Standing together for sensible gun laws

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By Deb Quantock McCarey

Contributing reporter/Nature blogger

Last weekend, my husband Kevin and I took the el to the Loop to stand in the cold with a candle to support a beleaguered community of Chicago families standing strong for their children, who had fallen to gun violence on Chicago's mean streets.

This past weekend, millions of moms, dads and siblings across America were called to do the same thing, especially in Washington D.C. where thousands of marchers rallied in support of more effective gun control, including residents of Newtown, Conn., which many say catalyzed a revival of the U.S. gun violence debate.

The day after I attended the Chicago Rally for Sensible Gun Laws at First United Methodist Church at the Chicago Temple, I feel terminally numb.

But it has nothing to do with the previous night's frigid temps. Rather, it's the lingering soft glow of a well-attended candlelight vigil, searing itself into my being and the imagery of the groupings of long-grieving families near a makeshift stage at Daley Plaza, patiently waiting to take home one of the dozens of large, wooden crosses that memorialize a child who has fallen victim to the pandemic that is gun violence in Chicago.

But it started as I sat in a back pew in a packed church. That was where I bore witness to a growing movement of gun-concerned Americans who are finding the courage to break their so-called "code of silence" and discuss their personal tragedy out loud to heal themselves and ignite a movement they hoped would launch and grow with people like me, an individual who came out to support them.

So far in my life, I do not own, nor have ever fired a gun. I don't know anyone who owns a gun, and if they do, they haven't told me. I support the Second Amendment rights but am befuddled as to why any normal citizen needs to carry an automatic weapon or possess clips with rounds and rounds to fire.

Neither did I know any victims of gun violence. Now I do. I met them at this vigil for sensible gun laws, and any of them could be me.

Without words, their stories were told by the images of dead children and young adults. The beautiful faces of these victims of gun violence leapt from photo frames and were affixed to the placards their grief-stricken parents clutched.

Still in my head also are the words of activist Rev. Michael Pfleger, pastor emeritus of Saint Sabina Church:

"We are not here about gun control or the Second Amendment," he said. "This is about stopping easy access of guns from flowing into our communities. But most importantly, it's about stopping the killing of our babies across this country, not just in Connecticut, but in Chicago, in New York, in Baltimore, in Philly, in San Francisco, all over this country."

In the last five years, he said, in the city of Chicago alone, over 1,200 children and young adults 26 years old and younger, the youngest being only one month old, have died in gun violence.

"Conservatively, 12 times that number, or 14,000 were wounded in gunfire violence, and many have been left with severe disabilities. Tonight, we will read the names of 89 children who have been killed in gun violence in Cook County since the beginning of just this school year," he said.

Gun massacres in Newtown, Aurora, Wisconsin, Arizona … when will it stop? And, where do we start?

How about here, with us as one of the millions of moms and dads who want some NRA: New Reasonable Answers.

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John from Oak Park  

Posted: February 6th, 2013 5:53 PM

Outside of guns being stolen in transit between the manufacturer and retail, all the guns on the streets were hopefully at one point purchased legally. A registry would address straw purchasing, and illegal sales in private sales. It would hold liable those who illegal sell guns with criminal charges. Just like you can be accountable for your car if you don't report it stolen, you could be held responsible for not reporting a firearm stolen.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: February 5th, 2013 10:35 PM

@ John - If your gun registry is ignored by the bad people who you desire to restrict what have you accomplished? Those of us who follow the rules will comply and your crime statistics will not change. The assault weapons ban had 10 years to prove its value, and has had 10 years since in sunset. No measurable change before, during or after the ban - a true waste of time and effort. Now our feel good legislators feel they need to prove to you they have a handle on the problem. A Waste then and a waste now.

John from Oak Park  

Posted: February 5th, 2013 8:53 PM

There COULD be a National Gun Registry, But no one is talking about it. It will take many years, maybe decades because the gun manufacture lobby is so entrenched and profits off the sale of guns being sold illegally. What I would hope for is for states to push for their own registry, and penalties for those who illegally sell guns.


