This bill isn't being covered in print or on TV, but the argument over "Blair Holt's Firearm Licensing and Record of Sale Act of 2009" (HR 45) is building steam, and could become quite a distraction.
It is named for Blair Holt. Holt, the 16-year-old son of a Chicago police officer, was killed in 2007 while shielding a female classmate during a gang-related shooting on a Chicago city bus.
It was introduced by Rep. Bobby Rush, an Illinois Democrat. According to Wikipedia, Rep. Rush went A.W.O.L. from the Army in 1968, and founded Illinois' Black Panther Party. In 1969, he did six months in prison on a firearms conviction.
He is the only person to defeat Barak Obama in an election for public office, and said, of Obama, "Barack Obama went to Harvard and became an educated fool. Barack is a person who read about the civil-rights protests and thinks he knows all about it." Nevertheless, he supported Obama in the Presidential Primary, after it became politically expedient.
In my opinion, Rep. Rush is exploiting Holt's heroism and death. By naming the bill after Holt, he increases his popularity in his district, and he creates a situation where those representatives who respect the right of the people to keep and bear arms have to vote against a bill named for a hero/victim.
The bill would require individuals to obtain a federal license before they could possess a firearm. It would require the registration of all firearms, and for the owners thereof to report the sale, transfer, loss or theft of a firearm to federal authorities within 72 hours. The license would be a photo ID, complete with thumbprint, would be accompanied by training requirements and fees, and could be revoked for any number of reasons. The bill also provides criminal penalties for those in violation.
If permission/license is required to exercise a right, it ceases to be a right and becomes a privilege.
Murder is already illegal, and Chicago already restricts gun ownership. This did not stop the criminal who killed Blair Holt from doing so, and HR 45 won't prevent crime.
Rep. Rush's piece of legislation should be rejected. Please encourage your representative to do just that.