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Guest Column: Enforcement of current gun laws would save lives
Editor’s note: The following was submitted to Winnebago County Board Chairman Scott Christiansen (R) in response to his request for suggestions regarding the Tuesday, May 28, Safety Summit hosted by U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill.
By John Kight
Dear Mr. Christiansen,
I’ll summarize my suggestions for Mr. Durbin and Ms. Bustos … ENFORCE FEDERAL LAW!
Chicago, with one of the highest murder rates in America, has the second-to-lowest federal prosecution rates of current gun laws. Think there might be a correlation there?
Contrary to the propaganda, gun owners are just as concerned about the current wave of violence as the Liberal Left. Gun owners are even more concerned about the complete absence of any discussion or action regarding the FAILURE of our government to enforce current gun laws. Current gun laws, if enforced, would save many lives.
However, there is tremendous resistance on the left against even discussing this topic. When Vice President Joe Biden was asked why current laws aren’t being enforced, the questioner was admonished by the vice president, who curtly informed her, “We (the Obama administration) don’t have time to enforce the laws.”
The refusal of the gun-control crowd to even discuss enforcement of current law means their agenda has nothing to do with safety. In addition, the media have run away from this discussion almost as fast as Senators Durbin and [Mark] Kirk. Over a month ago, I e-mailed both senators and asked the following questions:
1. What are you doing to enforce current gun laws?
2. If you’re not doing anything, why not?
Durbin was the only one to respond, and I am still trying to figure out how his response has anything to do with my simple, straightforward questions.
Why hasn’t 20 dead children at Sandy Hook Elementary School provoked our president and Senate to demand immediate enforcement of the law? No votes, no negotiations, no plans or new laws or arm-twisting needed. Just do it and start saving lives, it’s that simple!
Since our politicians and media are too cowardly to talk about it, I will. The following are excerpts from the “QUICK REFERENCE TO FEDERAL FIREARMS LAWS,” published by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Utah.
1. POSSESSION OF A FIREARM OR AMMUNITION BY A PROHIBITED PERSON: (18 USC § 922(g) & (n)) Punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment, 15 years if the perp is a three-striker. (Note: a “Prohibited Person” is a felon, a drug user or addict, or a fugitive, and the firearm or ammunition must have been transported across state lines).
2. KNOWINGLY SELL, GIVE OR OTHERWISE DISPOSE OF ANY FIREARM OR AMMUNITION TO ANY PERSON WHO FALLS WITHIN ONE OF THE ABOVE CATEGORIES: (18 USC § 922(d)) Punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment.
3. USE, CARRY OR POSSESS A FIREARM IN RELATION TO OR IN FURTHERANCE OF A DRUG FELONY OR A FEDERAL CRIME OF VIOLENCE: (18 USC § 924(c)) Punishment ranges from at least five years up to life imprisonment,
4. STOLEN (possession of) FIREARM, AMMUNITION OR EXPLOSIVE: (18 USC §§842(h); 922(i), (j) & (u)). Punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment.
5. FIREARM IN A SCHOOL ZONE: (18 USC § 922(q)(2)(A)) Punishable by up to five years imprisonment.
6. SELL, DELIVER OR TRANSFER TO A JUVENILE: (18 USC § 922(x)(1)) Punishable by up to one year imprisonment unless transferor had reason to believe juvenile would commit crime of violence with gun or ammunition, then up to 10 years imprisonment.
These laws, if enforced, would decimate the Chicago street gangs, since it is well known that the majority of their guns cross state lines.
I ask that you present these valid questions to our Democratic cabal. Perhaps they might respect you enough to at least answer them. Surely, I don’t rank high enough on their donor list to score an audience.
John Kight is a resident of Cherry Valley, Ill.
From the June 19-25, 2013, issue