Posted: February 5th, 2013 8:50 PM

Ray, I understand that there is no record showing you own a gun, but there is a record showing you COULD, that you are licensed to use or own a firearm. There is no constitutional issue with a gun registry. Chicago already has it. Many other cities do too. Furthermore, as I said before at the founding of our nation firearms were registered. That sounds like a decent compromise in Hawaii. And This is what I am talking about. In Chicago the guns are registered with the Chicago police.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: February 5th, 2013 7:50 PM

@ John I have a FOID card - there is no record associated with that card revealing whether I own any gun. If I go to a public range and rent a gun I need a FOID card. There is never going to be a National Gun Registry. States might work something out but there are constitutional issues as Chicago and Oak Park know all to well.I started shooting pistols competitively in Hawaii in 1959-1960. They required that all privately owned handguns be listed with the Honolulu PD. They had a card for me with my thumb print and a legal description of each gun. That card was kept in a file box for Schofield Barracks. When we fired in civilian matches our armorer would call the PD and indicate my guns were out or the arms room. The card was pulled and placed in the Honolulu slot. Wasn't a bad system if you had a guy to take care of the paper work. That system was a police department responsibility and we knew most of the civilian officers through competition. We trusted them and they trusted us except when our team beat theirs. There are reasonable compromises - if we keep politicians out of the mix.


Posted: February 5th, 2013 7:26 PM

Ray, How do you conduct background checks ans issue FOID cards without having a registry of all gun owners? We already have a registry of all legal gun owners. Has the "corrupt" administration used that registry for partisan gains? No. The information is.already there. Hence it being released in new york. FOID has been inplace for years. And shock the gov. Hasnt siezed guns.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: February 5th, 2013 3:28 PM

@ John - interesting - to prove that I hypothesize you paint a whole list of hypothetical situations which you wrongly claim I advocate. I have never spoken against background checks - as a matter of fact I have supported mental health history as a part of that check. An anarchist is against all government - I am against the underhanded, dishonest self serving administration that you put back in charge recently. Please spare us from your litany of evil things GWB did as a defense for the corruption Obama has allowed in Washington. You seem enthralled with the government having a data base with all of the gun owners in the country listed. What good will it do? How do you prevent politicians from abusing the information? How do you get the information from the illegal gun owners? What do you do about undocumented aliens who have guns? So many questions to your simple solution to a complex problem.

John from Oak Park  

Posted: February 4th, 2013 11:23 PM

However, you have already proved yourself not to be a conservative, but an anarchist. By your token , there shouldn't even be background checks. So essentially you are saying that you don't think we should require background checks to keep child-molesters away from children. Your argument also means that if you drive drunk all the time, then the government shouldn't be able to do anything about it to stop you from driving. Because licenses require background checks, and that is private info.

John from Oak Park  

Posted: February 4th, 2013 11:17 PM

Ray, The so call registry you are talking about is not a registry. Again, what a registry does is track private transfer. Just like with a Car. Whats interesting is that you are advocating that a judge get involved everytime a crime gun is obtained. You're a conservative, why would you want to create a burdened system that costs a lot to operate. Can you imagine the cost of having a judge order a warrant for every gun? That doesn't seem fiscally conservative.

John from Oak Park  

Posted: February 4th, 2013 11:08 PM

Ray, So you are wrong, because you have no evidence that "occasional gun transfers cannot be source of gang bangers arsenal." Its straw buying and stolen arms. The owner of Chuck's does not claim to have had over 250 guns stolen. Have you been there before? Not that easy to steal that many guns from a shop. However, there are not enough individual purchasers/owners to straw purchase or have their firearm stolen to account for the all the illegal firearms. There are folks that in the business.

John from Oak Park  

Posted: February 4th, 2013 10:57 PM

Ray, How would you explain that 42% of crime guns in IL were purchased in IL, and also 20% from one gun shop? Chucks Guns? I am not going to allude to if the owner is committing a crime, but somehow over 250 guns got into the hands of criminals from ONE gun show. What do you propose we do about that?

John from Oak Park  

Posted: February 4th, 2013 10:53 PM

Ray, mmm, thats not what my research says. Furthermore, you didn't read my comment. I am referring to private transfers. Both at and not at gun-shows. Issue here is that the NRA has lobbied so hard to prevent ANY government funds into research. So the data is old.

Jim Coughlin from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: February 4th, 2013 6:09 PM

For anyone interested, there is an interesting expose on the NRA and the organization's activities in the lastest issue of Rolling Stone.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: February 4th, 2013 12:25 PM

@ Uncommon - I am starting to see that we already have a firearms registry. The politicians don't like the fact that it works in reverse of what they want. The records are there from the manufacturer to the retail outlet. The eventual owner is recorded as well- just not as easy to get at. Legal action is required to get to you and your gun, which means a judge needs to be convinced that access is in the public interest. Store owners know that their respecting their customers privacy is critical to their survival. The government knows no such confidence nor will they respect the individual gun owners privacy or rights if they don't have to.

