Gun Control

Illinois Politicians Don't Understand Concealed Carry

Hint: Chicago is NOT an example of gun control working.


The headline on last Sunday's Chicago Tribune was stark and arresting: "A thousand shootings." That's what Chicago experienced in the first six months of 2013. It works out to more than five a day.

So what crime issue got Gov. Pat Quinn worked up last week? The danger posed by Illinoisans holding state permits to carry concealed firearms. "My foremost duty as governor is to keep the people of Illinois safe," he said in issuing an amendatory veto of a bill to legalize concealed-carry in the last state without it.

His changes included a ban on carrying guns in establishments that serve alcohol and limiting each carrier to one gun with a magazine holding a maximum of 10 rounds. But in the end they didn't matter, because the General Assembly overrode his veto. The new law sets up a system obliging the state to issue licenses to registered gun owners who pass a background check, undergo 16 hours of safety training and pay a fee.

Quinn responded: "Following a weekend of horrific violence in Chicago in which at least 70 people were shot and 12 killed, this was the wrong move for public safety in Illinois." But of those 70 shootings—or the 1,000-plus shootings that preceded them this year — it's safe to wager that few if any involved legal weapons used by individuals legally entitled to own them.

It's exceptionally rare for a previously law-abiding person to take a legally purchased firearm, load it, walk out the door and shoot someone. But that's the specter that dominates the mind of Quinn when the subject of concealed-carry comes up. It also preoccupies Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

The problem of gun violence in the city, though, is a problem of violence committed by criminals and juveniles who are not allowed to own guns, much less carry them in public. To worry about legal permit holders in that context is like fretting that you may have left a faucet running as you try to escape a flood.

The discussion arises because of a federal appeals court decision last year striking down Illinois' ban on concealed-carry. Noting that the Supreme Court says the Second Amendment guarantees the right to have guns in the home for protection, it concluded there is no logic in denying individuals that means of self-defense in public spaces.

"A right to bear arms," wrote Judge Richard Posner, "thus implies a right to carry a loaded gun outside the home." The court gave the state six months to create a permit system.

Chicago Democrats act as though this is either a) a surefire formula for more bloodshed or b) a reckless leap into the unknown. It's neither. In recent years, we have accumulated a wealth of evidence about what happens when a state establishes a "shall-issue" system under which qualified citizens may pack pistols.

Since Florida blazed the trail in 1987, state after state has followed. During that period, the national homicide rate has fallen by more than 40 percent. Florida's dropped even faster. Back then, its murder rate was far higher than Illinois'. By 2011, it was lower.

It would be too much to assume that the spread of concealed-carry accounts for the improvement. Lots of factors have produced the national reduction in violent crime. But it hasn't gotten in the way.

Opponents, however, never tire of insisting that letting individuals tote firearms will unleash mass carnage. The Washington-based Violence Policy Center makes much of the fact that since 2007, by its count, 516 people have been killed by permit holders.

But a quarter of those were suicides, which are not a danger to public safety. Though the figure sounds high, it's less than 90 a year—in a country with more than 50,000 homicides and suicides annually.

The number of licensees who make lethal misuse of their guns, likewise, is a microscopic percentage of the estimated 6 million people who are authorized to carry. The overwhelming majority behave in a responsible, lawful way. The people behind the epidemic of violent crime in Chicago, by contrast, don't bother with permits and wouldn't qualify for them.

For this group, the new law is irrelevant. Politicians who use the ongoing slaughter as a reason to oppose it only confirm that when it comes to government's most important function, they haven't got a clue.

NEXT: Jury in Zimmerman Trial Will Consider Manslaughter As Well As Second-Degree Murder [UPDATED]

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  1. Wow, completely did not see Steve Chapman supporting concealed carry. Maybe we’re rubbing off on him.

    Fuck, if we can change Chapman’s mind about something, we can change the world!

    1. It’s A Trap!

      He does this every once in awhile. Actually writes something libertarianish. Just wait for the next one tho’.

      1. It isnt just libertarianish, he is arguing using facts, honesty and good sense, looking at the numbers and seeing what they mean.

        Perhaps we could convince him to apply that technique to the AGW issue.

