tom-vanden-berk-courtesy-chicagotribune-com

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?

Recommended For You

137 Responses to Chicago Tribune Letter to the Editor: Guns Are the Root Cause of Chicago’s “Gun Violence Crisis”

  1. Wow, this guy’s a real mind. So some joker buys a gun, hands it off to a banger, then reports it stolen the very next day. How did the ‘must-report’ law keep a gun off the street?
    Somebody robs my house, and takes a gun out of it, or breaks into my truck and finds a pistol. I had the guns locked in lockboxes, but they break them open. How did the safe storage law accomplish anything? These guys are either the world’s most uncritical thinkers, or they think we are.

    • Good thing you don’t work law enforcement or we would be even more screwed. The lost and stolen laws are not for the average law abiding person, they are there to prosecute straw buyers. When someone’s collection of 20 Sigmas and High Points is missing after the cops trace back “crime” gun to the purchaser, you can actually prosecute them for something. The average straw buyer is not stupid; they are going to act like a normal purchaser when they go to the FFL. Gang bangers with clean records will get FOID cards and tool up all their friends. Hell, the more established gangs will keep certain member criminal records clean so they can purchase all the guns that are needed.
      Safe storage laws exist because people are stupid and leave their guns out where others can get ahold of them. And don’t give whole “I’m responsible” crap. I had a friend who is not gun person try to grab my carry piece. Boy I went ballistic, but when good would that have done if I ended up being shot in the ass or worse. I had a friend who was shot when someone found his revolver in the bedroom (drywall will not stop a .357). Safe storage laws are not for the gun owner, they are for every unknown dumb ass that they know.

      • “When someone’s collection of 20 Sigmas and High Points is missing after the cops trace back “crime” gun to the purchaser, you can actually prosecute them for something.”

        Patent bullshit. You can prosecute them for *what*? “Damn! Look at that! Somebody stole my guns and I didn’t even notice!” Prosecute them for *WHAT”? Tell me about the resulting prosecution when the name “Michael Bloomberg” or “Bill Clinton” shows up on the trace. You are attempting to acquire a registry, this law would do nothing else, towards the long-term goal of gaining power and control over the serfs.

        • That’s why we have the lost and stolen reporting requirement. Also want to bet that the same person purchased half those guns from the same FFL and who’s books do you think the ATF agents are looking through. So do you want to actually stop straw purchases?

        • Since you bring it up, I don’t really give a rat’s behind about “straw purchases”, a totally made up term that I first heard about 30 years after I bought my first gun. How about passing and enforcing laws against CRIME, like murder, armed robbery, rape, you know … CRIME! Laws intended only to persecute law abiding citizens have no place in a free country. The laws against “straw buyers” were no doubt supposed to prevent guns reaching the hands of people an overreaching government deemed “prohibited”, and yet here we are trying to fabricate a law to preclude the awful crime of “straw purchasing”, which is a stupid excuse for a crime and should be repealed, not made into the base for hundreds more laws to prevent victimless crimes. The original law accomplished nothing, why keep on pushing at it?

          Meanwhile, your proffered scenario seems worthy of a 3rd rate pulp fiction novel. Care to offer up where that ever *really* happened, without ATF being the instigator/guilty party, while remaining an unindicted co-conspirator?

        • Too much dumbery in your post serge to respond to it all. No, Congress cannot pass any law it wishes. We have a Constituion that sets the limits of the federal government. Ever hear the term Un Constituonal? Of course, but you only seem to understand it when it serves your limited knowledge.

        • So do you want to actually stop straw purchases?

          No. I want to buy guns off the record. Because:

          1) It’s my business
          2) There is no victim
          3) The less the government knows the better

          Stopping all straw purchases (i.e. trying to stop felons from acquiring guns from legal gun buyers) has the government’s added benefit that it stops the private sale between lawful gun owners . I am wholeheartedly against stopping the private sale and the elimination of the privacy of the gun owner in acquiring firearms for home, hearth, and country.

          You and yours need to find a solution that doesn’t involve me and my families guns.

        • Not so sure about that….if the way you store your guns affects other people, it becomes a public health issue, and according to you in previous posts, you lose your individual rights to the state and the collective to allegedly protect those other people..

        • The laws also exist to change peoples behaviors. If safe storage is a law, then it will be in classes firearm classes and people will actually do it. If 18 years old was not the smoking age, how bad do you think underage smoking will be. If we did not have seat belt laws, how much worse would automobile deaths be?

        • @serge, I don’t think public health officials will see it that way serge, if your storage methods, affect someone in the public, you are are threat to the public heath. According to you.

        • Fuck off pg2. You have no idea what you’re talking about. Take your anti-vaxer bullshit to somebody who doesn’t know basic biology.

        • @serge, what’s the matter serge, don’t like being called out on your egregious hypocrisy? Throw some names around and storm off like a child?

        • I hate to break it to you, but I have a right to do with my guns as I see fit. You don’t have a right to be Typhoid Marry.

