Opinion

The Great Gun Grab in Deerfield, Illinois

I’ll start this off with a compliment, which is a tough thing to do when discussing America’s infernal gun-grabbers. The Village Board of Trustees in Deerfield, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, has done what most “common sense” gun law folks probably secretly wish they could do. They recently voted to enact an “assault weapons and large capacity magazine” ban that includes confiscation. But, I’ll concede this compliment: at least they have courage in their convictions and are laying their proverbial cards on the table. It’s sort of a Bernie Sanders-flavored honesty.

According to Ammoland.com, Alan Gottlieb, founder and executive VP of The Second Amendment Foundation, recently joined with the Illinois State Rifle Association along with Daniel Easterday, a village resident gun owner, to sue Deerfield over the new law. The lawsuit cites state preemption, which essentially says only the state may regulate the ownership or possession of firearms.

Gottlieb wasted no time suing, saying, “While the village is trying to disguise this as an amendment to an existing ordinance, it is, in fact, a new law that entirely bans possession of legally owned semi-auto firearms, with no exception for guns previously owned, or any provision for self-defense.” He also explained the ordinance includes providing the police confiscation and destruction authority over residents’ applicable firearms and magazines. However, village leaders say officers will not be going door-to-door.

The social justice warriors will need the cops to enforce their socialist laws. Nothing good can come of this tension between cops and citizens. Many American cops won’t confiscate guns absent a crime separate from simply owning the gun—it’s un-American. I wouldn’t! I would imagine a few police chiefs and a whole bunch of sheriffs wouldn’t give that order. And, in response to our city enacting a similar gun law, I wrote that sentiment in my union newspaper back when I was still active.

The Deerfield ordinance also provides for a fine of $1,000 per day for owners of guns fitting the criteria who fail to turn them in or remove them from village limits. The ordinance is slated to take effect in June. I don’t think it will take effect.

(Credit: Facebook/AAT Indoor Range & Retail Shop)

Some of us revere the Second Amendment as a right inscribed by the framers as “unalienable,” meaning one cannot be alienated from it. Even if government abridges it, it still remains a right. Rights that come from God, such as life (as in Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness) and the defense of that life, self-defense, along with the best means to that defense, cannot be granted by man. Government can only recognize and protect rights, as they should, or infringe upon them, up to taking them away.

Gottlieb added, “This certainly puts the lie to claims by anti-gunners that ‘nobody is coming to take your guns.’”

As I said, fortunately, I don’t think this one will stick. Looney lefties try this occasionally around the country. State and federal preemption is a formidable tool for Second Amendment supporters. Well, unless the leftist feds get their way.

Former Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and City Attorney Pete Holmes attempted something less intrusive. Nevertheless, the Washington State Supreme Court shot them down (pun intended). Here, the law or rule, or whatever it was, was aimed at preventing people from carrying guns on certain city properties such as parks and community centers. As usual, only law-abiding gun owners would obey such a law.

I’m sure Gottlieb knows that case well, as he also fought that city’s attempt to infringe on the people’s Second Amendment rights. With the left, it’s about seeing just how far they can go without getting caught. They don’t care if it’s only symbolic, as long as the act virtue-signals the correct sentiments to their fellow ideological travelers.

Washington State’s preemption laws RCW 9.41.290 state preemption worked to preserve the people’s rights against Seattle’s leftist bullies. As in Illinois, these laws preempt “the entire field of firearms regulations…” to the state. In fact, “Local laws and ordinances that are inconsistent with, more restrictive than, or exceed the requirements of state law shall not be enacted and are preempted and repealed, regardless of the nature of the code, charter, or home rule status of such city, town, county, or municipality.”

Similarly, Illinois’ preemption law (430 ILCS 65/13.1; from Ch. 38, par. 83-13.1) Sec. 13.1. Preemption states: “(a) Except as otherwise provided in the Firearm Concealed Carry Act and subsections (b) and (c) of this Section, the provisions of any ordinance enacted by any municipality which requires registration or imposes greater restrictions or limitations on the acquisition, possession and transfer of firearms than are imposed by this Act, are not invalidated or affected by this Act.”

I included this legal minutia because it’s important Americans arm themselves with knowledge for protecting and preserving our essential rights. I disagree with most areas of leftist political ideology—vehemently. But no other area of liberal thought has me more staggered at the prodigious stupidity than the claims and goals of the gun-grabbing left.

