Reasons to vote for universal background checks

Opinion: Letters To The Editor

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Maarten Bosland

I want to respond to a viewpoint published in the Aug. 13 issue of Wednesday Journal, titled "Guns for self-defense or complete gun bans?"

This viewpoint encourages Oak Park voters to vote "No" on Nov. 4 on the referendum in support of universal background checks for all gun purchases and other legal gun transfers. The only argument made in the viewpoint for the encouragement to vote "No" is a statement that "legal gun transfers between law abiding citizens (universal background checks, no exception) [are] … ineffective."

I want to encourage Oak Park voters to vote "Yes"! My arguments are: 

1) Over 90% of all Americans are in favor of universal background checks (April 12, 2013 Washington Post-ABC poll and a July 3, 2014 Quinnipiac poll); even 74% of NRA members and 85% of people in households of NRA members were in favor of this in the Washington Post-ABC poll. 

2) Universal background checks are currently not in place for at least 40% of all gun transfers, which makes it impossible to conclude anything about their (in)effectiveness. Of note, adequate research on the effectiveness of universal background checks and other gun-related issues has been stifled by the NRA, which has lobbied Congress to prohibit federal funding for such research. Indeed, Congress has not been active in pursuing legislation requiring universal background checks and other gun-related matters (see: 

A "Yes" vote on the non-binding referendum will also give a solid signal that Oak Parkers are very unhappy about what has happened to gun ownership in Illinois and particularly in Oak Park and Chicago. 

Most of the Aug. 13 viewpoint is devoted to aspects of gun ownership and concealed carry that are not pertinent to the issue of background checks, but appear to be in support of the use of guns for self-defense. When reading this, I became worried, and a front-page article in the Saturday, Aug. 23 issue of the New York Times lays out many of the reasons why I became concerned. (The NY Times article can be accessed at: It discusses in detail the complex issues that police officers are faced with when having to decide whether or not to draw their guns, whether or not to shoot, and how and when to do so, often in very confusing circumstances (poor lighting, people moving fast, presence of bystanders, unclear situations, etc.). 

The NY Times article made me look up on the Illinois State Police website the recommended content of the 16 hours of required training one needs to take in Illinois in order to qualify for a concealed-carry permit. Nowhere did I find language requiring training in how to deal with the complex and confusing circumstances that are typically associated with real-life situations in which people with concealed-carry guns may have or want to decide to use their weapon. 

Police officers are trained in these matters and are required to go for re-training at regular intervals, as often as every three months. However, Illinois concealed-carry permit holders are not required to take such training; they only have to shoot 10 rounds at a stationary target at distances of 5, 7, and 10 yards and be instructed about what the Illinois Criminal Code stipulates about the use of force that can result in death or great bodily harm, which is what shooting a gun does. This training has to be repeated only once every five years and only for three hours. 

Knowing that even trained police officers make mistakes in real-life situations, I do not feel safe knowing that there may be untrained people carrying concealed guns around where I go on the streets of Oak Park. A gun-wielding and -firing action by such an untrained and inexperienced individual, no matter how well-intended or legally justified, in a situation that he/she perceives as reasonably threatening, may easily go awry. Thus, I do not understand why people can obtain permits to carry concealed (or openly carry) guns, except perhaps in rural areas where a 911 call does not elicit a quick response.

But to come back on the first issue I have raised, I urge all fellow Oak Park voters to vote "Yes" on the universal background check referendum on Nov. 4.

Reader Comments

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Nick Lowe from Austin  

Posted: November 14th, 2014 12:07 AM

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Peter Gunn  

Posted: September 26th, 2014 6:55 AM

Criminlas cannot be prosecuted for VIolations of UNiversal background check ever. Here's why

In Glen Ellyn formerly from OP  

Posted: August 31st, 2014 12:41 AM

In reading more about his views about various hot button topics, I reaffirm that's it's not him or certain views of his that I dislike, it's just his way of drowning out opponents' views, even while I may dislike those same views that he dislikes. Thanks for the clip, Tim.

In Glen Ellyn formerly from OP  

Posted: August 31st, 2014 12:26 AM

interesting, informative, and entertaining talkshow clip. Thanks, Tim. I was surprised to hear, Bill Maher, who is usually a liberal pot stirrer ENTERTAINER, admit he owns guns. He's very sure of himself, arrogant, but, none-the-less entertaining. I can take him in short doses. Ironically, he criticizes people who disagree with him as being stupid, while he flatly disregards opponents' views in wholesale fassion. Ironically, he's for gun rights, out-of-character for the self-proclaimed liberal.

Tim Buck Too from Oak Park  

Posted: August 30th, 2014 11:32 PM

In Glen Ellyn formerly from OP  

Posted: August 30th, 2014 2:46 PM

As far as what sport is the most demanding, neither golf nor shooting would be my first picks (have you tried ultra-marathoning?) but that doesn't matter; we enjoy and appreciate the rigors of the sport/activity of our choice. The referendum shouldn't be about validating or invalidating gun owners and 2nd amendment adherents (which should us all by living in and benefitting from this constitutional government) and creating criminals, but about stopping criminals from hurting us and our peace.

In Glen Ellyn formerly from OP  

Posted: August 30th, 2014 2:27 PM

Trivializing the sport nor the committed hobbyist was my intention. I mentioned the gun nuts as I would the running nuts, golf nuts, cycling nuts, the beer nuts, the Nascar Nuts, the tree hugging nuts, etc. While any group may have their more commited and boisterous adherents and evangelists, they still generally have mainstream pertinent and valid concerns. My nuts are not extreme, heh, just really confident in there pastime, hobby, way of life, whatever. They can alienate, but are still valid.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: August 30th, 2014 2:12 PM

@ Glen - I was a competitive shooter for about a dozen years and had absolutely no amorous attachment to any firearm. They were the tools of the trade and never anything more. They were all capable of better performance than I was but never anything but steel wood and plastic. The idea of "loving" a firearm is just silly and a way to trivialize a very demanding sport. Ernest Hemingway claimed that only pro golf was more demanding than conventional pistol competition.. Requires both physical and mental training.