        • Binder is doing an excellent job of showing the moderate side of the gun community. i dont agree with a thing he says, but its always good to see the other side represented.

        • @serge, hate to break it to you, but the same BS public health fallacy you are using is being used against gun owners. So don’t be too upset when the same public health officials you sometimes cheer-lead for tell you exactly what you can and cannot do with your firearms. In the name of the greater good of course, serge.

        • @serge, your entire position is “#falseequivalency”. You make incorrect blanket statements, sometimes try to back them with a mixture of propaganda and personal opinion. You can’t even successfully defend your position on your firearms storage. Do you really disagree that there is not a huge “public health” propaganda campaign being waged against the 2nd Amendment? Do you really not believe the courts will not back this agenda, all the way to the supreme court as needed?

        • @pg2

          The difference is that anti-vaxing is a REAL public health issue (see the measles outbreak in CA) while gun ownership is a right protected by the CotUS. That’s the difference. There is nothing in the CotUS that prevents the government from shoving a vaccine in your arm. There is something that prevents it from taking your guns.

        • Serge, half the people who contracted the measles were fully vaccinated. Obviously there’s a problem with the vaccinations efficacy. Patient Zero was never identified. It is not known if the outbreak was started by a recently vaccinated child. The Constitution does not grant the Fed gov the authority to force any medical care on the public, including shots. It’s comical how you support government overreach with medical care, the same profession that conservatively kills 225,000 Americans/year, yet when it comes to guns you play Internet hard guy in resisting the same givernmtnal overreach.

        • How many lived does medical treatment SAVE per year? It’s no different than guns. Mistakes happen, the aggregate good far outweighs the damage.

          The point is that a measles outbreak just “happened” to take place in the part of the country with the lowest vaccination rates. A disease that is unheard of when the vaccination rate approaches 100%. Thanks to cretins like you dozens of diseases that we had almost wiped out a few decades ago are making strong comebacks.

          Congress is well within their authority to pass any law that does not violate the CotUS. If they pass a law mandating vaccinations, you don’t have a legal leg to stand on.

        • You can also not wear you seat belt, lets see how long you can go without being pulled over

          I fail to understand the relevance of this statement. Because it is against the law not to wear a seat belt, we should store our guns securely per a law that doesn’t yet exist? Because someone refuses to wear their seat belt and is taxed at a higher rate than those who do (due to continually paying fines) … which means what? Please clarify.

        • Not so sure about that….if the way you store your guns affects other people, it becomes a public health issue, and according to you in previous posts, you lose your individual rights to the state and the collective to allegedly protect those other people..

          So you mean like… if I store my guns in a public restroom? I store my guns in my locked house… securely locked… in my house. As long as they are stored on my property (house, vehicle, etc) and not on public property like the sidewalk, or a kiddy restroom, etc, then that is my business, no?

          And… if there is a conflict, does “public health” supersede “individual rights?”

        • The laws also exist to change peoples behaviors.

          I don’t want the state interfering with my behavior. I want to be left alone not behaviorally regulated by the state. What if the state wanted your behavior changed towards tranny’s and the upcoming requirement to have all businesses install a third bathroom for them. I think your’s and my preferred expectation about what laws should be intended for – is grossly different. I mean, if we are going to talk about accidents are we also going to talk about garage tools, saws, swimming pools, and stairs? Why is safety within my home state’s business?

          If safe storage is a law, then it will be in classes firearm classes and people will actually do it. If 18 years old was not the smoking age, how bad do you think underage smoking will be.

          I think there would be no change. Kids are educated to believe smoking is bad for you. And it is. But it’s their body and despite what the law is, plenty of people do things that aren’t good for their body, and thus far the law has less to do with it than those individual’s education.

          If we did not have seat belt laws, how much worse would automobile deaths be?

          A better question is… why does me wearing my seat belt or not wearing my seat belt – any of the state’s business?

          Lastly…

          So if there is a safe storage law – how are they going to enforce it? I beg you… Please answer this question. Must I submit to the state entering my home routinely to check and see if my guns are secured?

        • Serge, you’re actually making things up at this point. Your last post is full of false information along with unsupported opinion. When you come across that large scale study that compares the health of vaccinated populations vs the health of unvaccinated populations, let me and the world know. We’re all waiting for it, knowing it will never be down for obvious reasons.

        • @serge, “How many lived does medical treatment SAVE per year? It’s no different than guns. Mistakes happen, the aggregate good far outweighs the damage” -HOW do you know this? What are you basing this statement on? The answer is nothing, it is your opinion. And a pretty suspect opinion considering WE KNOW the profession kills at least 225,000 people/year, and those numbers are likely much higher, as these are only the reported and confirmed cases.
          “The point is that a measles outbreak just “happened” to take place in the part of the country with the lowest vaccination rates. A disease that is unheard of when the vaccination rate approaches 100%. Thanks to cretins like you dozens of diseases that we had almost wiped out a few decades ago are making strong comebacks” -The latest numbers from the Disneyland outbreak was that 86% of the people who caught the measles were vaccinated. There goes that ridiculous statement. If the vaccines are effective, why are we seeing outbreaks in 90-95% vaccinated communities WORLDWIDE?
          “Congress is well within their authority to pass any law that does not violate the CotUS. If they pass a law mandating vaccinations, you don’t have a legal leg to stand on” -This is partially true, understanding that the government derives it powers from the Constitution. The Constitution DOES NOT grant the Government, Congress, the authority to mandate medical procedures to the public. If it does, please cite where in the document you are seeing this. At the same time the government oversteps this daily, with a politicized, controlled SCOTUS not being the check and balance the founders intended. Gun owners soon are going to be seeing this firsthand.
          Serious question serge, why do you troll a subject you know next to nothing about? You repeat easily debunked, transparent troll lines. Maybe stick to firearms, you seem to know the subject somewhat better.

