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Did Rahm Emanuel just launch new anti-gun effort?

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is proposing a new gun ordnance for the Windy City.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is proposing a new gun ordnance for the Windy City.
Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The Chicago Sun-Times reported this morning that Mayor Rahm Emanuel has proposed “a far-reaching ordinance” that would require any gun shops in the city to videotape every sale, and now one might wonder whether this was the backdoor launch of a new gun control scheme that will somehow be twisted to promise a reduction in violent crime.

This comes after a weekend filled with news about the multiple slayings in Isla Vista, where suspected killer Elliot Rodger stabbed three men fatally in his apartment, then went on a rampage around the community, near the University of California, Santa Barbara. He shot two women outside of a sorority and another young man at a mini-mart before engaging in two shootouts with police and ultimately taking his own life.

Rodger, the 22-year-old alleged killer, bought the three handguns he used from different retail shops. He passed California’s “universal background check” requirement and also the waiting period before taking each delivery. There was no background check on the knife or knives he apparently used in the first three homicides.

Obviously, so-called “universal background checks” did not live up to their promise. So what’s next on the list for gun control measures designed to inconvenience, and perhaps discourage, gun buyers while not preventing any crimes? Perhaps Emanuel just provided the answer.

Facing a July 14 deadline to adopt an ordinance allowing gun stores inside the Chicago city limits, Emanuel reportedly wants all gun sales videotaped “to deter customers from buying firearms for crooks,” according to WBBM, the local CBS affiliate. The proposed ordinance also reportedly contains a provision that gun shops would have to conduct quarterly audits, and let police inspect their records. Janey Rountree, Emanuel’s deputy chief of staff for public safety, acknowledge that it will be “the toughest regulation on gun stores in the country.”

But will it accomplish anything? Chicago saw six people killed and nearly two dozen other people wounded in holiday weekend shootings, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. The ordinance is reportedly “designed to prevent gun trafficking and illegal sales in these stores.”

Jump back to California. Would it have made any difference to suspected killer Elliot Rodger whether he was videotaped legally buying his three handguns? He videotaped himself outlining his plans not long before carrying out his planned “Day of Retribution.”

Meanwhile, Rodger’s rampage has led to more calls for gun control. According to the Daily Mail, a British newspaper that has covered Friday night’s murders extensively, Richard Martinez, the defense attorney whose son was the last victim, wants to meet with the suspect’s father, Peter Rodger, an assistant director of the “Hunger Games.”

“I lost my son,” he stated. “He lost his son. We have that in common. We want, if possible, that the deaths of our son and his son should mean something.”

And that something apparently will be a demand for more gun restrictions. Elliot Rodger’s aunt, Jenni Rodger, living in southwest France, reportedly appealed to President Barack Obama on Sunday to “stop the slaughter.”

“I want the president and the authorities to finally stop these killings,” she was quoted by the Daily Mail as stating. “The only possible good thing that can come out of all this is America finally taking action.”

Such remarks are grist for the gun prohibition lobby, which is already trying to exploit, as predicted by this column over the weekend, by only focusing on the three killings Rodger allegedly committed with his handguns. They continue to conveniently ignore the fact that this murder spree happened in a state with already-tough gun laws including “universal background checks” and waiting periods, and none of those measures prevented the carnage.

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