In Glen Ellyn formerly from OP  

Posted: August 30th, 2014 12:55 PM

I can understand that frustrating sentiment...I'm frustrated trying to figure out what's new in this proposal that attempts to address the pesky hole. Here I am gettin' in arguments with gun zealots when apparently we're frustrated over the same thing- why punish and further control the legal and responsible gun nuts (I mean, seriously, the deeply ardent 2nd amendment zealots are patriots, no doubt and rightly so, thank goodness, IMO). They luv and care 4 their guns and people.Get the criminals.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: August 30th, 2014 11:41 AM

@ Glen - the objective isn't the problem it is the idea that this is new. The FOID system scans the data base several times a week and mental restrictions are already included as are orders of protection, felony convictions and being under indictment. The only hole in the existing system is those pesky criminals who refuse to follow the law. The referendum assumes that somehow that problem will just go away. Fat chance!

In Glen Ellyn formerly from OP  

Posted: August 30th, 2014 11:24 AM

regarding the med. priv. concern with gun restrictions, I think public safety protection from a DMI (dangerously mentally ill) patient is a simple matter- dr. would be required to either check with or inform a single confidential agency that a patient in question is unfit to be responsible for handling a gun. Would diagnosed alcoholics also be subject to restriction? What if they're so-called "recovered". Professionally determined mentally unsound shooters aren't motivated same way as muggers.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: August 30th, 2014 10:25 AM

Having retrieved the text of the referendum I find that most of Maarten Bosland's rational is just as irrelevant as he claims our issues seem to him. He seems to find fault with concealed carry, which is the law, assuming that those who have the license are trained to less of a standard than he feels required. The referendum as written has real medical privacy problems as well as functional enforcement issues. I have argued repeatedly that no law is worth anything if our courts refuse to enforce it and that holding judges feet to the fire IS something that can be accomplished locally. The message of this referendum would likely result in the rest of the country just rolling their eyes and saying " There they go again - that screwy Oak Park - tilting windmills" We seemed not to learn any PR lessons from the smack we got from the Supreme Court - so lets put our heads down and see if we can break a hole in another brick wall. None too smart!

Brian Slowiak from westchester  

Posted: August 30th, 2014 7:59 AM

@ OP REs: All for curtailing the non binding referendum after we put in a ref asking the Village of Oak Park, Its elected officials. its employees. to acknowledge , apologize for violating the Federal Constitutional Rights of a minority and to promise to never violates Rights again.

MichaeO from Oak Park  

Posted: August 30th, 2014 7:45 AM

MichaelO from Oak Park  

Posted: August 30th, 2014 7:43 AM

MichaelO from Oak Park  

Posted: August 30th, 2014 7:32 AM

MichaelO from Oak Park  

Posted: August 30th, 2014 7:29 AM

MichaelO from Oak Park  

Posted: August 30th, 2014 7:27 AM

In Glen Ellyn formerly from OP  

Posted: August 29th, 2014 11:09 PM

Anybody know how many or what percent of voter rolls were required to get this referendum on the ballot. Thanks, Ray for posting. I wish I asked for it 100 comments ago. It would have eliminated a lot of irrelevant, though still informative, comments about CCW, bans, training, etc.that I got put in my place for criticizing. I knew Ms. Mullarkey somewhat back in the 80s. She wasn't stupid and didn't raise stupid kids (one was a class valedictorian my graduating year, and both were good athletes)

OP Res 253  

Posted: August 29th, 2014 10:37 PM

This is the same kind of non-binding referendum such as Barbara full of Mullarkey got on the ballot insisting physicians scare patients away from life saving vaccines, right? (Which they all pledged to ignore). What does it take, 30 signatures and a visit to Villiage Hall? I'm going to propose a non-binding referendum to end all non-binding referendums on the basis of the energy wasted on moral masturbation and argument ad nauseam to no productive end whatsoever. Who's with me?

The Referee from Oak Park  

Posted: August 29th, 2014 10:09 PM

@Tim Buck Too... Nice summary. But I'm going to cut Glen some slack. He's crude, insulting, unapologetic, etc., but isn't that the way they all appear on the dark side until they see the light? You know exactly what I mean. I doubt that any perceptions Glen has about "our world" means little when viewing the big picture. "Assclown" made me LOL. I was thinking "asshat" so GMTA, but I'm trying to be nice so "say no more" :)

In Glen Ellyn formerly from OP  

Posted: August 29th, 2014 9:45 PM

to "I Will Be..."- I find crime to be inconvenient. With gun crime driven by illegal guns, legislation shouldn't seem to target legitimate gun owners with inconvenience and constant tracking. Why punish legal gun owners for supplementing police protection with legal personal protection? That's definitively counter-productive and plain rude. I also think ownership checks and qualification verification should occur with new mental problem diagnoses, if that's not already happening.

In Glen Ellyn formerly from OP  

Posted: August 29th, 2014 9:31 PM

To eliminate ambiguity and open-endedness, strike "or possession" and replace "including" with "specifically". Am I correct in saying that currently, background checks aren't yet required for transfers transacted at gun shows, on the internet, and privately? That possession thing Brian described with the airport scenario and constant UBC(?) computer tracking. That does seem like a far reaching Big Brother move to me. I don't see how that deters criminal transfers. What else might be a prob?