        1. Yeah, it’s a huge shift from his standard MO.

          1. Maybe he was accosted by some gangsta….

      2. Rest assured, his next article will advocate a drinking age of 25 and ‘free’ birth control for Democrat whores.

    2. “Maybe we’re rubbing off on him.”
      – Phrasing.

  2. “My foremost duty as governor is to keep the people of Illinois safe,”

    No Pat, it most certainly is not.

    1. That utterance should be grounds for recall.

    2. What the hell is it with chief executives and their idea that their primary function is to keep people “safe”?

    3. “My foremost duty as governor is to keep the people of Illinois safe,”

      “Following a weekend of horrific violence in Chicago in which at least 70 people were shot and 12 killed, this was the wrong move for public safety in Illinois.”

      So, then you’re fired.

  3. To worry about legal permit holders in that context is like fretting that you may have left a faucet running as you try to escape a flood.

    But if turning off that faucet *might* *help* *save* *just* *one* life, aren’t we obligated to do it?

    1. Yes, of course we are. For the children.

    2. My new standard response to this: you might run over a child someday, so giving up your drivers license and car keys just might save a life. Hand them over immediately.

      1. Ban everything! It might just save one life, so you can’t argue against any of it.

  4. “The Washington-based Violence Policy Center makes much of the fact that since 2007, by its count, 516 people have been killed by permit holders.”

    So 25% of those were suicides…How many of those were legit self defense? Bet the Center doesn’t want that number coming out.

    1. Yeah. If I shot someone trying to carjack me, the number would be 517 but some part of that 517 includes the justifiable use inherent in self-defense in the first place.

      1. Speaking of carjacking, this is probably the point of the politicians’ fears.

        Let’s say that a “youth” decides to reparate himself with some cracker’s ride, and the cracker punctuates his disagreement (and the jacker) with some lead. The carjacker’s peers riot and a race war breaks out.

        To prevent the war, it is critical that the cracker be kept defenseless. Interghetto warfare seems to be tolerable, violence spreading outside the ghetto is not.

        1. Should have been “intraghetto”.

          1. Take a pill and just read.

        2. Hey, now. Is that “Cracker” or “Cracka?” I want to know if I should be offended or not.

      2. What does it say about the morality of a person, that they consider the life of a rapist or murderer to be equally valuable when compared to their victims?

    2. Most of the 516 actually don’t even have anything to do with carrying a firearm in public…they occurred in the shooter’s home (domestic violence)

      Of the 516, few were permit holder in public goes off the reservation and starts shooting semi-random people.

      1. I don’t know of any spree shootings by are CCW/CHL holders. It’s certainly not an annual occurrence and the number of such deaths that do occur are only a small fraction of a tiny fraction of the total.

    3. How many of those were legit self defense?

      A good author would have included those numbers in the article.

    4. So, out of how many thousands of firearm deaths, the VPC find 500ish are committed by permit holders and they think permit holders are a problem.

      The results are especially skewed when you figure that quite a few state (AZ! among them) do not require permits to own a firearm at all (open *or* concealed carry).

      1. Of course, if you don’t know – the VPC is the organization that put out a flyer decrying S&W’s new .500 magnum revolver.

        Their justification for wanting it banned is that its only attractive to criminals because of its power and *snicker* ease of concealment. That’s right, VPC thinks a 10 lb revolver, that costs near $2k and fires rounds that are cheap at $3 a pop will be attractive to criminals.

        1. Ease of concealment? Andre the Giant in a thick, fuzzy bathrobe couldn’t have concealed a .500 pistol. In the dark. At a National Federation of the Blind convention.

        2. I suppose a 22 derringer is only attractive to criminals because of its impressive stopping power and accuracy at long range

        3. I used to want the Desert Eagle .50 semi-automatic, thinking that if I were to get a handgun at all, I should go all the way with it. It think it has something like a 12″ barrel, so that’s no good for concealment, either.

      2. You’re about 30 times more likely to be killed with a car than any gun — 6,000 times more likely to be killed with a car than a so-called assault weapon.

        And yet, groups like the VPC insist that guns are so dangerous they MUST be banned…but they’d consider you a crazy person of you suggested banning civilian ownership of cars.

