Quote of the day–Neal Knox

But Mayor Daley went back to Chicago and pushed through an ordinance individually registering every gun in Cook Country. That ordinance was delayed one day because the U.S. Supreme Court had handed down U.S. vs. Haynes, which held that it was a “justifiable defense” for a criminal, prohibited from possessing a gun, to refuse to register it due to fear of self-incrimination. The Chicago city council found an innovative way to enact their registration ordinance while evading that law: Persons with criminal or mental records which prevented them from legally owning a gun were exempt from registration.

Never mind that criminals were the alleged target of that law, and that they were exempted, the city’s new registration law applied only to the law-abiding citizen with a spotless record. And it’s still the same way.


One thing the late-Sixties gun laws and attempted gun laws accomplished was to make the state’s gun owners nervous. So when the state’s Constitution was rewritten in 1970, they helped put in a clause guaranteeing that “subject only to the police power, the right of the people to keep and bear arms would not be infringed.” That mean, according to the official documents describing the Constitution, that while guns might be subjected to certain regulations, private ownership of handguns could never be banned.


In 1982, the village of Morton Grove banned handguns. A few months ago the state’s Supreme Court, on a split decision, ruled that the ban didn’t violate the new Constitution. They explained that since Morton Grove residents could still own long guns, the prohibition against banning arms hadn’t been violated.


Neal Knox
December 12, 1983
The Drift Toward Prohibition
From The Gun Rights War, page 80 and 81.
[It’s a great book. But if you are like me you probably shouldn’t read it just before you go to bed because you will end up angry and have difficulty going to sleep.


But it’s interesting to know that the methods and attitudes of the bigots haven’t changed over the last 50 years. They lied, they ignored original constitutional intent, and they wanted to infringe the rights of ordinary citizens even though they claimed they only wanted to make it difficult for criminals to possess firearms.


The difference is that we now have a “won game” (is that phrase used outside of the chess culture?) on our hands now. We just need to keep up the pressure and drive these bigots into political and social oblivion.–Joe]


3 thoughts on “Quote of the day–Neal Knox

  1. So if, as a non criminal, I don’t register my gun that makes me a criminal and therefore I don’t need to register it because criminals don’t have to.

    As I’m not breaking a law that prohibits me owning a gun I can legally own a gun and not register it and I’m actually not doing anything wrong.

    Makes perfect socialist sense to me.

  2. No. You have to be convicted of a felony (or other crime than prohibits gun ownership) before you don’t have to register your firearms. So you could, conceivably, fail to register your firearm, be convicted of that crime, then have no future obligation to register your firearms.

    It doesn’t make any more sense in the big picture of functionality of gun control but it makes sense in the legal world.

  3. “Subject only to the Police power.”
    That is the exception that swallows the rule!
    As I recall, the Soviet Constitution under Stalin as well as the Weimar Constitution after WW1 both contained first amendment, second amendment fourth amendment and fifth amendment protections virtually identical to the US Constitution. The key (and fatal) difference is that each protection was followed by some variation on “Except as the interests of justice or security require.” How odd! In every case thereafter, the interests of justice and security required drastic limits on the individual liberties denoted in the constitutions.

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