I will be voting YES.  

Posted: August 29th, 2014 9:23 PM

Thanks friends & neighbors who worked to get this on the ballot. I'll be glad to have my voice count in support of stronger legislation.The six people or so putting nearly 100 comments here are truly motivating. It's like Yosemite Sam encountered a three way mirror & got into a fight. I support a well regulated 2nd amdmt. Enforce existing laws & add to it, and too bad if you find that inconvenient.


Posted: August 29th, 2014 9:18 PM

Binding referendum: D200 to refund $80 million in ill gotten gains to taxpayers.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: August 29th, 2014 7:43 PM

@ Glen Here it is= Shall the Federal Government enact legislation requiring universal background checks of criminal and mental health history record information for all transfers of ownership or possession of firearms, including transfers which occur at gun shows, over the Internet and privately, as a step toward preventing the ownership or possession of firearms by criminals and those with serious mental illnesses, and as a step toward preventing illegal gun trafficking altogether?" Whew - that is a boatload of purty words!

In Glen Ellyn formerly from OP  

Posted: August 29th, 2014 6:12 PM

In agreement with Ray and even arrogant blowhards like Tim, I would NOT agree to a referendum without details, as Ray described. Don't get suckered with an open-ended new process. Ray, do you have a link for a copy of the exact wording, handy?

In Glen Ellyn formerly from OP  

Posted: August 29th, 2014 6:03 PM

Tim- Gotta tell ya, you're not doing "your world" any favors. Nice temper. Confidence inspiring. Meant to ask, "what's an assclown"? nvm Do you act this way on the street WITHOUT your gun? YOU are scary.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: August 29th, 2014 5:47 PM

We are approaching 100 comments upon Maarten Bosland's trying to convince us to support the universal background check non-binding referendum in November. We have tried to define what the universal background check is and why we feel this is a waste of time. The supporters of the referendum cannot and will not give the details like 1 how do you prevent illegal transfers between people who are forbidden to own or even posses a handgun? 2 what government agency will enforce the new regulation? 3 Who pays for this new bureaucracy? 4 How do you handle the dangerously mentally ill? 5 what happens if the referendum passes? All of these questions have been asked and never answered by the people who are asking you to sign on to a progressive program that will eventually do away with the second amendment. Again I ask that if you don't have a burning passion in your gut one way or the other - just take a pass!

OP Transplant  

Posted: August 29th, 2014 5:43 PM

Brian S. - My 12:46 post wasn't directed at anyone in particular. I'm just trying to make the point that it's very difficult to justify curtailing innocent people's Constitutional rights because they become ill. It's perceived that those with mental illness pose a greater risk of danger. We can easily use statistics to identify other groups who pose a greater risk of danger with guns, but we don't. If we're concerned about public safety, why not curtail the rights of all higher-risk groups?

Susan from Berwyn  

Posted: August 29th, 2014 5:15 PM

Wow Michael, I'll bet you really had to dig hard to find something negative about concealed carry, huh? It's kind of like when Deb Mell cried on the House floor because she wanted to gay marry her gay lover. Who would have thunk she'd be the first gay divorce?

Tim Buck Too from Oak Park  

Posted: August 29th, 2014 5:08 PM

Glen, if you want to play in our world, it's ok because we are very accepting. However we are a righteous bunch and can easily see through you. Stop trying to pretend to be a victim. Besides being responsible gun owners, we also have an uncanny ability to get a read on people, our awareness level is usually more hightened than the average person. Not because of anything suppernatural, it justcomes with the territory. You may or may not understand, but I'm not going bet either way.

Tim Buck Too from Oak Park  

Posted: August 29th, 2014 5:04 PM

You then get all, as the ref says: butthurt about it. trying to make it sound like he's the one who was rude, and even put up a straw man argument that he was going to shoot you. Come on. Really? You then misdirect by introducing felons into the conversation. Really Glen? You called us dismissing and misdirecting earlier. Project much Glen? Several posters took issue with being called jerks, myself included. Nice way to win friends and influence people.

Tim Buck Too from Oak Park  

Posted: August 29th, 2014 5:03 PM

But that's no reason to insult legitimate gun owners like you did in your very next post. That's not ignorant, that's being a buffoon, a regular assclown. You then go on to say legitimate law-abiding gun owners act like unreasonable insulting paranoid jerks. Projecting again Glen? The first instance of anything approaching an insult by anyone else is The Referee when he bounces back the jerk comment back at you.

Tim Buck Too from Oak Park  

Posted: August 29th, 2014 5:02 PM

Then you started accusing the responders of being half-assed, smart-assed, dismissing, misdirecting, irrelevant, and insulting. I saw none of that in any of the nine reponses. When I say now that you are ignorant of the subject, it isn't meant insultingly, many people are ignorant of many subjects. I'm ignorant when it comes to understanding brain surgery. So you are ignorant about guns and gun laws, so what? Lots of people are.

Tim Buck Too from Oak Park  

Posted: August 29th, 2014 5:01 PM

@In Glen Ellyn - Wow, I thought we were dome and then you post "I often say, "don't feel offended, just be honest". Glen, you need to be honest and come clean yourself. You are being disingenuous in your postings. It's hard to have a reasonable discussion with someone who just makes stuff up. You asked a couple questions because you are ignorant of the subject and received nine reasonable responses.

Brian Slowiak from Westchester  

Posted: August 29th, 2014 4:27 PM

@ OP Transplant: If the 1246 post is directed at me, I say that minorities who commit offenses can change their attitude and views toward a victim or society.. The mentally ill are not in control of their responses. in our discussion group a mental health nurse made a statement that any person who is hospitalizes for a mental condition, a notice is sent to the Ill. State Police to have their FOID card temporarily suspended.