Uncommon Sense  

Posted: February 4th, 2013 10:48 AM

I don't have an issue with background checks per se, but I do have an issue with a govt registry. Who knows how something like that could be used for political purposes. I'd imagine a gun list gets cross referenced with TSA no fly lists, IRS data, ACA data. Imagine telling your Dr you are having a bout with depression. next thing you know, govt ATF goons are rushing to confiscate based on that one Dr's visit and what you MIGHT do. Kind of like some freaky version of the Minority Report.

Uncommon Sense  

Posted: February 4th, 2013 10:43 AM

Jim, the problem with registration is that 1) only law abiding citizens are going to register. 2) history shows us that at some point, that information will be abused and used for nefarious purposes no matter how good the original intent. I find it funny that the same folks who want universal background checks/gun registration feel checking IDs to vote is voter supression and violation of the right to vote.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: February 3rd, 2013 11:09 PM

@ John If you stop to think about it there is already a firearms registry in place. Every serial number is recorded at the time of manufacture. The bills of sale list every one of those numbers and what dealer/ store received those specific numbers. When the store sells the gun a record is kept by them that can be accessed by law enforcement with proper warrants. If you are a private citizen and gave a gun away or sold it I would assume you would have some record of who has it now. If you sold it to a dealer that record chain continues. These occasional gun transfers cannot be the source of the gang bangers arsenal - It seems to me that investigating large theft in transit might be a good start.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: February 3rd, 2013 10:53 PM

@John - I believe your 40% number represents the percent of total sales at gun shows by non FFL agents. That is true but it represents non-firearms items like wool socks - long underwear- fishing rods etc etc. The actual transfer of firearms is under 1.8%. Additionally the percent of guns used in crimes that trace back to gun shows is around 2% There is much more furtile ground to plow.

John from Oak Park  

Posted: February 3rd, 2013 9:49 PM

Ray, You are tied to your ideology. By your logic we should not register cars. We should not account for the cars on the road. Just free range. No way to track. In fact, get rid of car insurance in that case. Everyone for themselves. If you have a drunk driver, or incompetent driver who kills, then people are just out of luck. Again, the founders were smart, and logical. They attempted to account for all firearms. If you advocate for the 2nd Amendment, then advocate for the regulation they had.

John from Oak Park  

Posted: February 3rd, 2013 9:38 PM

Ray, You are hypothesizing. You have no evidence that would be the case. Answer me this. How many illegal cars are out on the road? Very few. Because cars are registered. If guns were registered then all sales would need a transfer of registration. Since about 40% of sales happen in private sales it could address transfers that are not conducted legally. But this wasn't your original issue, your issue was the GOV having the info. Why are you moving the target?

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: February 3rd, 2013 7:07 PM

@John try this logic on for size. Every gun in this country is required to be registered. All legal owners obey the law and register their guns. Lets compare the number of illegally possessed guns with the number of unregistered guns - hey look both numbers are the same! What has been accomplished? Your theory might hold some water if you could get everyone to obey the law and register. If everyone obeyed the law we would not have a problem.

John from Oak Park  

Posted: February 3rd, 2013 6:00 PM

Ray, Who gets to decide what it means to "not give the government any more information than what they need." ? You? Your argument that firearms should not be registered is that someone MAY decide to release that information. I already concurred with you that an action like that is bad policy, and the law should dictate not to allow it. I don't think we should prevent good policy because there is a slim possibility of an adverse affect.

Dan in Oak Park  

Posted: February 3rd, 2013 5:29 PM

If there is so much public outcry for all these new laws to make us safer, why does Mayor Rahm have to go to the press and plead for witnesses to cooperate with the police? No anonymous tips if you are afraid of retaliation? We can debate the merits of each idea, but any law will only be as good as the will of the people to support it.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: February 3rd, 2013 1:38 PM

@ Jim - Horahhh for the first time right and left are in complete agreement. We have sparred in the past while keeping a civil attitude - that is the way this game is supposed to be played. I stopped in to the WJ one time and met Ken Trainor - he is a nice guy - we just view everything from a different perspective. I would hope that at the next Day in Our Village we can all gather to enjoy a beer together.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: February 3rd, 2013 1:31 PM

@ John - You been conferring with Jackie? That makes absolutely no sense and I am not sure what you have been smoking. I am advocating not giving the government any more information than what they need. You side is as guilty of abuse as mine so a pox on both of their houses.

