Friday, March 19, 2010

No guns for minorities?

About a month ago, I wrote about a bill pending in the Illinois House of Representatives, HB 6123, ostensibly intended to make it more difficult for members of "street gangs" to acquire guns. Many would call that a laudable goal. Actually, as I said last month, I think the seemingly commendable nature of this legislation is the point--to be able to accuse opponents of the bill as "wanting to arm gangbangers." The Illinois State Rifle Association (ISRA) points to a much more ominous issue with this proposed legislation:

Law-abiding African Americans and Hispanics would take it on the chin under a bill now moving through the Illinois General Assembly. Sponsored by Rep. Harry Osterman (D-14), HB6123 would prohibit any person or entity from selling a firearm to a so-called "street gang member." This prohibition applies even if the individual has passed a Brady Law FBI background check. Making a prohibited sale would result in Class 1 felony charges and possible jail time for the seller....

"HB6123 promotes racial profiling at its worst," commented ISRA Executive Director, Richard Pearson. "Popular culture has branded urban minorities with the 'gangsta' stereotype that is pervasive well beyond the confines of actual criminal enterprises. Today's fashion, music, slang and lifestyle are all heavily influenced by the urban experience. Given that the provisions of HB6123 establish no test for determining 'street gang' membership, and given the harsh penalties for violating the proposed law, it is understandable that retailers would shy away from selling firearms to persons whose speech, dress, mannerisms, or taste in music reflect the urban lifestyle."

Representative Osterman represents the 14th Legislative District, which is one of the Chicago districts. Chicago, of course, has a long history of supporting "gun control" measures that were really intended as "African-American control" measures. I touched on that a bit Monday, with my (very) brief history of the Firearm Owners ID (FOID) card. Quoting Raymond Benwood:
With passage of the '68 Act another door opened under the color of law, this time in the state of Illinois. Since white liberal racism energized the '68 Act, seeing it as a tool to further their socialist agenda, Mayor Daley Sr. of Chicago used his influence to bring about a Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) card in Illinois as a response to race riot concerns in Chicago. The FOID card was believed to be a powerful tool, to keep guns out of the hands of certain groups in the state deemed dangerous to Daley.

Whether Rep. Osterman intends it or not, the effect of this bill would be to make young, urban, minority males second class (at best) citizens when they walk into a gun shop--subject to suspicion based on such things as their skin color, clothing, mode of speech, etc.; and not at all on any criminal history on their part (which would be filtered out by both the federally-mandated NICS check and the FOID card requirement).
That's unacceptable.


Ohio: Man Turns Tables On Would-Be ATM Robber: "An attempted robbery at a bank ATM was thwarted early Wednesday morning when the would-be victim produced a loaded handgun. Erik Tehoke said he pulled his vehicle up to the ATM at about 1 a.m. to withdraw cash when a man walked up to his vehicle. “I was sitting in the driver’s seat and my window was down. He came right up to the mirror and told me to give me all my money,” Tehoke said. That’s when Tehoke, 27, reached for his holster, 10TV’s Kevin Landers reported. “I reached for my gun and he took off and ran,” Tehoke said. Tehoke, who works as a security guard, got his concealed carry permit only three months ago, Landers reported. He credited his training with keeping him calm throughout the ordeal. “I didn’t get scared, I didn’t get nervous,” Tehoke said. “It was just an instant reaction.” Tehoke said his training also prevented him from opening fire on the would-be robber. “I didn’t see anything that looked like a knife or looked like a gun,” he said. “It was just an instant reaction and I pulled my weapon.”

Starbucks, guns, and property rights : "The controversy over guns and Starbucks provides us with an opportunity to understand the relationship between gun rights and property rights. The gun-control crowd is upset with Starbucks because the chain is permitting people to openly carry firearms into its stores. They say that this is carrying the right to keep and bear arms too far.”

5th state exempts guns. Is Washington noticing?: "A fifth state – South Dakota – has decided that guns made, sold and used within its borders no longer are subject to the whims of the federal government through its rule-making arm in the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and two supporters of the growing groundswell say they hope Washington soon will be taking note. South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds has signed into law his state's version of a Firearms Freedom Act that first was launched in Montana. It already is law there, in Tennessee, Utah and Wyoming, which took the unusual step of specifying criminal penalties – including both fines and jail time – for federal agents attempting to enforce a federal law on a "personal firearm" in the Cowboy State. According to a report in the Dakota Voice, the new South Dakota law addresses the "rights of states which have been carelessly trampled by the federal government for decades." "As the federal government has radically overstepped is constitutional limitations in the past year or so, an explosion of states have begun reasserting their rights not only with regard to firearms, but also in shielding themselves against government health care, cap-and-trade global-warming taxes, and more," the report said."

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