Uncommon Sense  

Posted: August 29th, 2014 4:08 PM

Ray, he has no point other than that in a country of 350 million people, he can find a few example of CCW holders doing something stupid. Of course, this is small in comparison to non-CCW doing similar or worse. I guess we should ban cars since I can probably post 50 examples everyday of idiots driving resulting in deaths.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: August 29th, 2014 3:19 PM

@ Michael O - and your point is?

MichaelO from Oak Park  

Posted: August 29th, 2014 3:19 PM

MichaelO from Oak Park  

Posted: August 29th, 2014 3:16 PM

MichaelO from Oak Park  

Posted: August 29th, 2014 3:10 PM

Ray Simpson from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: August 29th, 2014 2:49 PM

@ Dan - Your comment just magically appeared after I pressed "Post Comment" I am sorry if I didn't fully agree with your first comment but did a OOOPS when I read the latter.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: August 29th, 2014 2:44 PM

@ Glen - Dan snuck his comment in ahead of mine and I was in error in my understanding of his point - sorry! I do feel that without the courts full cooperation, all of this other effort will go nowhere so I would give it my first priority. This is not an issue that can be put off till we see how other stuff works.

RF Dan  

Posted: August 29th, 2014 2:36 PM

Yes, fully utilize existing laws and fully prosecute which would be a big step in itself (I thought my comment was quite clear). Ray has brought this up many times and I agree with him. However, I think this is just one of many steps needed to affect real long term change.

In Glen Ellyn formerly from OP  

Posted: August 29th, 2014 2:27 PM

RF Dan- did I misunderstand you or did Ray? I think you said we should fully utilize existing gun laws and fully prosecute to reduce gun violence (among other steps). I think Ray said you don't want that. Ray- I didn't read his opposition to fully using the laws and courts. Did I misread you? I'm missing something.

MichaelO from Oak Park  

Posted: August 29th, 2014 2:16 PM

Ray Simpson from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: August 29th, 2014 2:04 PM

@ RF Dan - let me get this straight - you want a gun violence solution but resist step one which is to assure all laws are prosecuted to their full extent. You do not want this solution to start in the court system where judges and prosecutors will be required to hand out maximum punitive penalties. Here we go down that fools folly path again.

RF Dan  

Posted: August 29th, 2014 1:56 PM

Convicting criminals to the fullest extent of the law is a great solution. But it is one of dozens of steps that would need to be taken to really make a big impact on gun violence, which (like gangs) is now everywhere, not just Englewood & Austin. You'll never stop bad guys from getting guns (you can make it tougher which is one of the steps) can also make overall availability of the most dangerous weapons more difficult (another of many steps).

RF Dan  

Posted: August 29th, 2014 1:53 PM

You'all really think gun control is a liberal versus conservative issue. Plenty of conservatives, like myself, are looking for some common sense solutions to reduce gun violence in Chicago and throughout U.S. If you look at opinion polls, a cross section American wants to put controls on private sales of firearms and assault - auto/semi weapons. NRA is a minority, though a vocal minority. G.Ellyn makes good points that insulting the majority opinion moves people like me to 100% anti-gun.

OP Transplant  

Posted: August 29th, 2014 1:14 PM

What I'm hearing is that there will be a certain group of innocents citizens who will be denied HIPAA protection because the government needs their medical history in order to involuntarily include them in a group that will then have its Constitutional rights abridged. Their disability will actually be used to deny them equal protection. And this is being proposed by people who would otherwise describe themselves as progressive.

MichaelO from Oak Park  

Posted: August 29th, 2014 12:54 PM

Uncommon Sense  

Posted: August 29th, 2014 12:51 PM

OPT, it doesn't stop which is why liberalism always wind up at tyranny.

OP Transplant  

Posted: August 29th, 2014 12:46 PM

If we're comfortable with the idea that it's in the interest of public safety to deny certain Constitutional guarantees to innocent members of specific groups, like those with mental illness, why don't we explore the statistics for other groups? If the numbers show that members of specific minorities commit armed crimes at a disproportionate rate, will we also abridge their Constitutional guarantees to make society safer? Where does this thinking stop?

Brian Slowiak from Westchester  

Posted: August 29th, 2014 12:43 PM

@ OP Transplant: These courts have been used in other states to positive effect. I may have used the "mental stability' courts"label improperly.i know I don't have all the facts at my finger tips, however, IMO these courts do solve some of the issues w/mentally ill possessing firearms.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: August 29th, 2014 11:17 AM

@ US it is called pandering to your base.

Uncommon Sense  

Posted: August 29th, 2014 10:46 AM

Ray, those same people also don't like Voter ID as they believe it violates the constitutional right to vote, but have no problem putting up barriers for law abiding citizens to exercise the 2nd amendment. Liberals have never been consistent with their arguments.

In Glen Ellyn formerly from OP  

Posted: August 29th, 2014 10:10 AM

The "long fight" will likely continue to be long and tiresome until communication improves. The apparent 2nd amendment violation and control concerns and knee jerk responses to perceived opposition on this thread alone, not by you, Brian, nor by Ray, both of whom gave substance and reason to the topic, will continue to be a hurdle to achieve a mutually agreeable situation. People don't have to like or have gun(s) to respect the constitution from which they benefit. The us-them paradigm hurts.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: August 29th, 2014 10:09 AM

OPT brings up an interesting point. The pro referendum group are also the medical privacy rights advocates - you cannot square that circle. Before you vote yes on the referendum please demand an explanation of the mechanics of using a universal background check to keep guns away from the seriously mentally ill citizen while defending their privacy and their constitutional rights. I hope they can put music to that tap dance!

