The decade's most triggering comedy
The political elites in Illinois have lost their collective mind. At a time when both major and minor crimes in Chicago are out of control and people feel unsafe, the state’s leadership thought it would be a good idea to inhibit citizens from exercising their constitutional right to own a gun, while simultaneously literally giving criminals a get-out-of-jail-free card by ending cash bail, and now allowing certain illegal immigrants to become police officers.
Let’s start with Illinois’ gun grab. The new law, enacted in January 2023, bans the sale of nearly 200 different types of so-called assault weapons, including the AR-15 and AK-47. The law also bars the sale of magazines that have more than 15 rounds of ammunition for handguns and more than 10 rounds of ammunition for a long gun.
Illinois Democrat Governor J.B. Pritzker gloated at the signing ceremony stating, “Illinois now officially prohibits the sale and distribution of these mass-killing machines.” But if only Governor Pritzker was a student of facts and not just someone afraid of scary-looking guns, he would recognize the ineffectiveness of laws like these.
The data do not support those in favor of more and more gun control. Only 12% of mass killings are “mass public shootings.” Most mass killings are familicides – murders of family members or intimate partners – and felony-related killings – robberies or gang-related turf battles. Mass public shootings account for less than one-half-of-one percent of all gun deaths every year.
ABC News reports, “…there are only 20 million assault rifles in the United States, a fraction of the estimated 400 million guns in the country.” In 2019, handguns were used in 62% of the nation’s gun murders, according to FBI data.
“According to a 2016 Survey of Prison Inmates from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, handguns were the most common type of gun possessed by federal and state prisoners. About 18% of the prisoners said they possessed a handgun, and 2% or less possessed a rifle or shotgun,” according to ABC News.
Criminals, by definition, do not care about the law. That is what makes them criminals. The same prison inmate survey found that only 7% of prisoners purchased their weapons under their own name from a licensed dealer. More than half of prisoners had stolen the weapon, found it at the scene of a crime, or obtained it off the street or from the underground market. Furthermore, from August 1988 through August 2019, more than “85 percent of Mass Public Shootings occurred in gun-free zones.” Criminals don’t care about the law, so gun laws will not affect them.
In addition, although the law will likely be strictly enforced in Chicago, most Illinois county sheriffs have issued statements announcing they will not enforce the law. More than half the counties in the state have passed resolutions, declaring themselves “2nd amendment sanctuary counties.”
And if our leaders really wanted to save lives, shouldn’t they be banning cars and trucks? 46,980 people died in motor vehicle crashes nationwide in 2021. By contrast, less than half that number of people, 20,958 died as a result of gun violence. The right to bear arms is guaranteed in the Constitution, the right to drive a car is not. It’s a simple comparison, but it shows how politicians aren’t worried about saving lives, they are worried about making headlines.
The Illinois gun law does allow those who owned the now-banned guns and magazines prior to the law’s enactment can keep them … but only if they are registered with law enforcement, effectively creating an Illinois gun registry.
Not satisfied with disarming law-abiding citizens, Illinois also decided to become one of the only states to eliminate cash bail for people arrested and awaiting trial for their crimes. Under the new law, called “the SAFE-T Act.” Judges across Illinois will not require those charged with a crime to post bail in order to leave jail while they await trial.
Prosecutors from rural Southern Illinois to Chicago are concerned by a section of the law that they say appears to identify a subset of crimes in which the only reason a defendant could be held in jail awaiting trial is if there is a high likelihood, they’ll flee to avoid prosecution. Those crimes include aggravated battery, robbery, burglary, aggravated DUI, kidnapping, vehicular homicide, and all drug offenses.
The Illinois Fraternal Order of Police opposed the law and called a recent decision by the Illinois State Supreme Court “a slap in the face to those who enforce our laws and the people those laws are supposed to protect. The court ignored the pleas of nearly every prosecutor in the state of Illinois, Democrat and Republican, that the elimination of cash bail will put dangerous criminals back on the street, instead of keeping them in jail or forcing them to post cash bail as they await trial,” the group said.
This policy will almost inevitably result in more crime, with many examples of its shortcomings in other liberal cities. In Yolo County, California, the District Attorney’s Office conducted a review of the re-arrest of people released from under the $0 bail initiative. The study found that more than 70% of those released were rearrested, with 29% of rearrested for a crime of violence including murder, attempted murder, kidnapping, robbery, carjacking, and domestic violence.
And now, the brain trust in Illinois has decided that non-citizens can become police and arrest American citizens. Illinois House Bill 3751 was just signed into law and beginning January 1, 2024, will allow illegal immigrants with valid federal work permits and DACA recipients to join law enforcement in Illinois – something that federal laws currently forbid. What could possibly go wrong?
These three laws reinforce that the Left actually embraces violence and chaos, especially in Democrat-controlled cities like Chicago. Disarm the citizens and free the criminals.
The Left knows the answer to the gun crisis, they just don’t like it. Reducing the number of criminal shootings requires authorities to enforce the gun laws that are in place rather than pleading them down, keep criminals in jail, eliminate “gun-free zones,” and expand the right for citizens to legally carry a concealed weapon. Criminals will start thinking twice if the person next to them could be a good guy with a gun.
Jim Nelles is a Navy veteran and supply chain consultant based in Chicago. His articles have appeared in the Washington Examiner, Newsweek, Foxnews.com, and the Daily Wire. He has served as a chief procurement officer, chief supply chain officer, and chief operations officer for multiple companies.
The views expressed in this piece are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.