Jim Coughlin from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: February 3rd, 2013 1:05 PM

Ray, it can be difficult and frustrating to understand how the rules of conduct are enforced on this forum. Personal attacks may be deleted but there appears to be no set standard. Since the WJ does not require screen names to be verified, it's fairly easy and pretty common to take things to another level. We can only hope that the forum moderator will exercise good judgement when the discussion starts to get too personal. It can be hard to understand why people are not willing to back up their views and opinions with their actual name. An overwhelming majority of folks who post on these pages do not want to be publically identified. Perhaps they would be willing to explain the decision to conceal their identity. Maybe the can't take the heat or are fearful of a negative reaction from an employer,family member or neighbor. They also may be feel safe lurking in the shadow tossing out nasty comments and engaging in personal attacks all while knowing they aren't require to accept any responsibility.

John from Oak park  

Posted: February 3rd, 2013 12:48 PM

So then you are a supporter of anarchy then Ray? I hope to see you at the protest against the US census and the protest against titling and registration of cars. Your view is fringe, and from what it seems its motivated by fear. I hope to see u at the next protest against warrant. Less wire taps.


Posted: February 3rd, 2013 12:38 PM

Ray - Consider the source. Maybe low information Jackie can only speak about activities she/he is most fond of and familiar with. That's all she/he speaks of. I recently offered an honest dialog but all we get is the tipical liberal lingua franca.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: February 3rd, 2013 11:36 AM

Note to the Publisher: I have had enough of this Jackie person who NEVER contributes to any conversation. Rather, she accuses your readers of deviant sexual activities that she probably doesn't understand or care about. Her addition is always schoolyard taunting from behind her anonymity. I am through dealing with imbeciles of this ilk.


Posted: February 3rd, 2013 8:38 AM

John, you are wasting your time. Simpson is a syncophant and a shill for all that is tea-baggery. Facts are not his his friends and he whines like a child when you call him out on it. Ray, take your wife's advice and just read--or move to Berwyn.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: February 3rd, 2013 8:23 AM

@ John - it doesn't matter! When any list exists it will be used for someone's advantage. When the government keeps a list you know someone will abuse the confidence. That is what political power is all about.


Posted: February 2nd, 2013 8:40 PM

gu.ns are bad, people.

John from Oak Park  

Posted: February 2nd, 2013 8:39 PM

Ray, how do you know someone allowed for the records on registered gun owners to be released based on political motivation. Do you have proof of this? The Government has and probably will again in the future abuse the information they have. But should that paralyze us from doing anything? I am in the opinion of no. From a public safety and health stand-point its moronic to reveal locations of gun-owners in our society today. That too can be enshrined in the law.


Posted: February 2nd, 2013 8:39 PM

guns are bad people.

John from Oak Park  

Posted: February 2nd, 2013 8:34 PM

So you are of the opinion if there is one bad actor, then the whole squad is sour? So your solution is do nothing? Or is it to get rid of all registration all together? I suppose we should cease to register our cars too, along with sex-offenders. I suppose you are against any and all permits for work requests (anyone should be able to do anything they want in their house) and rally/protest requests - anyone should be able to protest anywhere they want. Sound like an anarchist.

John from Oak Park  

Posted: February 2nd, 2013 8:30 PM

I am not defending, again you are putting words in my mouth, which is as in your words "childish" I am simply pointing out hypocrisy if it is there. If you didn't have a problem with something when a Republican did it, but you do when a Democrat does, that is hypocrisy. PERIOD.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: February 2nd, 2013 6:44 PM

@ John - First I always believed we elected people do do the right thing for our country - not to be less bad than the last guy. The current defense of Obama is "look at all the bad things Bush did" This country bought into a world class lie last November and elected a man who cannot give us a straight story - no matter what. I will not point to anything Hitler did - I will point out the incident in New York where all of the registered gun owners, in two counties, were identified and their residences were published on google maps. We cannot trust our government to respect confidential information if they see a political advantage to going back on their word. Jack Ryan discovered this truth when his run for the Senate was torpedoed by someone getting divorce records un sealed. (That one has the fingerprints of Mr Axelrod, I believe) You have faith that the government will not abuse registration information - I don't have that same faith. Lately we have seen movie makers given access to things they should not know and their producing propaganda for the White House with peoples lives put at risk. When peoples security is sacrificed for political gain - we need to step very carefully.

