainly would, what song might Mr. Zorn and like minded others then sing, I wonder.

  29. avatar justaman says:

    Mr. Zorn, how many of the Chicago gang bangers waited in line to be vetted at the gun store for their firearm purchase. Can we please see your documentation of that.

  30. avatar Founding Father says:

    When will these fools realize or admit that US Citizens have Constitutional Rights (aka the first “Civil Rights”) while NON-Citizens DO NOT have Constitutional Rights? When will Constitutionalists & Libertarians stand up and fight like the Leftists? And lastly, when will you learn that Logical reasoning and Factual debates have no impact on the Leftist & Liberals? Liberalism is a very real Mental Disorder – vaccinate your family (especially children) & friends against it.

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