A new art exhibit in downtown Chicago shows a row of replica AR-15s attached to a station similar to a bike rental. CNN reports the display has been put on by The Escape Pod and gun control organization the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence.
The point of the display is to “look as though getting a weapon is as easy as renting a bike”:
— CNN (@CNN) May 12, 2018
“Our hope is to raise awareness of this important issue. We're hoping the Chicago community can take advantage of this ... and learn how simple it is for a civilian to obtain a weapon of war,” Max Samis, Brady Center press secretary, told CNN.
“Our goal here is to start a conversation on one of the more burning issues of our day, and in the process, raise much-needed funds for the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence,” Vinny Warren, The Escape Pod executive creative director, added. “This issue is especially relevant to our home town of Chicago, which has suffered more than most from the plague of gun violence.”
The problem with the exhibit is that the comparison is wildly inaccurate. The comparison is not even apples to oranges — it's apples to an actual AR-15.
The first problem is they set up the display in the city of Chicago, which happens to be located in the state of Illinois. At the state level, you cannot touch a gun in a gun store unless you show your Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) card.
Having gone through the process myself, you basically register yourself as a potential gun owner instead of having to register your firearms.
To obtain a FOID card, you have to provide the state police with, but not limited to:
- A photo of yourself
- Date of birth
- Your address
- Your height
- Your weight
- Phone number
If you pass the process, you are now able to buy a firearm in the state of Illinois. As with every other state, you then still have to go through federal firearm laws. It also does not include the local and city laws that have been put in place.
To rent a bike, you need to:
- Pay the rental fee
And that's the whole point. Buying a gun is not as simple as walking up to a kiosk.
Even outside of Illinois, it is still easier to rent a bike than buying a firearm. It's an art display, but people who don't own firearms generally don't know there actually is a process to buying a gun, and displays like this are heavily misleading.
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Please note: This is a commentary piece. The views and opinions expressed within it are those of the author only and do not necessarily reflect the editorial opinion of IJR.