Steve Chapman

The same ordinance dictated that every gun be registered (even though Illinois already required every gun (SET ITAL) owner (END ITAL) to register with the state). The courts never got to consider the constitutionality of that requirement, because the General Assembly passed a law overruling it.

A federal appeals court, however, did order the state to grant permits to carry concealed handguns, as every other state does. In short order, Chicago went from completely banning handguns to having to let licensed owners pack them in public.

Defeats don't get much more total than that. But like the Washington Generals, who get beat by the Harlem Globetrotters every night, the city stubbornly insists on entering contests it is bound to lose.

The latest was Monday, when a federal district judge invalidated the city's ban on the sale or transfer of firearms. The ordinance makes it illegal to operate a federally licensed gun shop or even for a father to give a gun to his son.

As usual with Chicago gun laws, it went too far. "The ban on gun sales and transfers," wrote Judge Edmond Chang, "prevents Chicagoans from fulfilling, within the limits of Chicago, the (SET ITAL) most fundamental (END ITAL) prerequisite of legal gun ownership - that of simple acquisition."

This should come as no surprise to anyone who has paid attention to the Supreme Court's reasoning on the Second Amendment. But Chicago politicians have let their hostility toward guns and gun owners blind him to the obvious.

The old proverb says there's no education in the second kick of a mule. But for some people, once is not enough.

Steve Chapman

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

©Creators Syndicate