      • Yeah it’s not like laws can be used to go after political opponents or anything.
        How bout those safe storage laws that require the gun be unloaded and locked up with the ammo locked up elsewhere? Pretty sure no safe storage law will be good enough until it meets at least that criteria.

        • Just putting in a locking box when you are not in control of the firearm will stop a lot of dumb asses. The point of safe storage is NOT stopping theft, it is to stop non gun people from hurting themselves. Same reason you put a fence around a swimming pool

        • The point, Binder, is that the government has no right to tell me how I store my gun on my property. There is no way this law could possibly be enforced without massive 4th amendment violations.

          Seatbelts are not comparable as those laws only apply on public roadways. I can do whatever I want with my car on my property. Hell, I don’t even need to register it or get a license plate if it’s only going to be operated on private property.

        • “Same reason you put a fence around a swimming pool”

          First (only) pool I installed was 1977, we had a fence around the yard, none around the pool, liked it that way just fine, sold the house in 1994 in the same configuration. Moved in with a 2-year-old, left with 2 grown sons, never had ANY problem, WTF are these stupid inner fences supposed to accomplish? And are we going to eventually make it even better by enclosing the fence inside a fence, giving an entrapment zone to imprison neighborhood kids?

        • Just putting in a locking box when you are not in control of the firearm will stop a lot of dumb asses. The point of safe storage is NOT stopping theft, it is to stop non gun people from hurting themselves. Same reason you put a fence around a swimming pool

          Ok… so where do you draw the line here. I’m not required to put a fence around a pool. Public pools – yes. Private pools – no. So…What all, binder, do I need to lock up in my house to keep non-(insert equipment or tool name here)-people from hurting themselves? What if I don’t want a fence around my pool Binder?

      • You had a “friend” who tried to grab your carry piece? Really????. You really need to give up the guns and put a little more work into choosing your “friends”.

        • Typical action of someone who has no clue arround firearms. The fact is a lot of people are that way, young and old. Oh, we had a discussion, and he never managed to even move the gun. Now my freind who was shot, lucky he only had a finger blown off.

        • I agree with Huntmaster. I think your friends suck.

          Also – this person is your friend – but you aren’t going to educate them on firearms? Come on man.

      • ” The lost and stolen laws are not for the average law abiding person, they are there to prosecute straw buyers.”

        Canada says hi. Our experience is that the Crown uses safe storage laws as a cudgel against law-abiding gun owners. A famous case was that of Ian Thomson, who defended his house from a gang of men who were trying to firebomb it. He used his revolver, and the Crown Prosecutor argued that he had stored it unsafely, because there was no way he could have deployed it as rapidly as he did if it was stored properly. They ended up timing him opening his safe, removing the trigger lock, and loading the revolver to see if it was possible.

        Another case was that of Mike Hargreaves, who had a 770 kilogram concrete and steel safe in his apartment. When he was on vacation, thieves spent several days breaking into it. He was charged with unsafe storage.

        Here’s a useful link- the NFA’s discussion on the legal issues around safe storage, and how the government treats the average gun owner when they decide a firearm has not been safely stored:

        https://nfa.ca/resource-items/storage-and-other-cc-s-861-cases

        While I understand your underlying concern, it is important to know how Safe Storage laws end up being applied in real-world situations, such as those in Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia.

        • Storage laws are so when Uncle John leaves his gun out and Timmy kills himself playing with the gun, Timmy’s dad is not facing a murder charge.

        • @Binder

          What an utter load of crap. What possible theory of the “crime” get you murder charges without a “safe-storage” law? Accidents happen. Sucks to be Timmy, but if he’s dumb enough to play with guns, he’s dumb enough to play with power tools. The gene pool would be better off.

        • Storage laws are so when Uncle John leaves his gun out and Timmy kills himself playing with the gun, Timmy’s dad is not facing a murder charge.

          What else do I need to lock up in my house to appease the liberal government? Instead of locking them up – can I just teach/educate Timmy on the dangers of that object? Yea? No??

    • This whole argument is nonsense.

      Imagine these laws in place and working perfectly. Does anyone truly believe that gangsters won’t acquire guns through other means?

      Does anyone truly believe that the guys who can and do smuggle 20,000 pounds of nose candy at a time can’t and won’t smuggle guns?

