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.