Hypocrisy is so entrenched in what passes for political discourse in Illinois that a Chicago mayor can snub his nose at the U.S. Constitution and the U.S. Supreme Court, and demand that law-abiding citizens pay a fee to exercise a civil liberty ... and it elicits little commentary other than shrugs and smirks.
On Feb. 9, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel began lobbying state Legislators to establish a statewide "handgun registry" that would require all Illinois handgun owners to pay a $65 registration fee to the state and provide the Illinois State Police with personal information, the gun's make and model, and where and when the firearm was purchased.
This isn't audacity, it is a crass ploy based on the reality that gun owners are an exploitable constituency with little political efficacy. In Illinois, especially when Chicago politicians dominate Springfield (and, by the way, Washington D.C.), an exploitable constituency is another way to say, "Easy target."
Under Emanuel's proposal, any Illinois resident purchasing a handgun would be hit with the $65 registration requirement. Illinois already has statutory requirements that include possession of a Firearm Owner's Identification (FOID) card.
Emanuel says the measure will help police, parents and community groups fight the gun violence that plagues Chicago, which already has the nation's most tyrannical gun-control laws. Remember, this is the city that banned residents from legally owning firearms until 2010, when the Supreme Court ruled that there is no local opt-out clause when it comes to the U.S. Constitution.
Chicago, of course, has only marginally complied with the ruling -- making a mockery of the judicial process in the process -- and now Emanuel has turned the tables: Law-abiding citizens must pay a fee to "opt-in" or be alienated from their supposedly "inalienable" rights.
There is nothing new under the sun. This is the newest version of the old "poll tax" scam; same pig, different lipstick.
The fact that such a scheme could be proposed in Illinois is not surprising. After all, four of the state's last eight governors were imprisoned for corruption -- including the last two, who are currently incarcerated.