I am hoping that I may present a differing viewpoint to Mr. Fuller’s letter from last week.
I find it curious that the Democrats have suddenly tried to flip some of their narrative to blame Republicans. From calling for defunding the police to seeking tighter gun control, the left has suddenly taken on the approach that they will blame Republicans for the policies they have fought for; and the media is helping them right along. I’m sure this is because they realize the error of their ways, but the proverbial cat is already out of the bag and Americans are not buying it.
The only people who are going to obey stricter gun control laws are those law-abiding citizens that are not a menace or threat to society already. As Mr. Fuller pointed out, he is a responsible gun owner so he will obey the laws. However, he also pointed to the fact that stolen guns show up on police tickers every week. Criminals are stealing these guns and will not obey any new laws, so the laws will only hurt a responsible gun owner’s ability to defend themselves and exercise what the Supreme Court has already ruled is a Constitutional right.
Let’s make a quick comparison of gun laws in Illinois, a state run by Democrats, and Georgia, a state run by Republicans. In Illinois you have to have a special permit to purchase AND own a firearm and ammunition (called a FOID, a Firearm Owners ID card); in Georgia you do not. This permit is in addition to a concealed carry permit which is shall-issue in Georgia and shall-issue with limited discretion in Illinois. In Illinois, open carry is illegal while in Georgia you can open carry a long gun without a permit and a handgun with a concealed carry permit. In Illinois National Firearms Act weapons are prohibited while in Georgia they are not (though you must gain approval through the federal government to own them). And in Illinois background checks are required for private sales while in Georgia they are not. So, Illinois has far greater restrictions on the ability to purchase and possess firearms than the state of Georgia.
During the weekend of July 21-22 in the city of Chicago, 73 people were hit by gunfire and 11 of them died. One of those was a 17-year-old who was killed while his 15-year-old friend was shot in the abdomen. During the same weekend in Atlanta, 10 people were shot and one 17-year-old was killed. Why are the numbers so drastically different when it easier to obtain a firearm in Georgia? Criminals don’t obey laws, but they do tend to stay away from situations where someone else might shoot back. So, restricting the ability to own or obtain firearms by law abiding citizens simply makes them more susceptible to gun violence. I do not think that is something any of us want.
And while I certainly admire and respect Ronald Reagan’s contributions to the Republican party, I’m not sure his policies would fit in today. Much like John F. Kennedy would not recognize the Democrat Party. Times change, rights don’t.