John from Oark Park  

Posted: February 2nd, 2013 4:32 PM

But we digress. Ray, What do you say to closing the private-sale loop hole? By requiring that all gun sales have a background check, including private sales? What would you think of a requirement for all working firearms being registered? If you don't like these policies tell us why. And please do not have an argument that "Hilter took guns and was able to do because guns were registered" or any argument similar. Our country already has a history of gun registration.

John from Oak PARK  

Posted: February 2nd, 2013 4:27 PM

Ray, Your double speak is funny. You are guilty of the same childish behavior. Only you point a finger at me for something I have not done. I am far being in Obama's cheerleading squad. Will and have critized, and will continue. But again, if you were not yelling and screaming about these things under Bush, then it would make you a hypocrite to do so under Obama. I yell and scream under both. I ALREADY told you, that F&F was wrong, who is the child now by making up stories?

John from Oak Park  

Posted: February 2nd, 2013 4:24 PM

Ray, You contradict yourself, which again proves your partisanship. First you claim that no one ever believed 9/11 would happen, then you say the warning signs existed under Clinton, which would mean the "warning signs" continued to exist under the next president. Clinton actually admitted his failure to get bin Laden sooner. Bush on the other hand did not even get him when he had the chance.

John from Oak Park  

Posted: February 2nd, 2013 4:21 PM

Thanks OPRF, I would encourage you to read ALL posts, you have seen that corrected myself.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: February 2nd, 2013 10:20 AM

@John - No one ever believed that something as horrible as 9/11 could come to our shores. The real warning signs came during the Clinton administration, yet no one ever mentions that. W43 did a lot of things after the attack, some smart some il-conceived. I always wonder when you guys justify every bad or dumb move by Obama by pointing a finger at someone else. Childish at best.

OPRF Achievment  

Posted: February 2nd, 2013 9:22 AM

@John...great discussion. However, you MUST get facts correct to have any credability. Fast and Furious was NOT started under President Bush - but rather President Obama. Under President Bush they did have a similar yet vastly different program called Operation Wide Reciever - working directly with the Mexican Government. Fast and Furious did NOT work with Mexican Government and was vastly different and more dangerous than what you refer to starting under President Bush.

John from Oak Park  

Posted: February 2nd, 2013 8:53 AM

Ray, so I am guessing since you have those issues with the Obama Admin, you had serious issues with Bush, and the beginning of wide spread warrant-less wiretapping, torture, and an illegal war. If you don't any any issue with the Iraq war then your arguments lose their potency. Not to mention ample proof showing that there were warning before 9/11 and the Bush Admin did nothing. Interesting, how if something barely comparable happens the GOP uses it for political gain.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: February 2nd, 2013 8:21 AM

@Jim - OK we agree there! The big question is how do we stop it if Justice refuses to allow congressional oversight and the White House hides bad stuff behind executive privilege? Laws have been broken and using executive privilege to obstruct justice is illegal. This is proof of just how lawless this administration is and there are five dead bodies that cannot be written off to FOX news or Rush Limbaugh.

Jim Coughlin from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: February 2nd, 2013 12:17 AM

Ray, I think what both the Bush and Obama administration were trying to accomplish was to halt the flow of weapons that were being purchased in Arizona and delivered to the Mexican drug cartels. Officials were rightly concerned and decided that action was necessary. Unfortunately, there was a lack of oversight and controls by ATF officials that result in one of our border agents losing his life. There is something sinister about the individuals involved in this weapons trafficking and they need to be stopped!

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: February 1st, 2013 10:28 PM

@John You are correct that W43 started a program and it was scrapped when one gun went missing. Additionally it was a cooperative program with the Mexican Government. F&F was never even revealed to the Mexican government - I view that as a sort of an act of war.

John from Oak Park  

Posted: February 1st, 2013 9:59 PM

Correction, before you jump on me. The sting and gunwalking programs began under Bush. It is true that Fast and Furious was the larger of the efforts. However, you seem to argue that Jim agrees with the program. Personally, I don't. I do not condone the Federal Government allowing dangerous illegal action.

John from Oak Park  

Posted: February 1st, 2013 9:53 PM

Ray, Actually Fast and Furious began under President Bush's term. Furthermore, there is too much talk about the "gun show loophole". What it is, is a private sale loop hole. Nearly 40% of firearms were transfered through private sales. To me, thats a problem....