      Does anyone truly believe that when Mexican authorities uncover crate after crate of full auto Chinese AK’s that they came from the US?

      Does anyone truly believe that the gangsters with full auto Tec-9’s stole them all from lawful NFA collections?

      Even with laws like this in effect and working as advertised the bangers will still have all the gun’s their hearts desire. Hell, a few years back at the LA buyback some lady turned in a real, live, honest to God RPG-7 WITH LIVE PROJECTILES. She found it in her teenage son’s closet! We’re not talking dummy rounds here. We’re talking actual blow the shit out of a HMMWV RPG’s.

      • Theoretically you nail someone for unauthorized posession and get them to flip on whoever sold them the item.

        Of course you have to catch the possessor first, which means this has no “crime stopping” value. Laws don’t prevent actions, they assign punishment for getting caught. Nothing will ever change that.

        • OK, so you are tying to use the testimony of someone who is trying to get a lighter sentence, Joe Smith sold me this gun. The other guy only has to say. That #@E$# stole my gun. How exactly are you going to get a conviction?

  2. I never understand these people. If something has been in place for a long time (gun control measures) and the problem they’re addressing has worsened, shouldn’t you look for other things that have changed over that period of time to explain the difference? I actually don’t know anything about Chicago’s gun control laws of 15 years ago, but I’d be very surprised if they had been stricter then than they are now. Why wasn’t gun violence way worse 15 years ago? What changed? I don’t think it was gun laws…

    • People of a certain viewpoint tend to think of the state as omnipotent and that a single word from the state is enough to stop evil in its tracks. This is why they prefer restraining orders and anti-rape education classes as protection for women as opposed to guns and self-defense classes.

    • The gun laws in Chicago are a LOT less than they were even 5 years ago. The only difference than the rest of the state is 15 round limit on long guns. The only significant difference between Illinois and Texas is FOID cars, $10 for 10 years, CCW cost about twice as much and no machine guns and suppressors and SBS and SBRs require a 03FFL (Curios & Relics License) And yes we have “universal” background checks, but that is just you verifying the FOID is valid and put down the “authorization” number on the bill of sale. You do not report the sale to the state and the inquiry is not tied to the sale in any way. You can run and inquiry at any time even is there is not sale.

        • Long gun restrictions have no impact on gang violence. If they all magically disappeared the murder rate would not even change one bit

        • Yes, but they have no effect on the violence. We can discourse the whole AWB laws (I don’t like them either) but if you want to talk gang violence in Chicago the AWB has no effect on it (Also the AWB is a joke because a resident of Chicago can go to Cabela’s in cook county and get a AR15). Hell there have been people who have had their ARs confiscated and no charges filled. Chicago has the laws on the books, but they don’t want them challenged.

      • Thanks for pointing all that out Binder. Illinois ain’t Indiana but it sure ain’t California,NY,New Joisey or Maryland. Like the zombie shoot from yesterday-that’s not a big deal for those paying attention. Going to the NRA range in Kankakee co. soon. Serge too gets props.

    • 15 years ago all handguns were illegal to possess in Chicago. Yeah, I would call it harsher then today when we have shall issue concealed carry here.

  3. Stupidity is the real problem, mixed with a little strategic lack of condoms (SLAC), and not enough Planned Parenthood dead baby buffet.

    GUNS are not the problem, GUNS are not even the only issue with broke (D)IcI< liberal_progressive_communist evil house of Blue POS's.

    AND

    SCHITCAGO ain't the only place you find the problem. Illinois needs a meteor.

    • Actually, most of Illinois outside of #chiraq is actually quite pro-gun. While we may not be Texas, we only really have a fraction of the infringements found in other deep blue states. The three pieces of stupidity that come to mind are the FOID program, waiting periods, and NFA bans. We’re already working on the last one and the second is teetering on the brink of being struck down as outright unconstitutional. (Thanks California.)

      • And for Chicago the only restrictions are on long guns (15 round limit and some other stuff) that has almost NO effect on gang shootings.

        • Only because we beat their faces in at the state level and included a nice preemption clause in the CCW bill.

        • Given your agreement that such a law has no effect on gang shootings, can you explain for us mortals, what is its purpose? And why does it not apply to LE and their machine guns?

        • LarryinTX, same reason you need a CCW for open carry in TX, because it makes people feel good. Hay, I think that most gun laws are BS, but I also know why they exist.

        • I believe that CCW for OC will be around 5 years, maybe 10, and TX will be constitutional carry, ie, we are moving in the right direction. You at least appear to be supporting putting the bus into reverse.

      • “Actually, most of Illinois outside of #chiraq is . . .” Still INCREDIBLE STRANGUBATION BLUE.

        GUNS AIN’T THE ONLY PROBLEM IN IL.

        It’s ok to be (D) up there, and that’s NO GOOD.
        None.

  4. I often wonder how these fantasy land folks actually make it to work each day with all the unicorns and rainbows in their way.

