Chicago Has Plenty of Gun Laws, Ed Schultz Belatedly Learns

NewsBusters has performed an invaluable public service -- prompting a course correction from libtalker Ed Schultz after one of the dumbest things he's said in years.

On his radio show Friday, Schultz actually made the ludicrous claim that gun laws in Chicago "don't even exist," thereby providing fodder for him to be justifiably ridiculed. (audio clips after page break)

Schultz, a frequent NewsBusters reader, took the hint yesterday, and to his credit (audio) --

I made a comment on this program the other day that some righties are taking issue with. Well, let's get into this a little bit.  If I'm wrong, then you'll be the first to know on this radio show. ... So we have, as Congress is divided on so many issues, we as a country are divided on what to do about firearms! And I don't purport to you that I have the perfect answer. (pause) And I'm not sure if you do either, but I'm willing to listen.

That he did when his next guest, Chicago alderman Joe Moore, described the city's gun laws to Schultz (audio) --

SCHULTZ: What are the gun laws in Chicago? What can you tell us?

MOORE: Well, first of all, Chicago used to have a ban but then, you know, the Supreme Court back in 2010 issued an opinion that, I believe an incorrect one, but they basically said that you had a First Amendment right (Moore confusing First and Second Amendments) to own a handgun and that the city could not ban handgun or gun ownership. And so, the city went back to the drawing boards and worked up a new ordinance which has been on the books now for two years that allows for, allows you to own a gun but requires you to register it. And it has a, you can register no more than one handgun per month, and you have to obtain a city firearms permit which requires having a valid state of Illinois firearm owner's identification card. And then you must register the gun with the Chicago police department. If you've been convicted of a violent crime, you can't own a handgun or if you've been convicted of two or more offenses for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you can't have a handgun. You can't have a gun if you're convicted of domestic violence, and assault weapons are banned entirely. And if you do are caught with one there's a mandatory jail time for anyone caught with a gun. ...

One more thing that I think is also important and hopefully gun advocates as well as those who support reasonable controls can support and that is, it requires training, safety training, so that you know what you're going to be, you know what you're doing with, when you have a handgun and much like, you know, you have to get training and get a driver's license to drive a car.

SCHULTZ: Sure. Uh, so, uh, much like the federal assault weapons ban which was in place that expired, it is in Chicago. You can't have an assault weapon.

MOORE: That's correct.

SCHULTZ: OK. Uh, so that's a pretty strict gun law, I mean, by national standards.

MOORE: Absolutely.

Moore then claimed Chicago's gun laws are rendered ineffective by the lack of similarly tough laws across the country --

SCHULTZ: Why isn't it working? What's happening in Chicago? Why so many homicides? Is it the gang wars?

MOORE: Yeah, I'll tell you why it's not working or not working as well, I wouldn't say it's not working but not working as well as we'd like, particularly with regard to violence on the street, is because there's not any reasonable national restrictions. A majority of the illegal guns that arrive in Chicago come from elsewhere, from outside the city. From 2005 to 2010, which is the latest study on this, 50 percent of the short time, the crime, guns (? -- Moore not coming across as all that coherent) recovered in Chicago crime scenes were traced to sources outside the city of Chicago. So, you can't have reasonable restrictions on gun(s) on a, on a local basis just simply because people can cross the street into the suburbs, go to a gun shop and get a gun, and then take it into the city. What you really need to do is have really national rest- (starts to again say "restrictions," settle instead on the seemingly less severe "regulations") reasonable national, uh, regulations on gun ownership. ...

SCHULTZ: Would you consider the gun laws in Chicago strict?

MOORE: Certainly as compared to most jurisdictions, yes I would.


SCHULTZ: OK. And, but you think that, or should I just flat out ask you, do you believe that the lack of a federal firearm regulation affects the city of Chicago?

MOORE: There's no question about it. It makes it much more difficult to stem the violence.

Moore has it backwards -- it's the lack of federal gun restrictions similar to those in Chicago that has prevented the rest of the country from degenerating into the barbarity that's commonplace in Chicago.

The logic isn't tough to decipher, at least for those so inclined. The only people who comply with laws limiting access to guns are law-abiding citizens, laws which inevitably hamper their ability to defend themselves. Does Moore actually believe that people who refuse to comply with gun laws live only in Chicago and would not break the law elsewhere if the Chicago way of gun control was applied nationwide?

Jack Coleman
Liberated ex-liberal from the People's Republic of Massachusetts