Trump and Critical Gun Rights

Image Credit: Gage Skidmore CC License

President-elect Donald J. Trump signifies a massive shift in American culture. For the last decade, media outlets have been blatant with their bias towards left-leaning topics, while the hard workers have been marginalized and treated like deplorables, simply because we hold different values than their so-called, “tolerant,” way of life. One of the keys battlefields of this debate involves gun violence.

I know that this is going to sound like nails on a chalkboard, but the left isn’t trying to be evil, honestly they are just naive. They believe by restricting the Constitutional Rights of American Citizens that it will better protect their own families. In a way, I can admire their desire to provide safety for their family. The logical problem with their philosophy is that it assumes that if gun rights are restricted, then all firearms will somehow disappear. They don’t see how these laws leave themselves, and their fellow Citizens, vulnerable. This is not a problem of malice, it is a problem of ignorance.

The only way to defeat this kind of thinking does not revolve around belittling others, it comes from education and institutional support. Combined, these efforts will alter the landscape in which guns are viewed as a tool to provide protection rather than a semi-automatic demon. Education falls on the shoulders of me and you. In most cases, changing America at an institutional level is the very reason why we elected Donald Trump. In order to see how he can affect change beyond our reach, you simply need to look at the most extreme, leftists cities.

Illinois Couldn’t Care Less About Gun Rights

Image Credit: SkyandSea876 CC License

Illinois is one of the most liberal states in the country, has one of the highest percentages of gun violence, and also has a stranglehold on gun rights. Based off DNAinfo, 746 people were killed by gun violence in Chicago last year alone. Do you happen to know how many U.S. Soldiers died in Afghanistan during 2016? Fourteen. Yep, you read that right. The single city of Chicago is more than 530% more dangerous than the entire country of Afghanistan, who we’ve been at war with for the last 16 years.

2016 Death Toll related to Gun Violence (including Combat)

Chicago=746

Afghanistan=14

We might think that the last thing Illinois should do is to limit access to firearms for law-abiding Citizens, but due to the left’s domination of Illinois politics, they think that everyone will obey the law simply because they do. They do not understand criminals or danger situations because they have never been put in a position to do so. They attend college, get a corporate job, and live in the suburbs surrounded by other people who think exactly like them. If they don’t know anyone who needs a pistol, why should they even exist?

The media propagates sensationalized news that shows every mass shooting like it’s damn pay-per-view (I have personal objections against glorifying killing innocent people, so this topic gets me a little worked up). Once the left gets in their heads that the tool, not the criminal, is responsible for the damage, then the only logical solution is to eradicate firearms. Unfortunately for them, a piece of paper called the Constitution prevents their outright efforts.

The left has become insidious in how they restrict guns, though means much more subtle than outright bans, and Illinois has taken this mindset to an extreme. Luckily, Trump will do something about it. With a GOP controlled Congress, he will help pass federal legislation to protect gun rights by dismantling each restriction piece by piece.

FOID Card

Illinois is a state that believes in tracking all possible gun owners. This doesn’t mean that they will track you if you buy a rifle, but if you even want to consider buying a rifle, you will need a Firearm Owner Identification Card (FOID). The idea is that this is another gatekeeper to limit access to firearms for criminals and the mentally unstable. The problem is that their system to verify an unacceptable risk is entirely crap.

At 18 years old, I applied for my first FOID card (I grew up in Illinois, so I’ve dealt with their shenanigans before). As with any government type of application, you would expect the process to take a few weeks. I waited those few weeks, and then they turned into a month. After that, two months. Finally, six months had passed, and I still hadn’t heard anything, so I called them. They told me that my application was still processing, and they would get back to me later. Six, freaking, months and they were still processing my FOID card. Don’t worry though, it gets worse.

—Six, freaking, months and they were still processing my FOID card

After three more months of waiting (nine in total), I finally got a letter in the mail. Excited that I could finally go purchase a shotgun (I had my eye on a Mossberg 500), I ripped the envelope open only to see that my application had been rejected. They gave no reason why, just simply that I was somehow an, “unacceptable risk.” Furious (I was a Soldier in their own National Guard after all), I followed the appeal process, though this took another two months, and the they finally found that there was no reason why my application should have been rejected in the first place. Eleven months in, I finally “earned” my Second Amendment Rights.

From the moment of submitting the application, to getting my card, the process took almost an entire year. For those with less determination, I am sure that they would have just given up. The process is intentionally designed to keep Citizens from purchasing firearms. One of the first things Trump needs to do is dismantle this type of underhanded activity.

Chicago Outlawed FFL’s from Selling Firearms

Though I grew up in Illinois, my hometown was downstate (far away from Chicago) and generally, the populace leaned a bit to the right. The difficulty to get a firearm would have been a thousand times more rigorous if I had lived in Chicago. Up until 2014, the sale of firearms was prohibited within Chicago’s city limits. In case you have never been there, Chicago is huge. For low-income individuals, this meant that they had no legal way to obtain a firearm. They would have needed to drive (most low-income Chicago residents do not own their own vehicle) hours away to get to the nearest FFL dealer, go through the appropriate backgrounds check, go home, and then drive back a few days later to pick up the firearm.

If you think this was wrong, you are not alone. On January 6th, 2014, a federal court ruled that this restriction was unconstitutional and forced Illinois to adopt legislation to legalize the sale of firearms. While Illinois did add in countless additional restrictions, Chicago did comply. Due to the fact that their original law was overturned, they passed a law that made it illegal to transfer ammunition within the city limits of Chicago. Unlike Trump’s predecessor, allowing the left to circumnavigate the law through technicalities will be a thing of the past.

Trump Symbolizes the Rebirth of America

Our country has spoken, and it has been too long that the left has dominated the country. Trump will radically change the political landscape in Washington, and the results will ripple throughout our society. Well some of these changes might take years, the best way to avoid all of the restrictions placed on individual Citizens is to obtain a Federal Firearms License. This will put you above many state laws and allow you to get privileges that should be rights. For more information check out our FFL Guide.

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Brandon Maddox :