  5. I wonder what HERCULE SAININEN TRIATHLON thinks about all this. I really do.

    I miss HERC.

    1. And White Indian…

      …also fried chicken.

  6. Out here in Arizona, when we implemented shall-issue permission slip concealed carry, those opposed predicted blood in the streets, road rage gunfire and shootouts over parking spots. Nothing happened.

    When we implemented no-permission-slip concealed carry, those opposed predicted blood in the streets, road rage gunfire and shootouts over parking spots. Nothing happened.

    When we implemented legal carry in bars and restaurants that serve alcohol, those opposed predicted blood in the streets, road rage gunfire and shootouts over parking spots. Nothing happened.

    At this point there’s nothing left to do but quote former Ohio Senator Howard Metzenbaum: “I don’t care about crime, I just want to get the guns.”

    1. “An armed society is a polite society.”

      1. Just like Somalia!


        1. Something tells me that a traditionalist society in a state of perpetual civil war would place some high emphasis on manners.

    2. Though it is dangerous dealing with federal police (Border Patrol and DHS) around here. They don’t seem to understand what the law in AZ is and get jumpy during stops when they see a gun.

  7. There is absolutely no “concern” for public safety. The elites love it when they are the only ones with access to guns/carry permits. It is a significant marker of being better than the proles. They love this. This is why they resist the loosening of restrictions. Any other reasons are minor and usually based on special interests. And this will never change.

    1. I think I should start bringing into the random tirades that sometimes pass between myself and restrictionists that Edo Japan had Sword control to maintain the status of the Samurai class. then the first thing the Meiji did was have a sword hunt to disarm those that would be prone to rebel against Imperial rule. The parallels are a bit more clear than with the 20th century examples, though had fewer fatalities.

      1. “The parallels are a bit more clear than with the 20th century examples, though had fewer fatalities.”

        Fewer fatalities, unless you consider that the new, unchecked, militaristic government got Japan involved in a war which left millions of their citizens dead.

  8. Maybe you can own a gun, maybe you can carry a gun, but if you use it they will charge you with murder.

    1. Judged by 12, carried by 6, etc.

      1. Zimmerman’s only being judged by 6.

        1. And now they went and added manslaughter to the possible verdicts. What clearer evidence could you have that even TPTB have given up hope on a Murder 2 conviction?

  9. Chicago Alderman, of which there are 50, are considered Peace Officers in Illinois, and are thus allowed to carry concealed.
    The politically connected can become part time deputies of the Cook County sheriff’s department, and allowed to concealed carry (and they get a badge.) You’re damn right the aristocracy doesn’t want the plebes to have the same rights.

    1. Not quite that easy.

      Alderman can only carry if they take the peace officer training, and the permission is only valid in their city.

      Of course we all know they wouldn’t get a pass on taking the training, and/or would refrain from carrying while travelling

      The part time sheriff thing: Forget which nationally known race-baiter it was, but his son is a Cook or Chicago ‘Cop’ who has logged no hours on the ‘job’ the last couple years.

      1. I’ve not reason to doubt what you say about training or validity, but it must be some great training that led to Alderman Dorothy Tillman waiving her gun around in a council meeting.

        1. That ol’ gal was a hoot

          If she actually did take the required training its the same training requirement that CPD would have taken.

          Doesn’t really inspire much confidence in CPD does it.

        2. Okay, how exactly does one waive a gun?

          (Yeah, I’m a spelling Nazi. Sue me.)

          Sorry, but the image of someone waiving a gun just really struck my funny-bone.

  10. Since Florida blazed the trail in 1987, state after state has followed. During that period, the national homicide rate has fallen by more than 40 percent. Florida’s dropped even faster. Back then, its murder rate was far higher than Illinois’. By 2011, it was lower.

    You’re welcome.

    I felt the need to point that out cause Florida gets bashed (fairly) around here frequently.

    1. But not for that reason. Every state has that problem, even my beloved home.

  11. “It’s exceptionally rare for a previously law-abiding person to take a legally purchased firearm, load it, walk out the door and shoot someone.”

    Unless you are employed by the Chicago Police Department.