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: February 1st, 2013 6:56 PM

@ Jim yes you got the basics. The devil is in the details. The DOJ and FBI report that for 2010 the number of gun sales by unregistered sellers at gun shows was 1.8% of the total sales and no record of those few guns creating any problems. You imply that this is a gaping conduit to gangs and criminals. There is no evidence of that being true. Fast and Furious was a far more egregious transfer of firepower tho criminals. Oh I'm sorry that was initiated by your guys wasn't it?

Jim Coughlin from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: February 1st, 2013 6:07 PM

Ray, as I understand the gun show loophole; private gun sellers are not required to perform background checks or maintain sales records. Seems that would enable people with criminal records to obtain weapons. Purchases of semi-automatic guns and extended magazines also do not require background checks. Have I go that right? What would be your objections to closing that loophole?

John from Oak Park  

Posted: February 1st, 2013 5:34 PM

Jim it is working. The problem with the NRA is that is has become a radical fringe organization that does what the Gun Manufactures wants. Its about profits through gun and ammunition sale. Get people in a frenzy that next month there will be no more guns for sale, they will go nuts. Ray, there is a "loophole" though many don't know what it really is. So there are some of us that do know what it is. I will let Jim answer though.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: February 1st, 2013 4:37 PM

Sorry I was addressing Jim C

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: February 1st, 2013 4:33 PM

@John C - please explain your understanding of the "Gun Show Loophole" You wave that statement like a flag at a parade yet I doubt that you have any idea of what you speak. What is the loophole and why are you worried about it?

Jim Coughlin from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: February 1st, 2013 4:21 PM

John, it seems the NRA tactics are working with Walmart reporting a shortage of ammo at many stores. WalMart has seen gun and ammo sales soar since the massacre at the Newtown school. No reason to worry because they will be restocking so everyone can reload. Surprising that the views expressed by General Stanley McCrystal have not gotten much traction. A hunter doesn't need an assault rifle to take down a rabbit.

John from Oak Park  

Posted: February 1st, 2013 3:20 PM

I am afraid that it seems that you get your information and talking points from the NRA. The NRA in the past 15 years has become a fringe organizations. This is why Almost ALL Police Chief organizations are no longer allies, alongside rank and file police organizations and federations. In terms of "hysterics" the NRA is brilliant at scaring thousands of gun-owners in thinking the Government is "coming for your guns" Its not. It simply is not.

John from Oak Park  

Posted: February 1st, 2013 3:16 PM

Did you know that the Illinois State Rifle Association successfully lobbied against a law that would strengthen penalties on those who KNOWINGLY sell guns to gang members with criminal records? Did you know that Sandy Abrams, a director on NRA's board, was reelected to serve on the board even after his federal license for selling firearms was revoked because he was illegally selling guns? So much for "law-abiding citizens."

John from Oak Park  

Posted: February 1st, 2013 3:11 PM

Which "gun grabbers" are you referring to? Who is talking about reducing rights? No right is absolute. Did you know that the Gun Owners of America advocates for any and all laws referring to gun-ownership to be repealed? Do you support convicted violent criminals being able to obtain arms? GOA does. Research the other side, come out of your box, because the NRA doesn't even advocate for what an overwhelming majority of its members believe.

Jim Coughlin from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: February 1st, 2013 3:08 PM

Grabbing guns? Who is doing that to you? Certainly not President Obama unless you've heard him say that is his intention. What is he proposing that concerns you most? Wayne LaPierre supported universal background checks in 1999 and today a majority of NRA members and the Amercian people support such a measure. Should the gun show loophole be closed?What's been said about semi-autos and assault weapons that represents "the big picture" you are seeing?

Uncommon Sense  

Posted: February 1st, 2013 2:07 PM

John, there is a lot of double speak coming from the gun grabbers which is why gun advocates are rightfully concerned. All one has to do is look at the FACTS of gun violence, mass shootings, assault weapons, etc and you will see gun control is about using hysterics to reduce your rights as a citizen whether you own a gun or not. After researching the false language being used in regards to semi-autos and assault weapons, it was enough for me to see the big picture.

John from Oak Park  

Posted: February 1st, 2013 1:34 PM

And a Public Health campaign, well trained individuals - counselors, teachers, nurses, police, and doctors, alongside Comprehensive background checks could firstly prevent firearms from getting into the hands of potentially dangerous people. There are mediums between no control and absolute bans. If you are unwilling to see that, then you would be classified as a "gun-nut" which I hope you are not.