OP Transplant  

Posted: August 29th, 2014 9:45 AM

"Mental stability courts..." Very problematic. First, your mental health history is confidential and protected by federal law. Second. If an applicant has a history of mental illness, but no history of criminal behavior or violence, is he prohibited from owning a firearm? Are the courts going to be comfortable saying, "Though you've done nothing wrong, you have a disability that prevents you from exercising a right guaranteed by the Constitution"?

Brian Slowiak from Westchester  

Posted: August 29th, 2014 9:34 AM

@GE: Speaking for people I don't know, I am of the opinion no one hates you. We have been fighting this fight for a long time,.IMO, the Gun Responsibility side has no working knowledge of firearms, their use,and process to obtain.The only illegal firearm has scratched off serial numbers. There are many people who should not possess firearms.Mental stability courts and felony murder prosecution for selling a firearm to a non FOID holder is the key, The opposition wants none of it.

In Glen Ellyn formerly from OP  

Posted: August 29th, 2014 12:41 AM

Arguing, debating, or discussing controversial subjects is more difficult online without live interaction. You generally keep level headed without insults which really helps people hear you. The occasional insult or kick in the arse is necessary. Compromise and understanding is hardest between devotees of opposite sides. I don't mind being wrong, just don't hate me. ha! "Your" loss. Jeez, there are far worse problems out of our realm than we ever have here. That's a fact.

In Glen Ellyn formerly from OP  

Posted: August 29th, 2014 12:29 AM

Ray- you'd be right to guess that I totally agree with your assessment. I often say, "don't feel offended, just be honest". I have often called for honesty on these comment boards and hold disdain for any sneaks, cheats, liars, and thieves. Oversensitive or insecure folk will lash out when asked a question if they guess that they're being criticized, as if their entire character and existence is being questioned. Me? Shrill? Arguments don't get me nervous. It's hard to learn in fetal position.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: August 28th, 2014 11:47 PM

@ Glen - most of us are very practical people and we just want a solution that goes to the heart of the gun violence problem. To ignore the real problem because it is hard or politically incorrect is the demon we have been fighting for the last 2 years.No one wants to challenge the court or legal system to enforce felony weapons laws and inner city gang murders. Without a real enforcement system in place all of the laws in the world are just a fools journey. The bad guys here are the judges and prosecutors who allow bad people to walk just to clear a docket. Our community needs to demand a zero tolerance for firearm violence and a legal system that is willing to not let bad people go.. To illustrate The FBI background check system has, in the last 10 years, done 100 million checks , of which 2 million were refused. Lets assume that a percentage of those were in error and many were just sloppy form filling. Approximately 20.000 were turned over to FBI / Justice for prosecution. Less than 200 ever went to trial and less than half a dozen were convicted. We are starting to see a pattern of judicial apathy and looking the other way. Let voters know who the judges are who refuse to put these bad people away for a decade or two. and refuse to return them to the bench.

In Glen Ellyn formerly from OP  

Posted: August 28th, 2014 11:21 PM

Thanks, Brian. The airport scenario sounds like micro-managing when the real problems typically aren't anywhere near the airport. Thankfully I log my recreational cross country travel on the road. (my dedicated speedy gas miser just now rolling over 100k orig miles in about 2 or 3 yrs) I wouldn't want to wave a gun on the South Carolina logging back roads, though it's really nice otherwise. Does this new referendum address illegal guns more?

In Glen Ellyn formerly from OP  

Posted: August 28th, 2014 11:02 PM

Thank-you, Ray and Brian, for concrete info. and examples about how this referendum is different. This is what I and voters need to know about. Not that we are stupid. Tim- The Referee got on my case right after I asked my questions, posted Aug 27, 12:17 am. We didn't need to argue and make accusations. Being insulted for being uninformed while asking to be informed actually is pretty jerky. I think he has since admitted he may have misunderstood me, so that's fine now. I am NOT the enemy.

Brian Slowiak from Westchester  

Posted: August 28th, 2014 10:51 PM

It is a UBC transfer on everyone in possession of your firearm. Flying? The counter person,baggage handler,pilot,baggage handler and counter person must all have a UBC transfer. Shipping? Every counter person.sorter ,loader,driver, unloader, sorter and driver must complete a UBC transfer. They are all in possession of your firearm.

Brian Slowiak from Westchester  

Posted: August 28th, 2014 9:38 PM

, A UBC check for possession of a firearm. Ray and I go to the range. Ray wants to shoot my Glock, I want to shoot his Colt. We then must have a UBC backround check of each other for the firearm transfer, I would also have to have a UBC transfer with my gun smith .

Tim Buck Too from Oak Park  

Posted: August 28th, 2014 9:19 PM

Just to add, you weren't asking a question when you made the choice to insult legitimate gun owners. You received lots of good answers to your question, no need to get all emotional and shrill when you can't understand.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: August 28th, 2014 9:18 PM

@ Glen - I was specific in the use of "possession" that was Dr Barretts system - not just ownership but possession.

Tim Buck Too from Oak Park  

Posted: August 28th, 2014 9:15 PM

@In Glen Ellyn - I believe you when you say you have no clue about the differences.between the old and new background checks. Lots of comments here about the differences, or lack of. Who's the jerk? That would still be you. Don't like that, then you should learn to choose your words.

In Glen Ellyn formerly from OP  

Posted: August 28th, 2014 9:09 PM

Tim- I have no clue what the differences are between the old and new background checks. You certainly didn't tell, nor did I get enough info from others posting here. Who's the jerk? If you join the conversation midstream, it's easy to take something out of context. That's a fact, Jack. Cool your jets; focus on the people who don't ask questions but should be better informed before they negate your vote with ignorance. Again, look and see that the Ref criticised me for asking.

