While discussing the lawsuit which seeks to strike down Chicago’s ineffective and likely unconstitutional handgun ban, Mayor Richard Daley made a series of anti-gun arguments. These arguments appear to be based upon faulty or non-existent reasoning, and make the utterly untrue assumption that law abiding citizens will generally misuse guns for no reason at all. This article analyzes and rebuts Daley’s rather weak anti-gun arguments one by one:
“What does a policeman do when there’s a domestic battery [call] and [the home owner and the police man are] both armed? Do they enter the home or apartment or do they wait outside?”
Between 1/3 and 1/2 of all homes in America lawfully have guns, and in some states that number is closer to 2/3. Across the entire nation, only Chicago and a remaining few of its suburbs have handgun bans. In short, a great many American homes have guns, yet it is exceedingly rare that a home owner will end up shooting it out with the police when they arrive at the door. Most people simply won’t shoot at the police, and those people who would shoot at the police are likely the type of criminal who will ignore the existing handgun ban anyway. Guns simply don’t cause crime.
“How ‘bout the neighbors? How about the postman — all the other issues that go with people coming into your home or close to your home [when you have a gun]?”
Again, we can look at gun ownership across the country, and see that very few people shoot at the postman, pedestrians, or guests in their home. In researching this, question, I was able to find one rare example where a postman was actually shot, and this took place in Chicago, despite the handgun ban. In that postal employee shooting, the gunman was a criminal who violated multiple state and local laws against gun possession and misuse, yet these laws didn’t deter him from having or misusing a gun. A criminal who is willing to shoot the postman, passers by, or guests in their home will not be deterred by the handgun ban in the first place.
“Whose responsibility is it when your son takes the gun outside and police come by?”
A ban on handgun ownership is not a reasonable response to negligent adults allowing their children to misuse guns, nor does such a ban help prevent such misuse of guns by children. Instead, the proper approach is gun education, and the use of a gun safe to prevent children or criminals from gaining access to a home owner’s guns.
How many guns [should a Chicago citizen be allowed to] have — 50, 60?
Having 50 or 60 guns does not mean that a citizen will commit crimes. Indeed the statistics show the opposite fact: people who own a large collection of guns are considerably less likely to commit a crime than someone who (often illegally) owners one gun. The reason behind this is rather simple: a person who has invested thousands or even millions of dollars in collecting guns tends to become sentimentally attached to their guns, just as car collectors or stamp collectors be. These collectors don’t want to risk losing their collections, and since convicted felons are forbidden to own guns, people with gun collections could have their collection seized and destroyed. That is a powerful incentive to not misuse one’s guns. Now contrast that with a criminal who illegally owns one gun, and uses that gun to commit crimes such as robbery: That criminal won’t particularly care if their one gun is seized, since if that were to happen they would be in much more trouble for illegally having a gun or committing robbery.
Can they have a .357 Magnum?
Although the .357 Magnum may seem like an intimidating caliber for those who only know of it from movies, there is nothing particularly special about that cartridge. It is less effective than many other common handgun rounds, such as the .45 ACP. There is no reason to fear this caliber handgun, and if someone wants to have such an ordinary handgun for self defense in their home, they should be allowed to do so.
I reach the conclusion, based upon decades of empirical proof, that handgun bans are ineffective. Chicago has had a handgun ban for about 2 decades, yet there are usually multiple handgun shooting every day in Chicago. The reason is quite simple: A person who is willing to commit a serious crime such as murder or robbery will have no compunction about violating a gun ban law. They will buy their gun on the black market, or steal a gun. The result is that the criminals are still armed, and the law abiding citizens (who weren’t going to commit a crime in the first place) are now disarmed, which makes them easier targets.
It is truly sad that politicians such as Mayor Daley, who have armed police personally guarding them 24/7 at taxpayer expense, want to prevent Chicago’s ordinary citizens from being able to defend themselves. Chicago’s resources should be focused on actually stopping crime, not preventing law abiding citizens from having guns for self defense against criminals.