Posted on: October 16, 2022 Posted by: Glacier Staff Comments: 0

Photo by Stephanie Frey

By The Editorial Board

We will never be able to stop all gun violence. It’s the cold, hard truth of it. But we can try to control it as much as possible. It is called gun control after all, not gun banning.

While Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker has been on the right track in his attempts to curb gun violence, his Republican opponent Darren Bailey wishes to destroy FOID, our most essential protection against gun violence in Illinois, as well as give guns back to teenagers.

While Pritzker updated FOID back in 2019 when he was first elected, Bailey wishes to dismantle the 54-year-old system completely.

“There is no question, the FOID card is an outdated requirement in a broken system and gun owners are being punished for it,” Bailey said in a press statement in June of last year. “Democrats need to stop finding reckless ways to constantly regulate our state’s residents and void the FOID completely.”

Dismantling FOID would be a huge mistake. State Police would no longer be able to keep track of any weaponry in Illinois and dealers could buy and sell without consequence or legal repercussions. There’d be no way to keep track of who legally owns a weapon and crimes could easily be carried out under the radar.

On top of wanting to “void the FOID,” Bailey is pushing even more pro-gun legislation. According to NPR, “Bailey pushed to lower the age to purchase guns” to 18 and “to allow mass transit patrons to take their weapons aboard the CTA” during his time as Illinois State Senator. Imagine a teenager riding the CTA to Chicago with a gun in his pocket, ready to use at any moment. The thought seems dystopian, but under Bailey it could become the new norm.

Michael Morrison, the man who sold Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz his AR-15, noted that Cruz was only 18 when he bought the gun, according to CBS News. Shortly after the mass shooting, the age limit was changed to 21. By lowering the age limit back down, Bailey could inadvertently make it easier for high school kids, feeling the wrath of their school peers, to take it out on the world in some sick, twisted mind game.

Bailey is an outdoorsman with direct ties to the NRA, the Illinois State Rifle Association, and Guns Save Lives. This means that he is not likely to try passing legislation making it more difficult to own a weapon.

Compare Bailey to Pritzker and you will easily see which candidate’s gun policy could endanger your whole family and which is trying to make a difference.

What’s your take on gun legislation? Check out our new video feature where members of the MV community express their views.

In August of last year, Pritzker signed important gun control legislation that will expand background checks to all gun purchases in Illinois by 2024. The bill also included mental health funding for communities, funding to allow police to take weapons from irresponsible owners (those with an expired FOID), and a process to make owners easier to identify through fingerprinting and other methods.

These steps will help deter people with criminal intent from buying weapons and help groups at risk of using the weapons for suicides. In the U.S., 54 percent of gun deaths came from suicides in 2020, according to data compiled by Pew Research Center.

Just this May, Pritzker signed legislation prohibiting the sale of “ghost guns.” These are guns purchased under the radar–without serial numbers and often assembled at home–so that forbidden buyers can obtain them without undergoing a background check. Just the thought sounds illegal and dangerous: an untraceable weapon that anyone can obtain, regardless of criminal history. That could get messy, real fast. Both of these policies are essential for continuing the fight against gun violence in Illinois

Photo by CBS News
Example picture of Illinois’s current gun registration system: FOID.

We often hear the cliché, “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.”

Yes, people with access to guns. Guns bridge the gap to make killing people easier. The FOID card is a way to deter people from killing people with guns. Makes sense, right? Apparently not to Bailey.

Gabrielle Giffords, gun control advocate and former Arizona congresswoman, who was nearly killed in an assassination attempt back in 2011, had this to say: “Governor JB Pritzker is one of our country’s fiercest champions for gun safety.”

Who sounds like the more reasonable of the two for mitigating the nasty effects of gun violence? Definitely Pritzker.

The Glacier Editorial Board consists of Rosie Finnegan, opinion editor, Nick Stulga, editor-in-chief, and the section editors of the publication. Editorials represent the official position of The Glacier.