The Referee from Oak Park  

Posted: August 28th, 2014 9:08 PM

@Glen Maybe I misunderstood, but I doubt it. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt though. Good luck if yu choose to go the permit route. Take a lot of training, beyond the requirements. It's a big responsibilty but I'm sure you can live up to it.

Tim Buck Too from Oak Park.  

Posted: August 28th, 2014 9:04 PM

I went back and reread your post. You were not asking a question. You said "This opposition against universal background checks makes legitimate gun owners look like jerks with something (other than their guns) to hide, exactly the people I don't want to have guns." I stand by my peg. Have nice day.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: August 28th, 2014 9:03 PM

@ Glen - In one of our meetings Dr Barrett detailed what he saw as a Universal Background Check. Every time a gun changed possession a federal firearms dealer would be required to run NICS check with the FBI. Give your gun to your daughter UBC! Sell a gun at your clubs sale UBC! Lend a squirrel rifle to your neighbor UBC! All gun show transfers ( only 2-3% do not currently go through a FFL) UBC! Dr Barrett admitted that he didn't know how his universal background check was going to handle the guy from Melrose Pk who goes down to Mobile AL and buys a trunk full of handguns from South America. This is the street junk that looks good but may be more dangerous to the shooter than to his victim. The dirty little secret is that to make the Universal Background Check work we will need a FEDERAL FIREARMS REGISTRY. Currently that in not permitted under federal law. That registry then becomes a convenient starting point for confiscation - need we say more.

In Glen Ellyn formerly from OP  

Posted: August 28th, 2014 9:01 PM

The Referee- I'm clear with the Fed., third decade now that they've had my fingerprints on file. Save your bluster. I'm licensed to transport a whole triple truckload of guns cross country, for that matter. Throw in some nuclear material, too. So, try to focus on who your enemies really are. I'm not one.

In Glen Ellyn formerly from OP  

Posted: August 28th, 2014 8:55 PM

Furthermore, Tim- The referee criticised me for a stand I didn't ever take and while I was only asking a question. So, if you're an expect for the issue and you favor The Referee's poor way of answering a valid, genuine, honest, AND simple question, I gotta tell you, you're not doing your issue a service; leave it to cooler heads. You pegged me wrong. I'm more familiar with guns than I want to admit.

Tim Buck Too from Oak Park  

Posted: August 28th, 2014 8:42 PM

@In Glen Ellyn - Well obviously I wasn't here because it's not as if I live my life online, I just read your stupid comment and felt the need to respond to your buffoonery. What difference between the background checks do *YOU* think exist? Let's start there. I did read your posts, and everyone elses too. I have to side with the ones who say you are a jerk and not armed with enough info to argue your position. While they prefer the term "jerk", I would classify you as a"buffoon".

The Referee from Oak Park  

Posted: August 28th, 2014 8:32 PM

Laughing @ Glen. Like I said, you don't get to choose whose rights should be infringed. I have my permit and carry in Oak Park daily. Fell all fraidy and butt hurt? LOL. Don't act like a thug or do anything felonoius, and you won't have a problem. Act like you do in these forums and you're on your own. Frankly, I don't begrudge you from getting a permit and think everyone should apply. I suspect the background check may be a big hurdle. Start with applying for FOID and see how that goes.

In Glen Ellyn formerly from OP  

Posted: August 28th, 2014 8:26 PM

Tim- where were you and the experts when I asked the difference between the existing background checks and this supposed universal one? You're barking up the wrong tree with your elitist sense of superior knowledge spoken in the extreme of "i know more than you ever will". That is the epitomy of well, being a jerk. Your knee jerk reaction to hearing the word "jerk" applied to someone you may know wasn't meant for responsible gun owners. Read ALL my posts here-way too quick to judge, and wrong.

Susan from Berwyn  

Posted: August 28th, 2014 8:22 PM

Ray, the referendum is for OP'ers to feel good about themselves, like if they did something. You know, like for the children and the silly "No War" signs. All feel goods, but pretty impotent. It's fun to call them out because they only argue with feelings instead of reality. That's the Oak Park way!

In Glen Ellyn formerly from OP  

Posted: August 28th, 2014 8:17 PM

Just to be clear, I am admittedly in La La land to be against guns, but since the reality is that the handgun ban was lifted in 2010, I would expect only rational skilled people without criminal, mental, and anger issues get to own them or have access to them. Ray (and others) easily convinced me to favor CCW for specially qualified gun owners. The referee shouldn't get one because he calls me names and hurt my feelings. I don't get one either because I might use it.

Tim Buck Too from Oak Park  

Posted: August 28th, 2014 8:14 PM

@In Glen Ellyn - You are arguing gun policy with the experts, gun owners who know more about gun ownership than you ever will. We gun owners live the life of being responsible gun ownership and are tired of the drive by opinions from the gun grabbing emotional types who just comment from their emotional soap box without any research to back their positions. Your feelings take a back seat to the facts. Ref made the right call if you ask me.

Hill Bill from River Forest  

Posted: August 28th, 2014 8:05 PM

Legitimate gun owners like myself are against any more universal background checks. Here in Illinois we already have universal background checks, you aren't going to get more universal than what we have. We don't like being called jerks by the uninformed like yourself. The Referee made the right call, you're out Glen Ellyn. Hit the showers.

In Glen Ellyn formerly from OP  

Posted: August 28th, 2014 8:04 PM

Ray, I agree entirely. I was assuming the voters would see the referendum they were voting on. Silly me. Is this going to be like universal health care, Obamacare, passing a vote, unread, in the middle of the night? I still simply want to know how existing background checks are insufficiently different from universal... nvm I think I'm getting the picture. Universal immigration reform, universal health care, universal background checks... someone with a unversally big head is behind this?