  5. One point in this letter I think I agree with is a requirement to report lost or stolen guns. My understanding is that one way bad guys (with criminal records) get guns is by having guys without a criminal history to buy guns for them. Then, when the gun is used in a crime, the guy without a criminal history simply tells the police that the gun was stolen or lost. It seems that a law requiring the reporting of lost or stolen guns would go a long way toward closing this supply of guns to bad guys because how many times can the same guy report guns stolen without it being suspicious?

    I understand the counterargument that such a reporting law potentially criminalizes the victims of legitimate thefts. However, how many law-abiding citizens are going to suffer a burglary or robbery and not report it to the police? How many would report a break-in to police but wouldn’t specifically report guns that were stolen?

    • Let’s perform a little mental experiment.

      1. You’re 60 years old.
      2. You keep a handgun in a lock box in your closet that you maybe open once per year.
      3. Your grandchild brings some of his less savory friends over and they break into the box and steal the gun.
      4. Given that you don’t check the gun regularly, you don’t even know that #3 took place.
      5. Congratulations, you are now a felon.

      • In your example, you are not a felon. It’s fact specific, but if 60 year old grandpa just discovered that his gun was stolen, potentially months after the theft, because he doesn’t check the vault very often, then he reports it when it happens and he is not a felon.

        If the same straw purchaser is reporting guns as stolen or lost multiple times (especially when the police show up to track down the owner of a gun used in a crime), that is a different story.

        • You are if the gun is used in a crime before you realize it was stolen. Good luck convincing an anti-gun prosecutor that you didn’t know.

        • The very concept of a “straw purchaser” is a government created unconstitutional infringement on the Second Amendment protection of every American’s right to keep and bear arms.

          If you are going to argue against gun control you must keep in mind that ALL gun control, other than the use of a weapon in the actual commission of a crime, is an unconstitutional infringement, whether or not you like the person being discriminated against or would prefer that they do not have access to a firearm. That decision has been specifically denied to the government and reserved to the people in the form of taking direct action against such person(s) when and if they pose an actual threat.

        • What the law is for is irrelevant. What I just described can and has happened due to “safe storage” laws.

          A few worthless lowlives shooting other worthless lowlives is not worth giving the government yet another stick to beat gun owners with.

        • You make a valid point, but you assume that the people who are pushing the law are arguing in good faith. You assume that they actually care about taking guns out of the hands of criminals, and about making sure decent people do not wind up as collateral damage. Based on history, I do not think you can assume that.

        • “What the law is for is irrelevant.”

          +100

          To will fully give away rights and then rely on judicial interpretation and restraint to ensure that civil rights don’t get trampled is frankly just flat out ignorant.

          Ask Shaneen Allen about how lenient the justice system is to people without criminal intent.

        • Binder, you have to realize you are advocating, deliberately, to allow the government to utilize selective prosecution. If you really think that’s a fine plan, why not just advocate for a law against breathing? With penalties ranging from a $5 fine to death by stoning? That would be the only law the nation needed, we could eliminate every law, even those against double parking, or financial fraud, but don’t worry, trust me, they’ll only be prosecuted against bad guys. I mean, really?

        • It may not be what the law is for, but it will be how the law is used. The Canadian experience shows this quite handily (as I described in a post upthread). I have serious doubts that the US justice system will act in any different way than ours when given such an awesome tool to go after gun owners.

        • Justice Roberts eloquently addressed this argument as it was applied to the First Amendment in US v. Stevens (2010), and it seems to new the same applies in the case of the Second:

          the First Amendment protects against the Government; it does not leave us at the mercy of noblesse oblige. We would not uphold an unconstitutional statute merely because the Government promised to use it responsibly.

        • What if he just wanted to sell his 20 hipoints? What is wrong with that? Maybe he figured out they were crap and sold them to buy 5 quality firearms?

    • “It seems that a law requiring the reporting of lost or stolen guns would go a long way toward closing this supply of guns to bad guys because how many times can the same guy report guns stolen without it being suspicious?”

      Who cares if it’s suspicious, it’s legal. How many times? Millions, what’s to stop them? Passing a law without any way for it to make any difference whatsoever is just stupid. And when you start trying to put any kind of teeth in such a law, you find yourself, once again, prosecuting millions of law abiding citizens, restricting access to firearms unconstitutionally, and accomplishing exactly nothing insofar as your actual targets are concerned. Why not pass a law against violent crime?

      “How many would report a break-in to police but wouldn’t specifically report guns that were stolen”

      If I were reporting a breakin, I’m sure I’d report missing guns if I discovered they were missing. However, I don’t know or have recorded a single serial number for even one gun, how would that report help anything?

      • Just out of curiosity, why haven’t you recorded the serial numbers of your firearms? The guy that taught by Concealed Carry class and who has also been the FFL for my purchases (and about as pro 2A as they come) gave me a little booklet to keep track of model, date of purchase, date of sale, and serial number. I cannot think of a downside to keeping that information in a safe place. I can think of a lot of upsides. For one, I can give serial numbers to the police if my guns are stolen. If the gun is later used to commit a crime, I would imagine that a prior theft report that includes the serial number of the gun would make my life significantly easier.

