We Need Tougher Gun Laws…Like Chicago!
A trio of gun stories over the last few days gives some insight into the unsteady and frustrating state of firearms in America. The first is news from Fox Business which indicates that AK-47s may jump in both rarity and cost in the coming months due to rising economic sanctions in Russia.
Following another round of sanctions, demand for Russian-made firearms like the AK-47 rifle has picked up in recent days.
The sanctions unveiled on Wednesday include Kalashnikov Concern, the maker of AK-47s and Saiga firearms. American companies are now prohibited from having Kalashnikov products imported into the U.S.
According to the Treasury Department, new transactions with Kalashnikov would violate the sanction, while current AK-47 owners can keep or resell Kalashnikov products. The Treasury also said distributors with an inventory of Kalashnikov firearms that aren’t fully paid for should contact the Office of Foreign Assets Control.
Already, the sanctions have had some visible effect on gun shop owners in the U.S. whose Kalashnikov inventories have been wiped clean by enthusiasts hoping to get in before prices skyrocket. The longer the sanctions last, the rarer we can expect to see Russian-made weaponry become. In the wake of the absence, copycat brands and secondhand sales will proliferate the market, driving prices higher and reducing the quality control surrounding some of the most popular firearms in the world.
In Connecticut on Monday night, Chris Christie was forced to again address the subject of gun control, a topic of conversation that drew attention away from his campaign support of Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Foley. The 2016 presidential prospect was beleaguered by nearly 200 protestors outside a fundraiser, many of whom were angry about Christie’s July veto of legislaion that would have banned magazines able to hold more than ten rounds of ammo.
Speaking with a Newtown voter, Christie said, “If you really want to limit mass violence in the country, you need to get at the mental health system in this country, which doesn’t deal with these folks.”
Of course, while mental illness is the primary factor behind the headline-grabbing mass shootings we’ve seen in recent years, that in itself only accounts for a tiny fraction of gun violence in America. Our third story highlights that fact clearly.
In Chicago over the weekend, at least 40 people were shot in a rash of gun violence, with one of the victims being an 11-year-old girl who was struck by stray gunfire. Four people are dead after the violence, much of which was the result of gang warfare. As RT.com reports, this latest round of violence comes hot on the heels of the July fourth weekend shootings that left 17 dead and as many as 60 others wounded. All told, at least 1,250 people have been shot in Chicago since the beginning of the year.
An important corollary to the Chicago gun violence, of course, is that the city has some of the toughest gun control laws in the country. You can’t find a gun shop within the city limits. Restrictions on handgun ownership are draconian and as close to outright banishment as lawmakers can get without violating the Constitution. Illinois remains the last state in the nation where private citizens cannot carry their guns in public, regardless of provisions or clauses.
And yet, the shootings continue.