Ray Simpson from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: August 28th, 2014 7:47 PM

@ Vote yes - exactly what are you voting for? If the referendum passes, then what? A copy will be sent to some liberal senator or someone - to be determined. It will be stuffed into a dusty drawer somewhere and then forgotten. What have we gained, beyond neighbors calling each other names and the thugs will still be holding residents hostage in their back yards. The solution to any problem is to clearly define the problem. Then you define a solution and a path to that resolution. Here we know that bad people with guns is the problem. Does this referendum address the thug and felon problem - - NO! Start to lock up bad people who use firearms against others. Let everyone know that weapons felony means hard time - no pleas, no excuses, nothing but punitive prison time. The word would get around!

In Glen Ellyn formerly from OP  

Posted: August 28th, 2014 7:06 PM

I couldn't have said it better myself. Simple, logical, not extreme. If someone finds that implementing the logic into reality will be problematic, we need to be informed. Yes, voters should know what they're voting for, but not everybody will understand the important functional implications without their being explained or be political savvy to know the ulterior motive or political maneuvering, etc... if people were al just honest, fair, and wise to...I guess then we wouldn't even need guns.

Vote Yes please  

Posted: August 28th, 2014 6:52 PM

The fundamental premise of every society is balancing the rights and needs of all members of that society. I do not believe the reasonable management of gun ownership is denying the right to have a gun. Universal background checks are reasonable. I'll be voting "yes".

In Glen Ellyn formerly from OP  

Posted: August 28th, 2014 6:50 PM

my typo- "application" should be "applicable"

In Glen Ellyn formerly from OP  

Posted: August 28th, 2014 6:45 PM

Blow it out your ear, The Referee. Felons lose their right to have a gun, and there are other obvious disqualifiers, too. Don't act rude and insulting to potential supporters with really dumb, selfish, untrue comments. Ray- this would be an example of a jerk who does his own cause harm. Fortunately, I can see past it; others across the fence can get just as ignorant and stubborn, perpetuating conflict that only the lawyers benefit from. Please, don't shoot me, the Referee.

In Glen Ellyn formerly from OP  

Posted: August 28th, 2014 6:38 PM

The jerks I speak of are the diehard devotees who act like their side of their (any) issue is self evident and whoever questions them is just too unprepared to even ask. (The Referee). The other jerks include those who fill their answers with stats application to related, but different questions, as if the answer would be found if you squint at the irrelevant info. I admit, I was confused what the issue was because the topic moved: CCW, bans, competence, bg, you're not a jerk, Ray.

The Referee from Oak Park  

Posted: August 28th, 2014 6:31 PM

Glen, it doesn't matter who you don't want to have guns. You don't get to make the rules or infringe on our rights. From my vantage point, the only one who looks like a jerk is you.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: August 28th, 2014 6:24 PM

@ Glen - Why do we look like jerks for asking for some details about a background check that we believe cannot make a difference? We all know that criminals, gang bangers and thugs are the problem. We resist adding additional laws that fail to address the core problem and only add turmoil to our lives. The regulator side love to create pages of requirements while they have no 'skin in the game'

Ray Simpson from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: August 28th, 2014 3:14 PM

Sorry for ending my last comment with a preposition ( My late english teacher, Claire Schelhaze is spinning in her grave )

In Glen Ellyn formerly from OP  

Posted: August 28th, 2014 3:10 PM

This opposition against universal background checks makes legitimate gun owners look like jerks with something (other than their guns) to hide, exactly the people I don't want to have guns. So, with the prospect of getting closer to getting guns away from the most violent unreasonable jerks, the more reasonable honest law-abiding legitimate owners probably shouldn't act like unreasonable insulting paranoid jerks. Just saying- don't insult fact-finding and your potential allies.

In Glen Ellyn formerly from OP  

Posted: August 28th, 2014 2:50 PM

Now we're getting somewhere with my question. When I asked, "why are responsible gun owners against universal background checks" and "how will background checks hurt legitimate gun sales", the half assed and smart assed responses had me prepare long posts ripping the dismissing, misdirecting, irrelevant, and insulting posts. Finally, it sinks in my head that nobody here knows exactly how different the proposed universal background check will be different from the existing universal bg check.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: August 28th, 2014 2:12 PM

This letter is trying to encourage people to support the referendum with the objective or reducing violent crime. The authors problem is that he rambles on about gun ownership, concealed carry and anything other than the fact that none of his arguments will impact gun violence. Trying to prove that Oak Park residents are overwhelmingly in support of "Universal Background Checks" is refuted by the number of comments in support of his position and the number opposed. We have asked , countless times, define universal background check?, How would it be implemented? Who would administer the program? Who would pay for the management? What are the consequences of failing to comply? Before you decide to support this referendum - please demand the specifics. Everyone is in agreement that guns in the wrong hands is the problem. The proposed solution doesn't even touch upon the problem we all agree on.

Jason from Oak Park  

Posted: August 27th, 2014 8:18 AM

in Illinois to buy a gun you MUST have a FOID card. when one applies for said card you are BG checked through all the databases for disqualifying factors. Once that card is issued, holders are then again ran through the databases daily and any new disqualifiers leads to the card being revoked. Since 1-1-14 private transfer require the seller to check the status of buyers FOID prior to transfer , Essentially all transfer in illinois are now checked.

Brian Slowiak from Westchester  

Posted: August 27th, 2014 8:09 AM

card application and showed him that the restrictions have been in place for decades. I own firearms. Either the state or the Feds do the check. They check from the same data base. Gov. Quinn must give up part of his patronage army.No one has asked any bureau if they can do these checks.I have asked for a court, similar to domestic violence court ,where mentally ill can have a hearing to determine if their firearms should be taken away for a time. Other states do this. Opposition silence.