        • Because those records are subpoenable and it’s not my job to potentially compile evidence to be used against myself.

        • Exactly how could such a record *ever* help me? To put that another way, nobody is paying me to record those numbers, why should I? I don’t expect to ever get a nickel in payment from my homeowner’s insurance for stolen firearms, OTOH I have numerous photos and appraisals for my jewelry collection, worth way more than my guns, the guns might bring me up to the deductible. If they were all stolen.

          After you proudly dig out your little book and give those numbers to LE, what do you expect to happen?

        • Encrypt the document, and-or store it with a trusted relative or personal friend.

          Serge / Larry, I get what you’re getting at. I keep my list of my numbers off-property. It was my decision, not a law’s requirement. But I have that list, because it would be nice to prove ownership if they were recovered after being stolen…

        • GeoffPR, good post. Hoping to recover firearms is a very good reason to report thefts AND to record serial numbers. Unfortunately, I do not believe the police would *ever* return a firearm to me, I think they would be more likely to raid my house to steal the rest. As it is, at least supposedly, ATF knows about my NFA weapons, nobody knows I own, or have ever owned, anything else. I’m willing to take the minute risk that might someday save me a few bucks, as opposed to inviting the government into my firearms business.

  6. Illinois is contemptible in that it requires ten dollars just to travel around Chicago. Millions paid to a transit a handful of miles, unarmed in the murder capital of the country.

  7. Chicago prosecutors aren’t prosecuting laws against attempted murder.

    Why in the hell would we think they would use new anti-gun laws? Especially when they don’t prosecute existing gun laws?

    • Well, the problem was that they prosecuted and moved all the gang leaders, that is why Chicago is such a mess. Nothing like destabilizing the whole organized gang system to get those murder rates up.

      • Later the dems can use those higher murder rates to advocate for more gun control laws. In a few years they can say – look! homicides (with guns) are on the rise!!!?!#! OMG!!# – insert pro gun control propaganda here. It’s all part of the democratic consequentialist view. The method doesn’t matter – only the results.

  8. Why not address the very real problem of drug gangs operating primarily in the minority communities. These turf wars are at the heart of the problem, not the instruments they brandish.

    • RAY-sis! RAY-sis!!! Sorry, damage is done. Minority communities (mutually exclusive terms) will have to clean their own streets, then invite the law back.

  9. I thought stealing guns and making straw purchases was already illegal?

    He’s obviously never seen West Side Story, or he’d know that violence predated guns.

    • He’s obviously never seen “Braveheart”, or “The Last Samurai”.

      Ghengis Khan, Alexander the Great and the Romans ruled most of the known world at one point or another and had exactly ZERO firearms. Vikings had no firearms either.

      Someone buy this guy a history book.

      • I nostalgically yearn for the peaceful days of the 11th century, when there were no guns and therefore no violence.

        Though sometimes I think the third century might be preferable, just to be even further before those damn guns were invented and be on the safe side.

        /sarcasm

  10. Likewise, they should be required to notify law enforcement if a gun is lost or stolen”

    Wow! I wonder why I didn’t think of that! Pray tell, how would that change anything? Anything at all? Will the stolen or lost gun no longer fire once its theft is “reported”? Do you have any brains? What will “law enforcement” then do with that report? Will magic happen? The only goal of laws like this is to provide a disincentive to own a gun, to threaten law abiding owners and make them fear government and eventually to kneel before their masters, as they should.

    • Rereading, a question struck me. Would an anonymous postcard stating “somebody stole my handgun” suffice? Didn’t think so, we’re gonna need extensive investigation, sworn statements, list of suspects including my guests and children, onandonandon… No. Thank you, but no.

  11. No. Evil people are the root cause of Chicago’s “gun violence crisis”. Can these clowns really not grasp that fact?

  12. His last name is Berk?

    According to Merriam-Webster:-

    noun \ˈbərk\

    Simple Definition of berk
    : a stupid or foolish person

  13. I think part of the “problem” is that to to be considered a real gangster you have to have a gun. The fact that is illegal to have one it makes a status symbol within the culture. Add to this most of the actors are operating at a 6th grade level, educationally and emotionally. Add to that cramped spaces, generations of lives without hope of ever being somebody and the “Get rich or die trying” mantra Add parents or parent who for the most part are still too young to have the skills to know how to parent. This is not just one thing, it’s not just “evil guns” it’s a failing on the grandest scale ever seen. If I were to put on my tinfoil hat it would seem these big city areas were desingned and groomed to be voting blocks to keep certin groups in power. But that is tinfoil hat talk no political group would ever cripple their fellow amercians just to get votes……………

    • OOoo! I like it! These bangers have gotten that impression from *movies*, we all know that so no evidence is required, we should outlaw movies! See how quick the Libs latch onto that one!

  14. “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 combine”

    Soooooo….choking off these guns….an increase in 25% over last year means that they decreased the “gun crime” this year……oh wait….no…it didn’t help at all…

    …….but the CHILDREN!!!

