Tuesday, February 3, 2009

DC/Chicago Gun Ban

Hmm, back to bubbly tomorrow. Today I guess I'll keep the controversial topics going. This has been in my drafts since August when D.C. passed a handgun ban (similar to Chicago's). Finally time to talk about it.

Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but in Chicago it's illegal to have a handgun. i.e. you can't purchase one, you can't have it on your person and you can't have it in your car in the city of Chicago. You could probably get one in Indiana and keep it in the suburbs if need be, but not in the Chi.

The reason Chicago does this is to cut down on gun crime. Attention law makers: AHEM *clearing my throat thoroughly* IT'S NOT WORKING!!!

Now, I've heard many older people who are in agreement with the gun ban. My President agrees with it, My Bishop at my church, I'm pretty sure my grandmothers are in alignment with it. I just don't understand it. It's not like folks who are gangbanging or terrorizing Chicago or other urban neighborhoods are ACTUALLY registering for their guns. They're buying them underground, off the black market, from someone you may or may not know in the hood, etc, etc.

I don't understand why good, law-abiding citizens should be denied the right to protect themselves with handguns when they're not the ones making the the trouble.

A homegirl who's packing noted that getting caught by the police for having a handgun is a much better punishment than getting your life taken because you were unprepared to defend yourself. I have no interest in owning a gun, but: *in my best hood voice* it's the principalities of the matter.

Instead of regulating guns so toughly, I think we need to put a better, stronger, more INTENSE focus on early education and strengthening neighborhood and community organizations. Now WTF are you talking about T? I know, I know, it may seem as a bit of a disconnect, but anyone who pulls a gun on you or who's quick to take a life for a couple hundred dollars at a gas station or over some corner hustla ish is someone who doesn't value their own life. (How much do corner hustlas make really... not a lot) and I'd go further to say that they're people who don't have the mental capacity to understand the precious gift that is life, the things one can accomplish with a life, the changes that can be made to the world by one person, one life.

This person doesn't, these people don't see a future for themselves or others. They don't see a whole world, they see their corner, their block, their city. No further, no wider. And a lot of times it's because they've been disadvantaged from birth. (Don't get me wrong, some people have opportunities and are thugging just to be thugging, but we'll discuss them at another time, ok?)

Digressing... so if someone has the world at their fingertips as a 2, 3 or even 4 year old AND understands that their potential is limitless, the likelihood for them to be involved in life-ending careless behavior goes down significantly (unless that life-taking careless behavior is unprotected sex or bad eating, which statistically disproportionately affects all African-Americans transcending class and socio-economic status in the race).

Digressing again, more on that later.

So I'll just end here. Question of the day=What do you think about the gun ban? My ultimate thought is that My City, Chi City is the murder capital of the United States... we'd given the title up to Gary, IN a few years back, then Little Rock, AR, then NYC, now we're back. The effing handgun ban has been in effect since '83. THIS SHOWS ZERO PROGRESS, which means there has to be another way. We need to change minds, not just laws.

Seems like the handgun ban is just in effect to legally terrorize citizens or worse yet, put more African-American men in jail... please, speak on it.


Brown Girl Gumbo said...

It seems to me like the law isn't working. If we're still losing so many young brothers and sisters to gun violence, we need a new approach.

It angers me and saddens me that we're dying by the hands of guns. I guess it's not the guns that kill, it's the people. It really stems from one's upbringing, but that's an entirely different story. We just don't value life anymore...so sad.

Cris said...

HTTN the law isn't working. We have had more murders of innocent people, especially children in the recent years than ever before.

Like you said, the murdering isn't happening with legally purchased and registered hand guns (unless they were stolen legally purchased and registered hand guns) the murders are happening with the "black market" stuff.

Do they really think that the thugs are going to walk in the "hand gun market" buy their gun, register it, then smoke the dude he is hating on because he is taking over his "territory"? I think not.

TatooTuesday said...

The handgun ban has always been bullshit. Politicians know it but it sounds good. And the handgun law, is only prosecuted when the police choose to do so. I remember a few years ago a man in his 50's or 60's killed a young man trying to car jack him for his Escalade. But he killed him. He didn't get charged. But wouldn't the handgun ban make him a criminal? How are "we" supposed to protect ourselves, our families and children.

Handgun bans are stupid. Conceal and carry laws have decreased crime rates over 30% in some areas and usually only shows a rise of 1% in serious violent acts. Which cannot be contributed to the law itself being passed.

I would advise everyone to take a look at this one page diagram [http://redeye.chicagotribune.com/media/acrobat/2009-01/44557185.pdf] from the Red Eye, which has a good information on Chicago's Crime. For instance the fact that 72.5% of the murder victims had a prior criminal record or that 49% of the victims were 16 & under.

ThummyB said...

