FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Chuck’s Gun Shop Throws a Tantrum

by MARTHA ROSENBERG

Chicago.

2,370 crime guns were traced to just one gun shop located in suburban Chicago between 1996 and 2000. Over 1,300 have been traced to the shop since 2008as well as 20 percent of all Chicago crime guns used within a year of their purchase. Yet Chuck’s Gun Shop, in Riverdale, far from being shut down as a virtual ATM for crime guns, has actually brought suit against Cook County calling a $25 gun tax that went into effect April 1 unfair.

Last week, Chuck’s and other Chicago area gun dealers and owners filed a lawsuit in Cook County Circuit Court claiming a new $25 tax on every gun purchase in Cook County infringes on the right to bear arms. The tax violates “the right of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear, and law-abiding Retailers to sell, arms as guaranteed” says the suit. Law abiding as in 3,670 crime guns seized on the street.

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, who served as a Chicago alderman for 19 years, proposed the tax to cover some of the costs related to gun violence by generating $600,000 in tax revenues per year. “Gun violence is a real problem for us. It’s a problem for us in our criminal justice system and it’s a problem for us in our health care system, and I make no apologies for the proposal,” said Preckwinkle when she proposed the tax, reported the Chicago Tribune last October.

Cook County, where Chicago resides, pays approximately $52,000 for each gunshot victim it treats, reports the Chicago Sun-Times–and 670 gunshot victims came through the county hospital’s emergency room doors in 2011. Clearly, the gun tax covers the cost of less than 12 patients, leaving 658 gunshot victims the responsibility of taxpayers. Thank you NRA.

This is not the first time Chuck’s Gun Shop has been in the news. After 16-year-old Blair Holt, the son of a Chicago Police gang investigator and a Chicago fire captain, was shot and killed riding the bus home from high school in 2007, Father Michael Pfleger, the outspoken pastor of Chicago’s St. Sabina Church and Rev. Jesse Jackson led 200 Chicagoans in a march to Chuck’s Gun Shop.  More guns involved in crimes are traced to Chuck’s than any other gun shop, say police.

Then, like now, Chuck’s Gun Shop fought back. First it hired a semitrailer truck to park in front of the gun shop to block protesters’ access (the doors were tightly shut and locked). Then it hired an attorney who called Pfleger’s “kill-the-umpire”-like rhetoric against the gun shop owner “alarming” and “slanderous” and threatened legal action.  Gun extremists deluged the archdiocese with complaints and Pfleger’s superior, Cardinal Francis George, sided with the gun lobby and not the priest. Yes, the Cardinal supported a business that sells lethal weapons over its own priest.

Thanks to the gun lobby, Illinois gun owners enjoy almost complete freedom from regulation. They are unlicensed, their weapons are unregistered and they don’t even have to carry insurance like people who own pools and vicious dogs not to mention car owners. Still, extremists portray themselves as “victims” and actually whined that the massacre at Sandy Hook had the effect of abridging their “rights.”

The $25 tax is bringing out the same victimhood. “There’s enough taxes on those [guns] already–we pay a sales tax,” Chuck’s Gun Shop co- plaintiff Deborah Gowder told the Chicago Sun-Times this week. “I had to pay $100 to qualify to purchase a gun–and I think I’ve paid enough.”

At $52,000 for each of 670 gunshot victims a year, Cook County taxpayers probably think they have paid enough too. END

Use your buying power to force sane gun laws. Make the Tell and Compel pledge.

Martha Rosenberg is an investigative health reporter. She is the author of  Born With A Junk Food Deficiency: How Flaks, Quacks and Hacks Pimp The Public Health (Prometheus).

 

 

Martha Rosenberg is an investigative health reporter. She is the author of  Born With A Junk Food Deficiency: How Flaks, Quacks and Hacks Pimp The Public Health (Prometheus).

February 08, 2016
Paul Craig Roberts – Michael Hudson
Privatization: the Atlanticist Tactic to Attack Russia
Mumia Abu-Jamal
Water War Against the Poor: Flint and the Crimes of Capital
John V. Walsh
Did Hillary’s Machine Rig Iowa? The Highly Improbable Iowa Coin Tosses
Eliza A. Webb
Hillary Clinton’s Populist Charade
Uri Avnery
Optimism of the Will
Roy Eidelson Trudy Bond, Stephen Soldz, Steven Reisner, Jean Maria Arrigo, Brad Olson, and Bryant Welch
Preserve Do-No-Harm for Military Psychologists: Coalition Responds to Department of Defense Letter to the APA
Patrick Cockburn
Oil Prices and ISIS Ruin Kurdish Dreams of Riches
Binoy Kampmark
Julian Assange, the UN and Meanings of Arbitrary Detention
Shamus Cooke
The Labor Movement’s Pearl Harbor Moment
W. T. Whitney
Cuba, War and Ana Belen Montes
Vincent Emanuele
The Curse and Failure of Identity Politics
Jim Goodman
Congress Must Kill the Trans Pacific Partnership
Peter White
Meeting John Ross
Colin Todhunter
Organic Agriculture, Capitalism and the Parallel World of the Pro-GMO Evangelist
Ralph Nader
They’re Just Not Answering!
Cesar Chelala
Beware of the Harm on Eyes Digital Devices Can Cause
Weekend Edition
February 5-7, 2016
Jeffrey St. Clair
When Chivalry Fails: St. Bernard and the Machine
Leonard Peltier
My 40 Years in Prison
John Pilger
Freeing Julian Assange: the Final Chapter
Garry Leech
Terrifying Ted and His Ultra-Conservative Vision for America
Andrew Levine
Smash Clintonism: Why Democrats, Not Republicans, are the Problem
William Blum
Is Bernie Sanders a “Socialist”?
Daniel Raventós - Julie Wark
We Can’t Afford These Billionaires
Enrique C. Ochoa
Super Bowl 50: American Inequality on Display
Jonathan Cook
The Liberal Hounding of Julian Assange: From Alex Gibney to The Guardian
George Wuerthner
How the Bundy Gang Won
Mike Whitney
Peace Talks “Paused” After Putin’s Triumph in Aleppo 
Ted Rall
Hillary Clinton: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Gary Leupp
Is a “Socialist” Really Unelectable? The Potential Significance of the Sanders Campaign
Vijay Prashad
The Fault Line of Race in America
Eoin Higgins
Please Clap: the Jeb Bush Campaign Pre-Mortem
Joseph Mangano – Janette D. Sherman
The Invisible Epidemic: Radiation and Rising Rates of Thyroid Cancer
Andre Vltchek
Europe is Built on Corpses and Plunder
Jack Smith
Obama Readies to Fight in Libya, Again
Robert Fantina
As Goes Iowa, So Goes the Nation?
Dean Baker
Market Turmoil, the Fed and the Presidential Election
John Grant
Israel Moves to Check Its Artists
John Wight
Who Was Cecil Rhodes?
David Macaray
Will There Ever Be Anyone Better Than Bernie Sanders?
Christopher Brauchli
Suffer Little Children: From Brazil to Flint
JP Sottile
Did Fox News Help the GOP Establishment Get Its Groove Back?
Binoy Kampmark
Legalizing Cruelties: the Australian High Court and Indefinite Offshore Detention
John Feffer
Wrestling With Iran
Rob Prince – Ibrahim Kazerooni
Syria Again
Louisa Willcox
Park Service Finally Stands Up for Grizzlies and Us
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail