If you're in a minority of 48 to 2 on an issue, you may be seeing truths that other people miss. Or you may be refusing to admit reality. In the case of Illinois' refusal to allow citizens to get permits to carry concealed handguns, it's the latter. It's the only state but Wisconsin that doesn't allow it. But there is a glimmer of hope of change: The Illinois Sheriffs' Association has endorsed a law to afford Illinoisans this type of protection.Full column here. Steve goes on to assuage the fears of gun-banners by suggesting that guns should remain "banned from bars, airports, government offices, schools, churches, stadiums and the like." I understand he's mitigating the discomfort banners feel at the very thought of firearms, but I vehemently disagree with that part. A lawful citizen is a lawful citizen regardless of location, and should never be stripped of her or his 2nd Amendment rights because of someone else's unfounded fears. This is very well demonstrated by the Luby Massacre, where Suzanna Hupp might easily have stopped the massacre had she not been obeying Texas law by not bringing her gun into a restaurant. George Hennard felt no such obligation to follow the law.
There is not much risk in allowing such permits to law-abiding people. When Florida pioneered the idea in the 1980s, critics warned of a surge in gun battles among those granted this privilege. But it never came to pass, there or elsewhere.
In 21 years, Florida has had to revoke an average of eight licenses a year for crimes involving a gun--out of more than half a million permit holders at any given time. Says Florida State University criminologist Gary Kleck, "If the United States had a crime rate like that, we'd think we were in Switzerland."
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
The following excerpt comes from an op ed by Steve Chapman arguing for shall-issue CCW permit policy in anti-gun Illinois.