    • I’m paraphrasing because the book is too damn long to go through and find the exact quote:

      “Attempts by governments to outlaw a commodity in popular demand or to tax it excessively will invariably result in that commodity becoming economically worth the risks necessary to smuggle the commodity into the proscribed region.” – Adam Smith “The Wealth of Nations”

      For example, see the entire period of Prohibition and the current “War on drugs”.

    • Better than they are now. The fact is most of this violence is from small one block gangs, not the big organized ones. And the truth is it is easier for them to get guns then before. The gun runners use to work for particular gang, now it is more of an open market.

        • Murder rates dropped after they passed the law in the early 80s Be real careful when you try to use a causation between handgun bans and murder in Chicago (PS I know they are BS, but like I said, Chicago is really a bad example for pro-gun people to use, but TAG just can’t help themselves)

        • They’ve been trying the roundup lately…kinda’ hard with an estimated 150000 gang azzwholes. And they can’t upset the local plantation population as it’s their sons, uncles, grandkids and cousins… Lol

        • former water walker, You nailed it exactly. The biggest problem is that they arrested all the leaders and now you have all these uncontrollable grunts going around killing each other.

  15. What “weak” gun laws allow for ready diversion of legal guns to prohibited possessors?????

    Nearly everything touching on that conduct is a felony.

  16. I would have thought that “violence” was the root cause of gun violence, since without the violence, you just have a gun, but without the gun, you still have violence. Whats the priority here? I think we all know.

  17. He fails immediately since all that oxy and ephedrine on the streets are legal somewhere for somebody.

    I work in a large senior community and they leak hardcore addictive poison scripts like crazy to just about anyone who asks. Some overtly sell right out of their retirement community apartments. I got offered a bottle of oxy for a job I did for one of them. I opted for cash.

    Seniors are gross. They’re all drug dealing swingers.

  18. The last time that I had a firearm stolen was approximately 25 years ago in Massachusetts. I dutifully reported the theft to the police whereupon I was subjected to a rather hostile interview process and a referral to the DA for possible prosecution. I was not prosecuted as the DA dropped the case. Be wary of reporting firearm thefts in certain states as the authorities try to make the victims into criminals. Tons of constitutional issues with these laws, especially if the state intends to prosecute the victim and the laws require that the victims report against themselves.

  19. And you can bet your old, fat, white privileged tushy that Mr. Berk doesn’t live in the community he so faithfully “serves”.

  20. just my 2 bits as an IL resident
    there are nolegal gin sales in IL without a BG check
    forst off, you have to have a FOID (which is thankfully cheap and easy to get, and lasts a decade)
    if you do a provate sale, you must make a bill of sale and record the other person’s FOID number
    additionally, you must put said number into the IL state police website for an instant check of the validity of the FOID and record the confirmation number it spits out on the bill of sale

    • I would argue that the bill of sale retention requirement violates the 5th amendment of the CotUS. It’s basically a requirement to retain an item that could only be used as evidence against you. I do it, but since the statute says original and thermal print receipts have a very short shelf life… Oh well.

      • To be fair, first they banned gin… Then when that backfired spectacularly, the tried to ban firearms to “fix” the problem they created.

        • That’s how government works. They fuck something up and instead of unfucking the situation they turn around and use it as an excuse for more government that will inevitably fuck up more things and use them as a justification for even more government. Rinse and repeat. They do this on just about every topic you can imagine.

    • “there are no legal gun sales in IL without a BG check”

      Betcha that does not apply to federal agents, IL police, ranking politicians, and a bunch of others. “no” is unlikely.

  21. “They will not accept the truth that if you take all the guns off the street you still will have a crime problem, whereas if you take the criminals off the street you cannot have a gun problem.”

    — Jeff Cooper

  22. “Gun violence.” Good grief.

    This is primitive, animistic thinking, which has no place in an adult conversation.

    Everything this guy complains of consists of overt acts by human beings, all of which are already crimes. So his solution is to tack on new duties to innocent people?

    Why not go after the longstanding criminals who are actually doing things, instead of making new paper criminals out of people who haven’t done anything?

  23. To the people who think this law will be fairly applied I point to new Jersey and their transport laws. Were people who got stopped although federally compliant the criminals who hurt others, or were they railroaded?

    Safe storage is an illusion. Go look up breaking into safes on YouTube. It only takes MINUTES with a bar. You will keep honest people honest, manufacture criminals and not much more.

  24. If guns are the root cause of Chicago’s gun violence, then why don’t the other cities that exist in states with much more lenient gun control laws, and that themselves also have much more lenient gun control laws, have even higher, or at least equal, levels of gun violence? No one hears about massive gun violence in Salt Lake City, Dallas, Houston, Austin, Nashville, etc…

  25. Binder,

    I have given you examples of how that doesn’t happen in the country I live in or in countries with similar laws. Safe storage laws end up being a club to use against law-abiding gun owners. I don’t see how the scenario you posit would change whether there were safe storage laws or not. I have, however, seen plenty of evidence of legal structures like “safe storage” laws being used to harm law abiding gun owners.

