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EDITORIAL: Democrats intent on making it difficult for low-income Americans to defend themselves

Democrats like to say that they work for the little guy. How is it, then, that they seem intent on keeping lower-income earners — particularly those in crime-infested areas — from exercising their Second Amendment right to defend themselves?

This was ably demonstrated by John Lott Jr., president of the Crime Prevention Research Center, who recently penned an opinion piece for the Chicago Tribune. A CPRC study showed that the average fee for a concealed handgun permit is $67, but it is much higher in heavily Democratic states.

In California, which Hillary Clinton won by about 30 points, fees can be as high as $385 for just two years. In New York City, where she won by 60 points, a three-year permit costs $430.

Furthermore, Mr. Lott writes, blue states such as California and Illinois require training hours that are four times the national average, adding hundreds of dollars to the cost of a concealed-carry license. In liberal stronghold Illinois, permit and training fees run to $450. In Indiana next door, GOP territory, the total comes to about $50. And there are many other mandates in some blue states that make owning a firearm as unattainable as possible for anyone except those with money and connections.

Take the city of Chicago. It took a 2010 U.S. Supreme Court decision to throw out the Windy City’s ostensible ban on firearms. The City Council followed that ruling by requiring gun owners have one hour of range training — but the city also had a complete ban on shooting ranges, an effort to make it as difficult as possible for people to get that training.

When a federal appeals court ruled that ordinance unconstitutional, Chicago “complied” with the ruling by creating a range ordinance so restrictive that, as National Review reported, only 2.2 percent of the city’s acreage was even theoretically available on which to build a gun range. The federal courts struck down that ordinance, too.

All this in a city that had more than 700 gun deaths in 2016 and is well on its way to surpassing 700 this year, much of it because of gang and criminal activity that affects poor neighborhoods the most. Yet policymakers implement barrier after barrier to keep people living in those areas from defending themselves.

“The cops can’t be everywhere at once,” Mr. Lott noted. “Indeed, they rarely respond to live crime scenes at all. But unfortunately for poor people living in the country’s most violent neighborhoods, Democrats just don’t trust them with guns.”

If Democrats really want to stand up for the little guy, perhaps they should do more to let the little guy stand up for himself.

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