John from Oak Park  

Posted: February 1st, 2013 1:31 PM

The two who murdered and wounded many at Columbine killed themselves. the Armed guards did not help. Who is advocating for banning guns? Thats the problem for PEOPLE LIKE YOU, who see a view different from yours and pigeon whole them into something they are not. You have not even asked me what I think, but scroll down and you will see. Again, more guns will not address mass shootings, neither will it address the daily violence in chicago. Less illegal guns would address the later.

Uncommon Sense  

Posted: February 1st, 2013 1:20 PM

John, you cannot prevent every crime or shooting. I don't think any gun advocate has ever claimed that concealed carry is 100% full proof. Nothing is. Just as banning guns will not stop gun violence. However, the ability to fight back and defend yourself and others will reduce the carnage of mass shootings. People like you who would trade their freedoms for safety deserve neither.

John from Oak Park  

Posted: February 1st, 2013 1:10 PM

Uncommon sense - just like how the armed people stopped Gabby Giffords from being shot? And like how the armed guards stopped the two from killing and wounding many at Columbine? Just like how the armed security prevented Ronald Reagan from being shot? Strange how the founder of modern Conservatism actually ADVOCATED for COMMON SENSE gun-violence prevent reforms. No, more guns is not the answer.

Uncommon Sense  

Posted: February 1st, 2013 10:49 AM

Southside, the reality is you can't stop all massacres. It would be nice, but this isn't a Utopia. Heck, even the ones we have are super rare. Tragic? Yes. Epidemic? No. Arming citizens will go along way in reducing the incidents.


Posted: February 1st, 2013 10:37 AM

@Really? How would you stop a massacre?

John from Oak park  

Posted: February 1st, 2013 8:39 AM

Really- Actually your beloved NRA has lobbied at both the federal and state levels to make our background checks in terms of mental health nearly useless. They have lobbied for continued underfunding and have kept many states from even sending records at all. So if you wanna blame someone, blame the gun lobby.


Posted: February 1st, 2013 2:48 AM

Heil to the next great contributor that the Jurinal had to go out and hire. Ill bet this liberal shill and Ken Trainor are secretly married. These fools have yet to address one of the greatest problems, all of these massacres were committed by mentally unstable people...people who other people knew were mentally unstable. Until we begin to talk about how to keep firearms out of those peoples hands, just keep your mouth shut because you have no idea how to stop a massacre.

John from Oak Park  

Posted: January 31st, 2013 11:26 PM

I say the Founders set a precedent. Firearms were registered with the government, and every year all citizens with them had to bring them for inspection. Does it need to be yearly? No, because most, if not all of these folks were expected to be part of the militia. But at least having all working firearms registered would be a step. Then we could track the sale of them. Folks who seem to "lose" a lot of firearms could also lose their right, since they are unable to secure them.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: January 31st, 2013 5:26 PM

@joe problem is if you only take 15% that still leaves 85% that they can go after.

joe from south oak park  

Posted: January 31st, 2013 3:00 PM

I think what john is looking for is an immediate 15% salary tax on anyone that works so that the government can pay violent criminals so they hopefully won't rob people any more. That and manditory hand holding and singing kumbaya on saturday at 4pm.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: January 31st, 2013 9:52 AM

@John - OK you find fault with everything we have suggested. What is your practical solution?

John from Oak Park  

Posted: January 31st, 2013 9:37 AM

And Joe... in terms of your comment " what is preventing the straw seller from still selling the firearm and reporting it stolen." I don't think the police and other agencies responsible for tracking this would be passive if its found that the same individual or dealer happens to report a lot of stolen guns. If a threshold of stolen guns are reported, there would be an investigation. There are not enough interested individual sellers, that will only buy and get stolen one or two guns.

