I read recently where one of these gun control groups was characterizing the
ISRA as being "against gun violence prevention." Even when I considered the
source, I was still taken back a bit by this misrepresentation of what the
ISRA stands for. The officers and directors of the ISRA along with the
membership as a whole are very much in favor of gun violence prevention. In
fact, we see the ISRA as having a leadership role in preventing gun
violence. At the same time, we are also the state's leading opponent of gun
control schemes - especially those disguised as "gun violence prevention"
Whereas the gun control movement believes that the key to "gun violence
prevention" lies in choking off the availability of firearms to law abiding
citizens, we at the ISRA believe that the real key to preventing violent
crime is to push back hard against the people who actually commit the crimes
in the first place.
According to the Chicago Police Department, about 88% of murderers have
previous criminal records. Of those previous offenders, about 80% have more
than 6 past arrests. Amazingly, the same reports indicate that 75% of
murder victims have arrest records at the time of their deaths. A
reasonable person just has to wonder why people who have been through the
justice system are so much more likely to either murder, or be murdered,
than the general population. Time in prison is supposed to "fix" these
people, isn't it? To put it bluntly, I think that there is clearly
something wrong with our so-called justice system.
The anti-gunners would have us believe that the problem isn't recidivism.
No, they'd make some nonsensical claim that it's hard to be a saint in the
city and that the so-called "easy availability of guns" is too great of a
temptation for these angels with dirty faces to overcome. The bottom line
is that the anti-gunners believe that taking your guns away from you will
make all these violent ex-cons "go straight." Do you believe any bit of
that? I think it is a lot of bunk.
The problem we have here is the fact that the liberal social engineers who
have taken over our justice system have turned our penal institutions into
domestic terrorism training camps. The thugs walk into prison bad, and come
out even worse. Aberrant behavior is no longer corrected, it is encouraged
and, as a result, the streets of Illinois are some of the most dangerous in
the nation. Thanks to the worsening economy, we're sure to see an
escalation in violent crime as cash-strapped prisons are emptied and viscous
criminals migrate into suburbia and rural areas.
So, how does the ISRA differ from the gun-grabbers on the issue of gun
violence prevention? First off, we believe that the best deterrent to
violent crime is the unfettered exercise of our 2nd Amendment rights -
including recognizing the right of all law-abiding citizens to carry
defensive firearms for protection of self and family. We do not believe
that self defense is the exclusive privilege of those who can afford private
security or those who have taxpayer-funded contingents of armed bodyguards.
Bringing Illinois into line with 48 other states that honor the right of
self defense is the ISRA's top priority.
Our second priority in combating criminal violence is our work to repeal and
rescind laws and regulations designed to discourage free exercise of the
right to keep and bear arms. As it stands, state and local regulatory
agencies expend tremendous resources enforcing rules and regulations that
target the behavior and preferences of law abiding firearm owners. We feel
that it would be better to redirect those resources to the apprehension and
punishment of violent criminals. In our legislature, much too much rancor
is generated by the endless debate over senseless gun control proposals.
The needs of the state would be better served if our legislature were to be
free of the gun control debate so that its efforts could be focused on
cutting crime, restoring integrity, and fostering hope for a better
Yet another ISRA priority is the correction of laws and regulations that
carry a huge cost of compliance for lawful firearm retailers. This high
cost of regulatory compliance serves as a barrier to market entry by FFL
entrepreneurs. This barrier to entry stifles competition and raises the
possibility of de facto rationing of our 2nd Amendment rights when slim
profit margins clash with arbitrarily high costs of regulatory compliance.
In short, exercise of our rights cannot be separated from economic
realities. We will not stand by and allow the anti-gunners utilize the
economy as a weapon against the right to keep and bear arms.
So there you have it in black and white - the difference between the ISRA
and the anti-gunners. On one hand, you have the ISRA solution to violent
crime - a solution that empowers citizens to provide for their own defense
against criminals and unshackles business to supply the citizenry with the
tools they need to be safe. On the other hand, you have the gun control
movement that thinks the solution to gun violence is to demonize the ISRA,
hold poetry contests, and take guns away from law-abiding citizens. You
decide which you think is better.
Before I close this edition, I'd like to remind the readers that the
Illinois General Assembly is currently on a short recess. Just because
these guys are out of town, it doesn't mean that the danger of draconian,
Chicago-style gun laws has gone away. All 100+ gun control proposals
sponsored by the Daley Gun Grabbing Machine earlier this session remain
alive and well, just waiting to be called for a floor vote. None of these
bills dies until session ends in early 2011. So, do not let down your
guard. If you see your representative or senator in your neighborhood,
remind them time and time again that you stand with the ISRA and are opposed
to any bill that will, in any way, inhibit the free exercise of your Second
Amendment rights. Be sure to stop by the ISRA web site and check the latest
news from Springfield.
Remember, gun control is a disease - you are the cure.