Friday, March 6, 2009

Illinois HB 0687

Chicago Mayor Richard Daley has long been setting the standard in Illinois for attacks on the Second Amendment . He intends to ban guns in Chicago. The problem, of course, is that only law-abiding citizens who legally own their guns would be affected, never mind the Constitution.

Now Illinois congressman Kenneth Dunkin (D) is following in Mayor Daley’s footsteps and is attempting to move his anti-gun agenda forward with Illinois HB 0687. There is, however, a difference in how he would go about it. The approach is to raise the cost of gun ownership by requiring Illinois gun owners to insure their firearms with $1,000,000 liability policies against damages resulting from willful acts involving the use of their firearms by anyone, even by someone who has stolen it. The insurance, if it could be obtained, would be prohibitively expensive.

Insurers would be rightfully reluctant to insure a gun against all willful acts. Life insurance policies contain exceptions for suicide and fire insurance excludes acts of arson by the policy holder. It’s hard to imagine that an insurance provider would insure a gun against any and all willful acts, without exception.

HB 0687 is immoral at best and unconstitutional at worst. We should not be required to pay for the rights guaranteed by the Constitution. It reminds me of a poll tax, which was found by the United States Supreme Court to be unconstitutional. The court ruled that it was a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment to make the affluence of the voter an electoral standard. It seems that the same reasoning would apply to the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. Otherwise low-income citizens would be unable to exercise that right.

I, among many, intend to stand against this bill. A good place to start is to participate in the IGOLD event in Springfield on March 11.

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