Andy from Chicago  

Posted: August 27th, 2014 8:06 AM

6) The rural vs. urban argument is tired and has no logic or merit. Police in my very urban Chicago take 3.46 minutes on average to respond to top priority call. That is a long time during a violent encounter. 7) You posit that less guns make you feel safer. I posit more guns make me safer. Only one of us is supported by the Bill of Rights. 8) After reading the NYC article about police gun use. Do you now feel unsafe around police?

Brian Slowiak from Westchester  

Posted: August 27th, 2014 8:03 AM

Thanx you all for posting. It takes the burdern from us. When we discussed this many months ago, Dr. Barrett at a meeting started to discuss a list of people who should not be allowed to possess firearms. I asked him to yield the floor for two minutes while the gun rights side stated their list. I then had matt Uddelson read a list of all people who should be prohibited from possessing firearms. Dr. Barrett smiled and said out loud now we are getting somewhere. I then gave Dr. Barretta FOID

Ray Simpson from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: August 27th, 2014 7:56 AM

@ Glen - The idea of a "universal" background check is just a ploy by the gun grabbers to apply another level of control on legitimate gun owners. They know that their idea will never see a law that will make any difference to those who do not care about laws. We have the NCIS which is a FBI run program in place as well as the Illinois State Police FOID card system. Illinois has more background checks than most states and you can see how well it works in Chicago.

Andy from Chicago  

Posted: August 27th, 2014 7:47 AM

1) Illinois already has universal background checks. This referendum is nothing but a smoke screen by Quinn. 2) Criminals have been carrying for years in Illinois this just gives law supporters a level field. 3) Carrying a gun makes me safer and you will only ever know that I carry when I come to your defense. 4) I spend more time training than any LEA requires. 5) The NRA does not release its list of members; therefore saying 74% of its members support b/g checks is a bold face lie.

The Referee from Oak Park  

Posted: August 27th, 2014 7:25 AM

Glen, the usual subjects who don't understand what the problem is with universal background checks are usually the ones who know the least about guns and the issues that surround them. The fact that you ask the questions that you do in your post leads me to believe that you fall into that category. Not a slam, but suggest you get informed before posting about gun issues.

The Referee from Oak Park  

Posted: August 27th, 2014 7:20 AM

Universal background checks would be welcomed by most gun owners if they were used to keep mentally ill, or potentially violent people from buying guns. It would need to be fast, free and not used to make registration lists of legal guns or legal gun owners. It would need to be used to keep people safer, and not used as an agenda to attack our Second Amendment Rights. Lacking that, you can forget about getting any buy-in from gun owners.

In Glen Ellyn formerly from OP  

Posted: August 27th, 2014 12:17 AM

While being convinced CCW permit holders are more qualified and responsible gun holders than non CCW permit holders, I am still confused why responsible gun holders are against universal background checks. How does background checking hurt legitimate gun sales? And furthermore, can FOID cards be revoked if card holders are subsequently diagnosed DMI (not mentally stable and responsible), or convicted of domestic abuse, etc? from Oak Park  

Posted: August 26th, 2014 11:43 PM

50 states allow carriage of firearms for self defense. Illinois has the highest training requirement out of them all. Most require less training, some require none at all. The whole country has been carrying much longer than us without things going awry from a concealed carrier getting confused, but you got worried because of something you read in the New York Times? Laugh!

Omer from Bridgeview  

Posted: August 26th, 2014 11:38 PM

Maarten, do you ask why one would have a fire extinguisher when there's a fire department just a 911 call away? Or perhaps protecting yourself, your family, and you neighborhood is more important than relying only on people minutes away when seconds count.

Omer from Bridgeview  

Posted: August 26th, 2014 11:36 PM

In 2010, over 6 million background checks were performed, with over 76,000 denials. Sounds like a lot of people going to jail, but less then 50 were prosecuted with less then 30% convicted. So with over 6 million checks, less then 15 were found to be guilty of trying to illegally buy a gun. That is a waist of money on a grand scale. Also, it is required to teach use of force per the curriculum for Illinois' CCL class, that's the topic where one is taught if & when to shoot. One last question for

Buster from Oak Park  

Posted: August 26th, 2014 11:21 PM

but yet receive no badge, no arrest powers, and no paycheck. Are you for real? Here's a clue: if you don't want things to "go awry", don't threaten anyone.

Buster from Oak Park  

Posted: August 26th, 2014 11:20 PM

"I do not feel safe ". Hey Maarten, guess what? Your "feelings" have nothing to do with my right to be able to protect myself and my family. You don't know why people carry guns when you can call 911? If a bad guy puts a gun to your head and takes your phone, then makes you watch while he rapes your mother, how quick do you think that 911 is going to be? Additionally, a concealed carry holder is not a cop, so I don't get how you think they go through the academy for training like a cop, but yet

The Referee from Oak Park  

Posted: August 26th, 2014 10:59 PM

Oak Parkers are very unhappy. Boo hoo, you'll get over it. Quit your hysterics Maarten Bosland, you're making a fool of yourself. Passing new laws that only the law abiding will obey will not rid the streets of criminals or illegal weapons. Every time a gun is used illegally by a felon, some gun grabber wants to pass a law against the guy who didn't do it.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: August 26th, 2014 8:37 PM

Sorry Maarten - small type and under the headline - still just more of the same hand wringing liberal gibberish.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: August 26th, 2014 8:34 PM

This letter is just more of the same GRA Ken Trainor et-al drivel we have heard for the last three months. It might have a touch of credibility if the author would have the guts to identify him/herself

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