The news media has been running a number of ignorant articles about a recent FOID which was issued to a 10 month old baby, nicknamed “Bubba” by his parents. Most of the articles that have been published on the matter display ignorance of what exactly a FOID is, and consequentially, what really happened here. Hopefully (but doubtfully) most readers will look into the facts before drawing the false conclusions that members of the popular press have come to in a display of typical shoddy journalism. In order to help inform the public of the truth, I’m going to clear up some of the most common lies being spread by the media.

Myth #1, A FOID is a gun permit: A FOID is not a gun permit. It alone does not permit someone to own a firearm, nor does possession of a FOID necessarily indicate firearm ownership. While some states may flaunt the Constitution by maintaining a list of all gun owners, and which guns they own, Illinois does not (making such a list creates a situation ripe for abuse by the government, should they turn oppressive; remember that an oppressive government is exactly what the founding fathers had just dealt with when they designed the Constitution). A FOID is required by most firing ranges, whether or not a gun is owned, and is required for the possession of museum pieces (such as muzzle loaders and black powder rifles). Additionally, further requirements, such as age limits, exist, meaning that a FOID alone does not entitle one to own a gun. The FOID serves one purpose, to allow the state to identify individuals in violation of Section 24-3.1 of the Criminal Code of 1961.

Myth #2, “Bubba” now owns a gun, thanks to his FOID: Actually he doesn’t. Illinois law prohibits underaged individuals from owning firearms. They may operate them under parental supervision, provided both are in possession of FOIDs, and provided the firearm is not a handgun (handguns may not be operated by anyone under the age of 18). One imagines the true status of “his” gun is that his father or grandfather is currently keeping it for him until he becomes old enough.

Myth #3, Illinois has lax gun laws: Illinois recieved an A- for gun laws from the Brady Campaign, a pretty darn good rating from an anti-gun lobby group. Not a single state scored higher, and 43 scored lower. Illinois is one of the few states which manages to both honor the constitution and support some level of gun control. This isn’t lax at all, it is the perfect marriage of gun rights and gun control.

Myth #4, This shows how stupid US gun laws are: This one is via the Mirror, a UK web based newspaper. I decided to address it directly as it draws a particular amount of my ire. I will admit that it is natural for the UK to dislike firearms. Afterall, the reason we allow access is because they helped us free ourselves from oppressive British rule. Anyone who dislikes the idea of controlled areas gaining freedom and human dignity must oppose firearms. In the USA, we respect and honor freedom, and don’t deign to treat people like criminals before they have given us reason. As such we allow them to own weapons for numerous reasons. Constitutionally we allow them to own weapons to enable them to fight a possibly oppressive government, and more realistically we allow them to own weapons for hunting, keeping their livestock and families safe from dangerous animals, and defense if they feel the need.

I hope I’ve cleared up some of the lies the popular media is spreading. I really should be amazed that shoddy journalism is now the norm, but sadly I’m not. This sort of “reward” is what we get for allowing the media to pander to us with infotainment and shock journalism.

-Angry Midwesterner