Steve Chapman

After all, the almost total prohibition passed back in 1982 didn't have the effects promised by supporters. It failed to eradicate handguns, of which the city has an estimated 100,000. Nor did the ban establish serenity in the streets. In the decade after it took effect, homicides soared.

Glenn Beck

If a ban proved irrelevant, how potent would less ambitious measures be? A registration requirement sounds innocuous but also pointless. To start with, it will be widely ignored. When Canada mandated one in 1995, there were an estimated 15 million guns in private hands. But apparently most evaporated, since fewer than 7 million are registered today.

Daley insists police and firefighters must know if a home harbors handguns before they arrive on a call -- forgetting that emergency personnel manage without that information in the rest of America. But Illinois already requires licensing of gun owners, so first responders could find out if one resides at a specific address.

Registration would be of limited value, because the most dangerous gun owners are those who don't volunteer for government paperwork and fees. Just because a home doesn't have a gun registered doesn't mean a cop can skip the flak jacket.

Safety training? The obligation would be brilliantly targeted to affect only people who don't need it. One gun per person? A single sidearm is enough for an enterprising thug. But give Taylor Swift a dozen, and she could probably go for months without shooting anyone.

For those afraid of being victimized by ex-cons, a new handgun ordinance won't be much comfort. But if it's Taylor Swift who scares you, you're in luck.

Steve Chapman

Steve Chapman is a columnist and editorial writer for the Chicago Tribune.

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