What is my beef today? I'll tell you, it's the FOID Act. For those of you not in the know, the state government of Illinois is not precisely fond of shooting sports. The mayor of Chicago has a rabid disdain for shooting sports and the people who practice them, and has something of an equally fanatical and rabid following. Thanks to these people, the "FOID Act" was passed. FOID is the Firearm Owners ID card, a picture ID that registers you with the state and must be renewed every so many years. To obtain a FOID you must fill out a questionnaire that reads something like a rap sheet. Name, address, birth date, sex, race, height, weight, hair color, eye color. Have you ever been convicted of a felony? Have you, in the past five years, been a patient of a mental facility? Are you addicted to narcotics? Are you retarded? Are you an illegal alien? Are you subject to a restraining order? Are you subject to an order that prevents you from owning a firearm? Have you been convicted of assault and battery? The laundry list goes on and on, and is what's known in the business as a "background check." That's right, to get a card that allows you to own a gun (legally) you must undergo a background check. To then purchase a firearm you must undergo a background check by the dealer you purchase from, something mandated already by the passing of the 1993 Brady Act, a law that is strictly abided by any federally licensed firearm dealer who doesn't want to go to "gang-rape-you-up-the-ass" federal prison for something approaching a life term.
Around and around and around you go. Are you a criminal? No? Are you sure you aren't? Hey, you weren't lying to us when you said you weren't a criminal, right? Because we want to check again, just in case; we don't think your privacy has been invaded enough yet.
Aside from providing a background check, it also (supposedly) puts a series of restrictions on what a firearm owner can do and purchase. You must have this card to purchase firearms or firearm-related items (ammunition) inside the state of Illinois. You are restricted in the amount of ammunition you can buy. These cards are rigorously tracked and have been occasionally used to harass law-abiding citizens, something that is simply shrugged off as "due process."
I wouldn't have a problem with all this hassle, all this checking and cross-checking and triple checking... if only it worked. The problem is, it doesn't. Worse yet, the people who introduced FOID think it does. See, according to Daley and his mob of "all gun owners are terrorists in the making," the FOID statutes of Illinois have successfully helped to reduce violent crime in Chicago and the rest of the state. I'm sure if you were to ask Chicago police officer Michael Ceriale if the FOID system worked, he'd be able to tell you that it works just fine. Oh, whoops, he can't -- he's dead. You see, officer Ceriale was gunned down by a weapon that was legally purchased by a FOID-holder, and then later resold to a gang member. Yes, people, this shows just how well the FOID system is working. It's worth every ounce of hassle to legitimate firearm enthusiasts because the system works and has kept guns out of the hands of criminals, and reduced the number of violent crimes that have been committed in Chicago and the surrounding area! Ayup, it sure has.
What's even more amazing is that Daley doesn't see this scenario (one that's been played out TIME and TIME AGAIN) as a sign that the logic he's using is seriously flawed and that his system is accomplishing nothing more than turning Illinois into a police state. In fact, Daley thinks the system is working fine, and that Officer Ceriale's death is the direct fault of those wily gun manufacturers. Daley feels so strongly that his system would work (it'd be perfect if there were NO FIREARMS AT ALL!) he claims his lawsuit will prove it . Clearly, if we didn't have guns available to anyone but the law enforcement community and the military, the civilian criminal element couldn't get their hands on it and commit these horrible crimes and murders.
Sure, I trust the government and police sectors to be able to keep tabs on sidearms. We've already seen how well they can track things like rocket launchers, classified blueprints and other controlled items... it's funny how US military weapons of mass destruction have turned up time and time again in the hands of those pesky rebels and other enemies of the state. Or at garage sales (I wish to god I could find the link to that article).
So... back to my point. If the system that is in place is so flawed it cannot effectively accomplish its goal of keeping guns out of the hands of criminals, why are we keeping it, and allowing it to continue to hassle the legitimate gun aficionados? The old line "if guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns" is more true than these gun control advocates like to admit. They've seen the spectacular failure of the methodology they put in place, they simply don't want to admit it..."give it some more time, it will work," that's what I keep hearing from them. Let me say right now that I don't have a problem with background checks, I don't have a problem with the idea of gun control at all. I'm no fan of some guy who's been three times convicted of attempted murder being able to pick up a 9mm Colt so he can go off his next victim without the dealer thinking twice about selling the weapon to him. In the case of the FFL-conducted background check, I'm willing to take the hit and wait the period for the check to clear because it's been proven that the background check DOES at least succeed in blocking most known past offenders (keep in mind it can't predict future offenders, though!). However, I do have a problem when I've successfully passed one series of checks, only to be scrutinized a second and even a third time. I have a problem when I am being treated like a criminal and examined by a system that has proven it cannot perform its task effectively and is only there to provide the illusion of safety. My problem comes into it when the "obvious solution" posed by gun control lobbyists to the fact the current laws aren't working is to pass yet more laws further inhibiting my rights. My problem comes into it when I'm the criminal for wanting to partake in my hobby. Further, when I do attempt to do so in the legal manner that has been set before me I still catch shit. My problem is that the logic of making things "more illegal" doesn't fix the problem... For example, it's illegal to carry a concealed weapon in Illinois, so I won't. Yet the gang banger who shot officer Ceriale was carrying a concealed weapon. Admit it, you overzealous bastards: gun control doesn't work, because criminals don't pay attention to the laws they're breaking anyway. My problem is that I'm being hassled and confronted at every opportunity in my pursuit to legally own a gun, while the Crip or Blood fifteen miles away can pick up a handgun without a problem, for cheaper than I can get my legal weapon. That shit pisses me off.
Dude looks like a lady