John from Oak Park  

Posted: January 31st, 2013 9:34 AM

Ray, Its hard enough for felons to get jobs when they get out of prison. So you want to lock them up even longer? When they get out its 5, 10 or however many wasted years with no job experience. The person cannot get employed, so what do they do? Turn to crime that pays again. Again, your trying to address the symptoms, but not the causes. Titling guns like firearms is really the only gun violence prevent policy that could help. At this point any ban probably wouldn't help

john from Oak Park  

Posted: January 31st, 2013 9:30 AM

Again, I will disagree with both you Ray and Joe on a matter of values and on matter of research and policy from other countries. Tougher punishment will not change anything. Actually it goes against the whole NRA argument that "Criminals don't follow the law." This is true. "Get enough bad guys off the street and others might get the message" No, what you will have is depopulation of low-income neighborhoods. We have seen mass-incarceration has failed us with the war on drugs.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: January 31st, 2013 7:11 AM

Let's see if I understand this logic. We have a whole shelf full of law books dealing with guns, their ownership, their use and their abuse. We refuse to try to enforce any of those laws, but this new gun control ban is going to solve all of societies ills. We have arrived at this point because our elected officials have refused to admit that their laws and mandates are useless unless we enforce them to the full extent of the law. Criminal use of a firearm should trigger an automatic jail sentence that is long and painful. We know that while in jail that one individual will not pull a gun on anyone. If a criminal pulls one armed assault a week and we put him away for ten years we have just prevented 520 crimes. Get enough bad guys off of the street and the others might get the message. Our intolerance should be toward the crime and the criminal - not the way it is committed.


Posted: January 31st, 2013 2:24 AM

Joe, The problem with that strategy is that you're constantly waiting for a crime to be committed, by which time it's too late in most cases. It's like waiting to catch the water every time someone's Oak Park basement floods or leaks due to our century old sewer system, when the long term solution would be to build an up to date system. The only way to realistically keep guns out of the criminals hand is to cut off their supply, which means a ban. Anything else is bandaging a symptom.


Posted: January 30th, 2013 11:47 PM

say there was law that makes all sales go through a dealer with a background check. what is preventing the straw seller from still selling the firearm and reporting it stolen. either way the criminal gets the gun. the only thing that changes is the steps a legal seller has to go through.

joe from south oak park  

Posted: January 30th, 2013 11:43 PM

rez - i agree completely, and i can guarantee that the seller did not follow the current laws. nor would the seller follow any additional law. We need to focus on dealing with the people who use firearms for criminal purposes.


Posted: January 30th, 2013 11:41 PM

Joe, or you could sale it illegally, which how all the criminals get there guns. I'm not saying you would personally do that, but plenty of people who bought guns the way you did, do. Hence the problem we have now.

joe from south oak park   

Posted: January 30th, 2013 11:32 PM

John, I think this is where we fundamentally disagree. There are plenty of people in the world who see no problem with using violence on others to get what they want. I don't care what opportunities these folks have had or not had in there lives. To me these people are the very definition of evil. When i bought a pistol last year it came with documentation from the dealer showing that i am the owner. if i sell it i have to get the drivers license and foid number of the buyer.


Posted: January 30th, 2013 11:07 PM

John, I agree that poverty has to be addressed in a big way, but I also believe that we need a national handgun ban. Joe - those "illegal" guns were at one time "legal", and the vast majority of guns that criminals have in Chicago were bought legally in the suburbs and sold to them. As long as "legal" guns exist, "illegal" gun will too.


Posted: January 30th, 2013 10:31 PM

Joe, don't you think we have tried enough incarceration? Can't we see that incarceration has failed us in the "war on drugs." The majority of people who commit crimes don't do so because they are "evil people". They lack any opportunity in their community. Which is why crime is higher in low-income neighborhoods. If we titled guns, like cars, we can track them from the moment they are manufactured, shipped, and every time sold. If you sell it to someone who isn't allow to buy, its a crime.

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: January 30th, 2013 9:44 PM

I was there too and I was disappointed by the turnout. Nothing will change until people make time to demand it.

joe from south oak park  

Posted: January 30th, 2013 10:29 AM

I think that what people are forgetting here is that the vast majority of crimes where a firearm is used that firearm is not legally possessed under existing law. So if a criminal is going to break existing law and use a gun in a crime what would stop them from breaking the new law as well? Does that make them a double criminal? I really like the idea of operation exile. manditory 5 to 10 year sentences, federal time served out of state for anyone convicted of a violent crime using a firearm

John from Oak Park  

Posted: January 29th, 2013 11:11 PM

Remember though that the majority of gun-violence does NOT occur because of automatic or semi-automatic weapons. Its handguns. 40 were killed this month so far in Chicago. The gun massacres, terrible as they are, are dwarfed by the everyday violence on the streets of our major cities, usually happening in our poorest communities. If we want to get serious about violence, we need to get serious about poverty.

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