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COUNTERPOINT: Should Madison County become a gun sanctuary county?

Yes. The vote may be symbolic, but 2nd Amendment rights mean everything

p05 MaggosBy MARK MAGGOS
    Why sanctuary counties?
    The movement amongst Illinois citizens to declare their county as a 2nd Amendment sanctuary is a reaction to the ever-increasing infringements on our rights as law abiding firearms owners. Many of these infringements are nothing more than feel good laws passed by liberal, and some Democrat politicians, pandering to their unknowledgeable constituency. Unknowing or uncaring politicians pass these laws that have a direct impact on a Constitutional right. And not just a Constitutional right, but the inalienable right to self-defense.
    We citizens all know that most of the crimes of violence that happen in this state are in Chicago but did you know that their failure to fully prosecute those crimes is the real problem?
    Statistics from 2014-2017 show that only 334 gun-related prosecutions were filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago vs. 8,426 incidents. Basically 4 per 100 incidents while the U.S. Attorney for Eastern Missouri prosecuted 840 federal cases with 1,816-gun related incidents. Basically 46 per 100 — or 10 times as many as the Chicago prosecutor. And it’s not because of the lack of manpower. There are 158 assistant U.S. attorneys on the payroll. A few years ago, a study showed that 88 percent of murderers in Chicago had previous criminal records and 80 percent of those murdered had criminal records.  Probably safe to assume that they didn’t go from shoplifting a pack of gum to murder, so maybe they would have been in jail had they been fully prosecuted and not allowed to plead out on minor charges and get a minor sentence or even probation.
    Chicago politicians love to rant about the illegal guns flowing into Chicago from out of state. Here are just a few examples of the federal crimes and mandated penalties.
    Private interstate sales between individuals trading in any firearm is illegal, sec 922 (a)(3) Penalty — five years in jail.
    For any person to transfer, sell, trade, give, transport or deliver any firearm to any person he knows does not reside in the same state, sec 922(a)(5).  Penalty — five years in jail.
    Selling a firearm or ammunition to a convicted felon. Sec 922(d)(1). Penalty — 10 years in jail.
    These are just three of the 12 federal gun laws that routinely go unprosecuted in Chicago, not to mention that it’s against the law to use a firearm unlawfully. There are about 20 state laws that cover that, also with heavy sentences and routinely unprosecuted.  The reasons why Chicago is in the situation it’s in is obvious, and it’s not because of law-abiding gun owners, the only group that adhere to and are punished by anti-gun laws. It’s in the state that it’s in because of the State that it’s in and who runs that state? You know.
    So now you know why there is a huge movement for sanctuary counties, 30 and counting, by correct thinking people in downstate and upstate Illinois. We are tired of the infringements, the bogus new laws that don’t make us safer (but just the opposite), the pandering of the upstate Democrats that prey on the unknowledgeable voters’ fears and biases.  
    It’s obvious that the November referendum to declare Madison County a sanctuary county is merely symbolic, that it will not change or negate any laws, but symbols like the bald eagle and the American flag oftentimes mean a lot and to some of us, everything.
    Mark Maggos is an Illinois State Police certified instructor. He is an advanced NRA instructor in multiple disciplines and the owner of Trigger Talent in Godfrey, which offers concealed carry and firearms instruction.

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