AP NEWS

Plan to curb gun violence misguided

June 24, 2018 GMT

A reader presented a plan he felt is needed to curb the gun violence in our schools. The author of the article thinks licensing gun ownership in Illinois would cut down on gun violence.

I disagree. First of all, the United States Constitution, Second Amendment, gives all citizens in good standing the right to bear arms. The individual possession of arms is necessary to ensure the individual and his family has protection against physical threats and violations to his person or property.

Gun owners also have the right to hunt for food or sport. The personal possession of guns also ensures citizens’ rights or threats from an oppressive government if that time ever should come. Because certain people have misused their rights does not justify taking the rights away from all.

I believe imposing an age older than 18 for all gun owners will be detrimental to family life. Many families practice safe hunting for food and sport as young as 13 years old. Younger children should be educated that firearms are serious business and not toys. Parents should be the ones who control the use and time of possession for minors.

Gun owners should not have to pay a $100 fee for a gun license. The federal government already provides for background checks before issuing a FOID card, which insures people who should not have guns are denied that privilege. Treating people like criminals requiring fingerprints and DNA is taking things too far and might also be a violation of their rights.

Educating gun owners is always a good thing, but imposing mandatory education and testing also are taking it too far. Who would pay for all the classes and test administration? As with most licenses in Illinois, a private company makes a killing on fees for test administration. Are you going to make each and every gun owner pay $500 for testing every few years?

Lastly, a $100,000 bond? This is highly discriminatory. Is gun ownership for the rich only? To qualify for a bond of this amount, one world have to have a six-figure paycheck and a sizable asset portfolio. A bond in this amount would cost at least $2,000 or more per year depending on the applicant’s credit. Ninety-five percent of the applicants would be denied. Even a smaller $10,000 bond would be a burden, eliminating 50 percent of applicants. Therefore, gun ownership would be restricted by socioeconomic status, not need.

As far as a legal challenge, A state can’t create or impose laws that infringe upon the Constitutional rights of its citizens. A state also can’t declare a federal FOID card void at any time. The author’s poorly drafted law does just that. There are already considerable safeguards in place to ensure guns are put into capable hands. Further restriction of ownership will not have any effect on school shootings.

Charles J. Bitten

Sheldon