Haven't read the entire post yet...but as I understand it, the handgun law prevents you from carrying a concealed weapon. This means, you cannot walk around with a gun strapped to your body, nor can you drive with one in your car. However, you can own a handgun within your home. I'm not sure on the details related to purchasing a gun and transporting it to and from the store, the gun range, or your home. However, I do believe that you are still allowed to own a firearm. I'll do some research to verify.

TatooTuesday said...

@ ThummyB

Chicago residents aren't allowed to own a handgun period. They can't keep them in their own homes for protection at all.

ThummyB said...

@ Tatoo - That isn't 100% accurate. Chicago residents are not allowed to 'register' handguns, and registration is required to maintain a handgun within the home. Any handgun that is already registered is grandfathered in, and does not face a penalty. I want to say that the penalty for violating this law is a $200 fine, but I'm pulling up some conflicting information.

@ Tea - I am for citizens being able to own a weapon and maintain it within their home. (Note: Since the Supreme Court struck down gun bans, then this may be a mute point shortly.) However, I am also for gun control...whether it works or not there is no reason for the avg. citizen to certain types of weapons, and you need laws on the books to proescute those who are found with unregistered weapons.

Ultimately, though, you are correct...it will take education, stable family structure, and community involvement to solve the true cause of violence in our communities.

ThummyB said...

Also want to add...that many crimes are committed with guns that were purchased 'legally'.

Yes, we have a major problem with gangs, drug dealing, etc. However, we also have a climate/culture where high school students are shooting their friends w/their parent's gun or young adults (20s-30s) are using guns to solve conflicts (relationship issues, daily 'beefs')with one another.

The gun bans are intended to minimize those types of shootings, not so much the drug dealer who bought his gun out the back of a car and shoots someone encroaching on his turf.

To really determine if the gun laws work, we need better data. It could be the case, that the gun conflicts that I noted earlier have decreased, but the latter incidents have been on the rise. We may have experienced an overall increase in gun crime, but that doesn't mean that the current law doesn't work...it may just mean that a combination of strong laws are required to address the varied issues.

Just pointing out that the data can mean many things depending on how it's presented...so you can't take the overall increase in shooting deaths as proof alone that current gun laws should be overhauled.

TatooTuesday said...

@ ThummyB

The only guns that can be Grandfathered in have to have been owned before the ban was put into effect. This would be guns owned before 1983. The ban passed in 1983 was by the worst mayor Chicago has ever had named Jane Byrne. She passed the law after the assassination attempt on Ronald Reagan. Not because of gang violence or any other foolishness.
"The 1983 handgun registration freeze is a legacy of one-term Mayor Jane Byrne, who capitalized on the anti-gun sentiment that flourished in the early 1980s in the wake of the assassination attempt on Ronald Reagan."

The current gun laws simply don't work. Who are they there to protecting again?

In this city, I can get a gun cheaper than I can get an XBox 360 game ($60) and that is in any neighborhood.

The argument is that law abiding citizens are being punished for the crimes of CRIMINALS. The statics for 2008 murders show that 92% of the people charged in those crimes were felons, who are not permitted to own a gun under any circumstances.

But unfortunately in the most deadly city in America, with me being 25, I cannot legally register a gun to protect my family, property or otherwise. I'd be at the mercy of people with $20 criminals if I operated under the broken Chicago laws.

ThummyB said...

Thanks Tatoo...I'm aware that the Chicago gun ban was passed in the early 1980s (though that doesn't fully account for the many gun bans that have been passed since then). Definitely agree that the current gun laws don't work...though I am not 100% convinced that a repeal of the gun ban would result in a safer environment, rather than an increase in gun crimes amongst non-criminal individuals.

On a lighter note: Tea once threatened to beat me up if I ate her blueberry (or was it banana nut?) muffin in college. I shudder to think what would have happened if we had a gun in the house ;-)

T said...

@ TT and Thummyb, thanks for keeping the conversation going. We definitely need more positive, intelligent conversation to get to the root of the problem and heal our neighborhoods and communities. It's time out for doing things just because they look good. Information is at our fingertips and strategy is absolutely necessary. I feel a letter to an official coming on.

@ thummyb, OMG, I completely forgot about the blueberry muffin thing. What's so funny is that my love for blueberry muffins still runs SO deep. On Friday mornings I will scour all 8 of our office kitchens (on 3 floors) during continental breakfast until I find my blueberry muffin. It's not a game out here!

TatooTuesday said...

@ ThummyB & T

I could see T pulling the pistol over a BB Muffin without hesitation!!!

Cris said...

I don't know T that well (not in person anyway), but now I think I may vote for a sticter gun policy so that we don't start seeing multiple deaths over blueberry muffins ;-)

T said...

@ err'body... I ain't no killer, but don't push me.

LOL! You all have me dying laughing over here.

Cris said...

((( gathering all of the blueberry muffins and shipping them to T)))