The Illinois House’s assistant majority leader had a handgun pointed at him in the Lower West Side’s Heart of Chicago neighborhood over the weekend.
State Representative Edward Acevedo (D-Chicago) wasn’t injured in the incident, which occurred around 10:18 p.m. Friday in the 2500 block of South Oakley Boulevard.
Police said someone inside a van pointed a pistol at Acevedo, but the vehicle sped away when the representative announced his office.
Acevedo is not just a bigwig in Illinois government but he’s also been a police officer since 1995. Whoever pointed that gun at him may not have known that, the van sped off when he informed the occupants who he was, but clearly the assailants were not cowed by Chicago’s gun laws in the lease. So, perhaps, as we’ve been told my members of Congress and folks in the media, more strict gun laws are the answer.
Or, maybe not.
For 28 years, Chicago banned handgun ownership outright until the Supreme Court struck down the law as unconstitutional last June. The city reacted with a new, almost-equally strict set of laws which, in part, require registration every three years and prohibit any gun owner from leaving their house with their handgun unless it is unloaded and secured.
Obviously the people who threatened Acevedo weren’t particularly interested in Chicago’s shiny new laws.
And that’s the essential flaw in the arguments made by gun control proponents, isn’t it? Criminals like Jared Loughner don’t particularly care about the law. That’s what makes them criminals in the first place. Gun control laws do one very important thing, though. They take away another little bit of control we have over our lives.
For the record, I don’t own a handgun, even though no law in my state prevents me. I have made a choice, exercised my Constitutional freedom, not to own a gun. If you are a law-abiding American, I don’t care if you own a gun or not. I do care greatly that you keep your freedom to make that choice for yourself. We each use our freedom in a way that suits our lives best. That is how the Constitution — all of it, not just the parts the progressives like — works.
Is that such a difficult thing to understand? For a great number of Americans, it is. I don’t doubt the sincerity of most gun control activists. They see one way, and only one way, to solve what they view as an intolerable problem. Their calculus is simple: if we get rid of all the guns, no one will die of a gunshot. What they don’t reckon are the many holes in their reasoning. More importantly, they simply don’t see the more dangerous situation they create when they force thinking, choosing individuals to depend on a system that can not protect them.
Edward Acevedo was lucky. He doesn’t owe his life to gun laws but to a quick of circumstance where a man who could have pulled the trigger did not. He is alive because someone who doesn’t respect our law showed him mercy. The rest of us should not have to trust our lives to similar mercy.