Packin' Heat

Illinois does not have legislation in place allowing its citizens to carry firearms, but it looks like there will be a ballot item in my county next week that will ask the Illinois legislature to consider concealed carry legislation. I’m going to vote yes.

The first question I’m always asked is “Why do you need a gun?”

For the most part, I don’t. I live in a relatively safe, rural town. But that’s not the point. I think too often people think about where they live rather than where they’ll go. 95% of the time, I’m not going anywhere that I feel I need to be carrying a firearm. I’d never carry to work because I work in a school. I’d never carry to my karate school because there’s no safe way to lock it up while I’m on the mat (and if I have to lock it up in the car, I may as well not carry it at all). However, there are those times I’m in unfamiliar territory or I’m traveling through or visiting an unsafe area that it wouldn’t hurt to have a little reassurance under my jacket.

I think everyone has the right to defend themselves. The Boston Legal clip I posted the other day may be over the top, but I agree with the general principle. The opposition mostly comes with fear and a lack of understanding of firearms.

First of all, the idea that more firearms equals more crime, suicide, etc., has been debunked. I’ll just point you to the Kates-Mauser Gun Report, an in-depth study of firearms around the world, for the numbers.

Second, I do not believe concealed carry permits should be handed out like candy. I assume background checks are a given, so let’s skip that bit. The Woodford County Sheriff stated in a local newspaper that he supports permits and training, and I agree with that. If I have to take a test to drive my car, why not take a test to carry a firearm? The opposite extreme position says that is akin to registration and opens the door to confiscations in the future, but that’s a chance I’m willing to take. Any random idiot can kill someone with a car, and any random idiot can kill someone with a gun. Just as there are people who have no business behind the wheel, there will be people who have no business carrying a firearm.

Of course, I have no illusions this referendum will do a bit of good. Even if the legislature brought concealed carry to the floor, I have every expectation it will be shot down. Chicago has a very strict ban on handguns (not that it’s done anything to solve handgun crime), and with most of the Illinois population living in and around Chicago, they’ve got the biggest voice in the legislature.

Until I move to a state where I can legally carry, I guess I’ll just have to resort to the trusty triangle choke.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

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  1. Kent says:

    You could always carry a dirty jersey. Comes in handy for parking meters, too.

  2. Mike says:

    Ha! We don’t encounter many parking meters in the wild around here. That’s another problem with Chicago. ;)

  3. Noah L says:

    Haha, there’s a perk to living in Arizona–concealed carry weapons permits are available, after you take a course and pass a written test and a live-fire test. On the other hand, though, I could carry around a gun on my hip without it, so long as it’s easily visible. Nobody does that here, but they could, and it definitely is nice to know that there are people here who can shoot a mugger right back.

  4. Mike says:

    That’s an odd paradox I haven’t figured out: anyone can carry a gun in the open, but if you want to be discrete about it, you have to get a license? It’s not that I disagree with the concept of open carry, it’s just an example of how arbitrary legislation can be.

  5. Open Carry without a license is the right – not a result of legislation, and in Illinois, you can do exactly that, openc arry, in unincorporated areas. See discussion in DC v. Heller.

  6. Mike says:

    No kidding? I’ll definitely have to look that up. Must be the Chicago/Suburban upbringing that kept me from knowing that.

  7. […] only had Republicans running, which gives you a good picture of our county. I also voted yes to recommend our legislature write a concealed carry firearms law, and no to our state setting up a new Constitutional […]

  8. Mikey says:

    The requirement for carrying concealed here in Idaho is to get a permit. You can get a permit if you:

    A) ask for one, and
    B) aren’t a felon

    There is a pretty lax requirement for training, one I met by telling the gunshop owner that I had training back when I was in the service. He didn’t verify this…he just took me at my word. I bet 75 percent of my friends have concealed carry permits and over 90 percent own a firearm. They’re as common as dirt around here.

    We’re a very weapon-friendly place. And have low crime.
    Fancy that…

    -Mikey-