March 2, 2010

(Hand)gunned Down?

Today the Supreme Court looks at Chicago's handgun ban. I'm torn on this one. In theory, I'm a supporter of second amendment rights. I am a gun-owner (although I have to keep it at my parents house in the 'burbs because of the ban) and I believe that Americans should have the right to carry weapons. Let's just say I do have a bit of a paranoid revolutionary streak. One of my favorite quotes of all time is "when fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross" from Sinclair Lewis. Especially during the Bush years and all of the shady things that went on with the Patriot Act, that quote hit home. In some of my most frustrated moments with the former administration I could envision a time down the road where liberals and libertarians alike could possibly have to unite and fight back - that would be a lot easier with guns. Luckily, Obama got elected and my faith in the American people was restored a bit.

On the other hand, I've been to the funerals of stupid kids getting gunned downed for stupid reasons because they were in a stupid gang. I don't see how lifting the handgun ban is going to help with curbing gang-violence here in Chicago. Yes, you could argue that these kids are already getting illegal guns from somewhere, why ban good law-abiding citizens from owning handguns? That makes sense in a way but, at the same time, there are going to be a lot more guns in the city for these stupid kids to steal. We've got one of the highest homicide rates in the country, is adding a bunch of guns to the powder-keg of a situation in some poor neighborhoods going to help at all? Intuitively I can just say no, it won't.

Do I go on principle here? Or, do I choose practicality? Guns aren't the cause of the problems here, a poor educational system and high unemployment in poor neighborhoods is. Chicago, unless you're in a gang, is still a safe place to be and it will be even if the handgun ban is struck down. In most neighborhoods anyway, where education and income levels are higher.
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Image taken from: http://images.huffingtonpost.com/gen/84495/thumbs/s-DALEYGUN-large.jpg

8 comments:

  1. Wonderful post, very well put. Government bans rarely do anything but band-aid a situation. While a ban on guns is never a "bad" idea it by no means will fix a situation. Criminals are criminals because they disregard rules and bans.

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  2. i'm not in support of handgun bans but assault rifles, absolutely. there just is no need for them. i.e., legalize pot but not crack, ya know?

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  3. I can empathize with your mixed feelings. I grew up in a law enforcement family and have my own guns now. But we also live in a huge city impacted by crimes involving young kids with guns. As cliche as it is, my Father used to say it is not the guns that kill people but stupid people with guns that kill people. Another city in GA, Kennesaw, requires homeowners to have guns. Growing 'em tough in the suburbs of the south. lol.

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  4. Well. In Australia you can't carry a gun at all.
    So I don't know.

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  5. Hmmm, that's good, I did not know, it was only poor, uneducated people who shot themselves. In the post, about Humbert-ish arrogance, it was the 'Right to Bear Arms.' the girl was talking about...I keep meaning, to clarify the disgust, over her stance...But, just never got to revisit it....Her, stand on 'revising' the United States Constitution of America, is opposite of yours.

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  6. Erika: Glad you enjoyed it.

    Eco: I agree. We don't need people walking around with rocket launchers either. From a legal standpoint though it's a slippery slope. How can we have a right to own one kind of weapon and not another? That's the real danger here is that it sets a precedent saying anyone should be able to own any sort of weapon.

    JennyMac: Yea I read an article on that town once, crazy stuff.

    little bird: And, from what I understand Australia's crime rate is heaps lower than hours - just like about every other industrialized nation.

    Portland's: It's not only poor uneducated people that shoot each other. It is, however, overwhelmingly poor and uneducated people that shoot each other. You look at crime rates in America and they do correlate very closely to income and education levels.

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  7. Right to carry firearms ... Blah. Blah.

    I don't know about you but I live in the millenium.

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  8. I can't help it Sharon, I like shooting things.

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