Let’s say you’re an anti-gunner. Guaranteed, just one time, experience what it feels like to hear glass breaking and someone coming into your house. Then, since there is no other option, you’re hiding in a dark closet, listening to an intruder’s breathing and creaking footsteps on the other side of the door. As those steps get closer and closer to the closet door, would you rather be hiding with a gun or without a gun? Oh, what if in that closet with you is your five-year-old son or daughter, little arms tightly wrapped around your waist, depending on you for protection? Yes, depending on you!

According to The Washington Times, Guns Save Life, an Illinois-based pro-gun rights group, is also planning to sue. The group’s president, John Boch, said, “We are going to fight this ordinance, which clearly violates our members’ constitutional rights, and with the help of the NRA, I believe we can secure a victory for law-abiding gun owners in and around Deerfield.”

Reportedly, the village enacted the ordinance in response to February’s horrendous Parkland, Florida school shooting tragedy. Deerfield Mayor Harriet Rosenthal hopes their decision on the local level spurs leaders at the state and national levels to “make our communities safer.” These quotation marks serve a legitimate purpose. However, I must admit to barely being able to refrain from adding additional quotation marks to “safer” to highlight its silliness. Okay, there…I did it! To be clear, such gun-grabbing laws make our communities more dangerous. Perhaps Her Honor should read Dr. John Lott’s eye-opening book, More Guns, Less Crime.

The new ordinance states that possessing these weapons in the village is not “reasonably necessary” for individual self-defense protections. Well, how nice of the board to decide that for fellow Americans living in their community. I’m sure, if she had her way, she’d decide this for the state and nation as to limiting the means by which people should be able to protect themselves. What colossal hubris. Then again, they are experts on firearms, right? Oh, wait…they’re not. But shouldn’t you have to be able to make such comprehensive decisions about a specific issue, especially regarding a right guaranteed in the Bill of Rights?

It still baffles me that people like this who, obviously, know nothing about firearms feel no compunction in banning certain models—likely leading to a ban on all guns if they could. People who know firearms know these bans do not accomplish the goal intended. The last federal gun ban demonstrated this. Yet these lefty virtue signalers pick and choose firearms to ban or allow based on something as arbitrary as the weapon’s appearance.

The left supports making available in public schools sex education, dispensing condoms and other birth control, and having access to abortion services. Their argument is that kids are going to have sex anyway, so we should do concrete things to make sure if kids are sexually active, they are at least safer. In this case, they say they are acknowledging what is as opposed to what someone wishes things were.

Where is the intellectual honesty when they look at the gun issue? With an estimate of well over 300 million firearms in America, where is the anti-gun crowd’s common sense? Plenty of guns are out there already. Fortunately, most of them are owned by law-abiding Americans.

(Credit: Facebook/Guns Save Lives)

Another act of intellectual dishonesty is when the left suggests new, “common sense” gun laws. Take the Seattle mayor’s attempt to ban guns in city parks. Is there even one person who truly believes such a ban would stop a single criminal from taking a firearm into a park? Doesn’t such a law presume everyone will obey it? Well, not everyone. The same is true in Deerfield, Illinois.

This being the case, the only people who will follow the law and not bring guns into city parks or community centers, or to the village of Deerfield, are law-abiding gun owners. Criminals will continue to carry in parks, community centers, and anywhere they damned well please, like in Deerfield, Illinois—they’re criminals, remember? Crime is kind of in their job description.

Since law-abiding gun owners don’t use their firearms illegally, then what exactly is the law supposed to accomplish? As Tucker Carlson often urges his guests on his Fox News show, “No, really, I’m asking a serious question.” At this point, you’ve managed to rid the park of law-abiding gun owners, de facto, allowing only criminals to carry guns in those places. And it’s not only the career criminals but also the formerly law-abiding, who, if they get caught carrying on these properties now, the government has turned into criminals.

(Credit: Facebook/I Love My Country)

If the law has no effect on the intended targets of the law, then isn’t it a waste of time? Or is the virtue signaling and do-something disease just too compelling for the left? One thing we know for sure. By these actions, they show their utter contempt for the Second Amendment and those Americans whose safety may depend on the rights it is intended to ensure. Protecting the Bill of Rights is essential, and more people on the right need to make their views known in support of this gift.

Otherwise, we’ll be seeing more Deerfield, Illinois clones in America.

Steve Pomper

Steve Pomper is a retired Seattle police officer, and the author of four non-fiction books, including Is There a Problem, Officer? and the upcoming De-Policing: A Street Cop’s View of the Anti-Police State. He served as a field-training officer, on the East Precinct Community Police Team, and as a precinct mountain bike coordinator. He has a BA in English Language and Literature. He enjoys riding his Harley and hiking and cycling with his wife who is also an English major as well as a retired firefighter.

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