Tag Archive for concealed carry

Made My Voice Heard

I Voted!
Originally uploaded by MikeOliveri.

The Wife and I just finished voting over my lunch break. I was the 317th person to vote in our precinct, which isn’t half bad considering there are only 2000 people in our town and the eligible voters are split across two precincts. No lines, just walked up, they verified my address, someone else verified my signature, and I was handed my ballot. Only waiting I had to do was for the Wife to finish so she could keep an eye on the Little Bird while I voted.

I’m glad we don’t have to deal with touchscreens here. I hear way too many nightmares about improperly calibrated electronic voting machines, and I just don’t trust e-voting yet. Our county is using the old-fashioned, fill-in-the-bubble paper ballots. They take a little longer to fill out because of the ovals that have to be filled in, but they’re simple to use and easy to read. Tampering would have to come from the whole precinct of judges, judging by the roll of paper tape signed by several officials and taped to the tabulating machine. My ballot is my paper trail,whether or not I have it in hand, and there’s no problem down the road of misinterpreting hanging chads.

As for the votes themselves, I stuck to my guns and voted Barr. The Wife and I may very well be the only two Barr votes in the precinct — maybe even the county — but that’s fine. That’s what the process is about, as far as I’m concerned. Then we both chose independent parties for as many seats as we could; everything local 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 Convention.

This next bit will probably only be of interest to Illinois citizens. I’ve heard via Twitter that some folks heard on the news that there was a handout to go with the Constitutional Convention ballot item, replacing the wording that appears on the ballot itself. At least two people said they didn’t get that handout. Our precinct did have it: they posted it inside each polling booth and they also handed every voter a laminated copy which was turned in when the ballot was placed in the machine. For those wondering, it wasn’t a drastic change. I read the original wording out of curiosity, and it explains that the vote in 1988 was shot down by a margin of 75% against to 25% in favor. I’m guessing they didn’t want that to influence the vote, but the handout also mentioned “inaccuracies” so maybe those numbers were off. Either way, in my opinion there’s nothing that can’t be changed through the current legislative process, and our state budget is already screwed up enough that we don’t need to be spending the money on the Constitutional Convention. It’s good to have the right to vote on rewriting the State Constitution every 20 years, but I don’t think it needs to be exercised at this time. Your mileage may vary.

Now I’m wearing my “I Voted” sticker around the school, as are all the teachers who have voted so far. It’s important to set that example for the students. There are enough adult voters who don’t bother, so we best start motivating the next generation before it’s too late.

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.

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.