    But either way, Timmy’s dad bears responsibility for not properly teaching his child or properly supervising him.

  26. Binder is exactly the sort of gun owner who would feed his neighbors to the lion hoping it would eat him last.

    His arguments are absurd and unconstitutional on their face. I wonder what part of “shall not be infringed” escapes him?

    • It seems that Binder’s comment has been deleted. What’d I miss?
      And I agree with your “thrown to lions” comment. I have a few cops in my family. Two of them are great people. The other two regard us members of the Unwashed Hordes incompetent morons who need to be saved from ourselves. I feel that Binder is one of the latter.

    • His arguments are absurd and unconstitutional on their face. I wonder what part of “shall not be infringed” escapes him?

      Berk doesn’t care about the constitution, to him it’s probably just a piece of paper that some goofy guys in wigs signed. Berk is obviously a “government is the solution to the problem” guy. We need more government. More taxes. More government. More control. More traceability , more records, more control, more taxes, and more government. He is like “that guy” in the home owner association that is seething in rage because you planted those orange flowers in your front yard and he doesn’t like it. He doesn’t like it, and he is going to bring it up at the next HOA meeting and propose new rules. And… he thinks that the government is on “his side.”

  27. If we were to be honest with ourselves and were truly interested in the root cause of the violence in our inner cities, we can only blame government policies. The situations in our inner cities are the direct result of purposely faulty Democratic government.We can all thank LBJ .

  28. Mr. Berk,

    Chicago is a warzone. Warzones need guns and munitions. Why you are not looking to understand the reason the war exists but rather seek to stop guns and munitions is baffling to me. How can you address a conflict by not seeking to understand the reasons behind the conflict? If there were no guns and several people died each day from knife wounds would you seek to ban knives? Of course not. The underlying reasons must be addressed and ownership of guns is not the underlying reason.

    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.

    Because of weak gun laws? Or because Chicago residents seek weapons for their war zone? If weapons were illegal would that make it any better? People in Chicago can still get illegal drugs at their local street intersection. Making it illegal doesn’t prevent it from happening.

    Also, I don’t want to sound insensitive here, but gun ownership isn’t the root cause of the problem here and placing further regulations on 330 million people in feeble attempts to quell the actions of the few, isn’t really… worth it. Please find a better solution.

    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.

    Not really. None of them are really preventable. The fact that I can make a gun from scratch in my garage is demonstrable proof that it is not preventable. Guns don’t come from fairy dust and unicorn scat. They are simple machines that can be fabricated on simple equipment.

    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.

    Criminals selling guns out of the back of a sedan down a dark alley aren’t going to perform any background checks, Berk.

    Likewise, they should be required to notify law enforcement if a gun is lost or stolen and held accountable for failure to report.

    Why? So they can be liable for the theft? That’s a liberal’s dream right there. Make every gun owner liable for a theft of a gun. No Berk. We’ve seen the liberal opinion of us and we don’t like it. You guys want absolute control. You want to make everything traceable, punishable, controllable. No thanks Berk, that is not the life we want.

    Gun dealers must be liable when they look the other way and sell to straw purchasers.

    They aren’t looking the other way. It’s just they have no idea that person is a straw purchaser. Please provide a demonstrable method to determine that a person is guaranteed not a straw purchaser. You haven’t thought this through, Berk.

    • They are looking the other way. Do you have a FOID card, or out of state licence for a long gun. No? Then it is a straw purchase.

      • Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t that *already* illegal? More laws, more laws, who cares if they’re repetitive, just keep passing more laws, ignore any attempts at enforcement, just keep passing more laws. I guess it’s just me, but that seem both deliberately deceptive and really stupid.

        And expecting people from most states to have some kind of card to buy a long gun is idiotic, since they are not required, and should not be required.

  29. Mr Tom Vanden Berk needs to understand what “root cause” really means.
    Here’s the definition of root cause analysis:
    Root cause analysis (RCA) is a method of problem solving used for identifying the root causes of faults or problems. A factor is considered a root cause if removal thereof from the problem-fault-sequence prevents the final undesirable event from recurring; whereas a causal factor is one that affects an event’s outcome, but is not a root cause. Though removing a causal factor can benefit an outcome, it does not prevent its recurrence with certainty.

    So in it’s most basic form, here is the situation:
    Two people are angry at each other, to the point of being homicidal. One or both are armed. A shooting occurs, and injury or death is the result.
    The first step in problem solving is to know what the problem is. In our situation, it’s homicide or violence.
    Next, we take out the gun from the equation, and see the result:
    Two people are angry at each other, to the point of being homicidal. Neither are armed. One person is still capable of inflicting injury or death to the other person, since our primary concern is “homicidal”.
    Now, let’s remove the anger/homicidal actions. We’re left with two people, one or both armed, with no intention of harming or killing the other. Sounds like the root cause is violence/anger.
    Now we can put to rest, the argument of “people kill people, not guns kill people”. It’s true, it’s the person. Every. Single. Time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *