How does one modernize a dinosaur? How do we bring a fossil back to life?
With Spring break nearing an end the Illinois Legislature will soon be asked to contemplate these questions, wondering how to continue practices of the past when gun law based on discrimination was the accepted norm. We saw it following the Civil War, when freed slaves were financially barred from gun ownership by passage of the Army & Navy Law allowing ownership of only the most expensive sidearms. We see it now, in Illinois' melting point based prohibition of the most affordable firearms. And yes, we saw it when the FOID Act was passed. To this day, we see it in a movement to "modernize" this very instrument of discrimination.
There are several bills in play to accomplish this, SB1165 Amendment 1 being most prominent by being the subject of typical anti-gun shenanigans meant to disenfranchise Illinois voters. Regardless of the bill number, a line by line analysis reveals major problems.
Make no mistake, these bills are not about helping us access our Second Amendment rights. Each of them is about making it more expensive to access those rights by offering a choice – suffer a denial of rights through endless delays and excuses, or spend several hundred dollars to submit fingerprints in the hope, not promise, that the process might actually function. Not function well, or function efficiently. Function, period: current and past administrations have not fulfilled their requirements under existing law, what confidence should we have in this administration?
On May 10, 1865, former slave and abolitionist Frederick Douglass delivered his speech, “In What New Skin Will the Old Snake Come Forth”. In it, he said of freed slaves
... while the Legislatures of the South can take from him (the black man) the right to keep and bear arms, as they can ... the work of the Abolitionists is not finished.
He spoke then of post Civil War legislatures that sought to continue the ways of the old South. Yet, to this day, his words ring true of legislatures everywhere that now seek to limit our freedoms – anti gun legislatures and those that encourage them. This is no truer of any than the Illinois legislature and groups that support their anti-rights initiatives, some even claiming an affinity for the Second Amendment. All Second Amendment proponents, legislators, and organizations should oppose this bill.
Please let your state Senators know that you oppose SB1165 and any like it because, in Illinois, you can't access your rights if you can't access the card.