From columnist Ray Hanania:
Is Pritzker’s Automatic Weapons ban enough?
Gov. J.B. Pritzker is boasting about the passage of the Automatic Weapons ban in Illinois, claiming that it will make a dent in the violence that is spreading from Chicago’s street gang controlled neighborhoods into the Suburbs and throughout the state.
The ban was supported by Illinois House Speaker Chris Welch, who really deserves credit for pushing through this automatic weapons ban, which also prohibits ownership of hand guns with large clips of bullets.
Definitely, we should ban the possession of automatic weapons, and we should limit hand guns to normal clip sizes, not these extended clips that have as many as 16 bullets in a clip.
But is this legislation really going to make a difference in curbing the violence sweeping throughout Chicagoland?
Last May, I watched a video provided by a store owner of a 16-year-old gang banger carrying an AK-47 who walked across Chicago Avenue and shot and killed another man allegedly with another gang. The killing took place on the public sidewalk in front of the owner’s business. After brutally killing the man, the teenager turned around and ran back down Chicago avenue with the AK-47. He was never caught by police.
Does anyone think that the automatic weapons ban that Pritzker just signed would have prevented that murder?
Pritzker says that the automatic weapons ban will “put an end to senseless killings.” But that is a lie and it is only intended to strengthen Pritzker’s political image as he uses his family’s wealth to campaign for even higher office. Yes, Pritzker running for higher office is the real motivation behind the Illinois Automatic Weapons ban. It’s not about saving lives or preventing more violent deaths.
Does anyone think that the automatic weapons ban will prevent criminals, who thumb their noses and drugs and violence at the law, from committing more crimes?
It won’t reduce the violence. I challenge anyone to look at the crime statistics one year from today and tell me violence has been reduced. That’s not to criticize Speaker Welch’s commitment to do what needs to be done to fight crime, but it does challenge Gov. Pritzker’s failed leadership to put together a comprehensive program to confront the violence. Pritzker, the governor with vast powers and funding, has done nothing to stop real crime.
Pritzker was sworn in to his second term this week with all the hoopla of a billionaire who doesn’t care about the challenges facing everyday families. What does he know about crime?
The truth is the automatic weapons ban isn’t enough. What it does, solely, is to target law-abiding citizens who follow the law to give up their automatic weapons. Those law abiding citizens account for less than 5 percent of all the gun violence in Chicagoland and the state.
Do you think criminals are going to turn in their automatic weapons? The absence of commonsense in this automatic weapons ban frenzy is astonishing.
Who commits the crimes? Street gangs, gang bangers and drug dealers. They are the ones hijacking cars, brutalizing seniors, women and children, and killing people intentionally or by “accident?” Their violence is spreading to streets in every neighborhood in Chicago and many suburbs.
Does Pritzker really think his automatic weapons ban will stop those gangbangers from killing more people? I don’t think he cares about that problem.
What needs to be done isn’t being done?
Illinois needs to adopt laws that impose tough, mandatory imprisonment for criminals convicted in crimes involving gun use, whether it is with an automatic weapon or a hand gun.
If you use a gun of any kind in the commission of a crime, and you are convicted of that crime, you should be sent to prison automatically for 20 years and denied any form of early release.
If you kill someone in that crime, and are convicted of first degree murder, you should be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Convictions for second degree murder should be a minimum 50 year sentence. Some people are being released after only six years!
We need tough laws to also punish young children abandoned by their parents who are recruited by the street gangs. The gangs target children in 6th 7th and 8th grade to hold a gun so the criminal can avoid the stiffer penalty and go to jail. They are called “holsters” by the gangbangers.
Child arrested and convicted of holding a weapon involving a gangbanger should go to jail for a mandatory five year sentence — unless they testify against the gangbanger who gave them the gun.
These young students in 6th, 7th and 8th grade are used by street gangs to hold weapons when they are chased by police. The adult criminal will face a stiffer fine and the teenager under 18 is often given a lighter sentence.
The street gang killers might be insane murderers, but they are not stupid. The prey on young children and recruit them as “holsters” to hold the weapons to prevent the adult gang bangers from being sent to jail.
If you can’t send at 12 year old who is working with a murderous street gang to prison, then maybe we should pass laws to punish the parents and relatives of these young children who failed them and did not do enough to protect them.
Prosecute the parents of young gang bangers and criminals who use guns in criminal acts, too.
As it is today, when a young “holster” is killed in a gang confrontation with police, the parents come out of the woodwork to demand “justice” and millions in compensation. Their young child, who was used as a “holster” for the gang bangers, has become little more than a winning lottery ticket for the parents. They can find the time to collect the “death lottery” but they just couldn’t find the time to parent their children.
Everyday, young children are parented by gangbangers rather than by their legal guardians or their biological parents. Gang bangers use them as “holsters” and when they are killed, no one wants to talk about why they were under the influence of the street gangs. They only want to talk about how much money the parents can get from the police!
Do you think Pritzker’s ban on Automatic Weapons will change any of that?
Without passing laws to toughen the punishments on convicted criminals, all of the bans on gun possession including the ban on automatic weapons are useless. These laws will do nothing except take guns away from law abiding citizens while not punishing the criminals who steal the weapons and have no problem keeping them illegally in violation of every law including Pritzker’s latest weak legislation.