    1. No problem shootin’ someone, as long as it’s justified.

  12. “It is enough to ask somebody for his weapons without saying ‘I want to kill you with them’, because when you have his weapons in hand, you can satisfy your desire. ”


  13. But guns are ICKKYYYYY!!!!


  14. You could have just stopped the headline at “Illinois Politicians Don’t Understand”

    1. Oh, they understand, they just don’t care.

      This is the Chicago Democratic Machine you’re talking about here.

  15. Howdy,
    I’m a longtime lurker, first time poster. I pretty much lived on this site during the six months I just spent in Afghanistan. I just came back to my home state of Illinois (I’m stationed in Colorado), and have a new appreciation for the absolute lunacy of the various policies surrounding gun ownership here.

    A quick question for any constitutional scholars out there:

    How does requiring a $10 Firearm Owner ID (FOID) card in order to exercise one’s constitutionally-guaranteed liberty differ in any substantive way from requiring a poll tax in order to vote?

    My FOID expired while I was gone and I can’t even buy ammo in this damn place any more…

    1. Imo, it doesn’t differ. There’s just a long history of the 2nd amendment given less regard as a right than other rights recognized by other amendments. The same people who think it’s a violation of voting rights to merely require voters to have an ID (I think that’s a fine restriction as long as states provide state ID’s for free), think it’s no problem to require a waiting period for a license, a required “safety class”, etc. It’s a double standard and imo an unconstitutional one. But it’s the state of the law as currently recognized.

      Iow, good point

    2. Move to Wyoming you poor bastard.

    3. Welcome home. Pro tip: don’t try and understand the logic of politicians abusing the constitution. There isn’t any logic, only an insatiable desire for control.

  16. “Maybe you can own a gun, maybe you can carry a gun, but if you use it they will charge you with murder.”

    I have no doubt that in Illinois, they will unjustly charge/try people acting in valid self-defense. They are being dragged screaming and kicking into recognizing the RKBA. That being said, case law shows that juries are pretty good at respecting the right to self defense. Whether it’s Bernie Goetz, or the Amadou Diallo shooting, juries routinely find not guilty in cases where shootings are unjustly charged (or overcharged) (Note: Diallo was not a self defense shooting, but it clearly was not MURDER, which was how it was charged. )

    Juries don’t always get it right, but they are “pretty good” at seeing through the bullshit and respecting self-defense. Many liberal New Yorkers were shocked at the Goetz decision, but it’s par for the course.

    1. Only the government is allowed to protect people. If you protect yourself, you’re stealing from the state. But it’s even worse in Europe. In the Netherlands, if you kill a violent home invader with a baseball bat, you’ll need to argue in court that you were playing baseball when he broke in and you accidentally defended yourself with it. Only then would it be justified self-defense.

      1. Learn martial arts. You’re never without a good reason to possess hands.

  17. Fuck Pat Quinn he’s a piece of shit bastard just like the rest of these bastards ruining the once great state of Illinois. Fuck the Cook County Democratic Party. Machine politics is alive and well in America.

  18. I live in New Jersey, so…

  19. You are some 30 times more likely to be killed with a car than with any gun — even in Chicago. Comparing cars to so-called assault weapons results in an absurd number, you are approximately 6,000 times more likely to be killed with a car than a dressed-up civilian hunting rifle.

    Private ownership of cars is not protected by the constitution and is many, many times more dangerous than private ownership of guns. But if you suggest cars should be banned, even the most rabid anti-gun nut-job looks at you like you’re crazy.

    1. I’m sorry but this whole “driving cars isn’t protected by the constitution” business drives me nuts. Embrace the tenth amendment my friend. The power mongers have turned the constitution on its head. The question to ask is, why should the government be able to tell you what kind of transport you can use?

      “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

  20. “For this group, the new law is irrelevant.”

    Not quite. They can no longer count on their victims being unarmed and helpless.

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  22. Let’s face it, concealed carry is only one of the great many things these people don’t understand. They also don’t understand stuff like basic economics or what the constitution is about.

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  24. And I wager of those 500 left after the 1/4 which were suicides. Half were self-defense, or questionably self-defense (ie: they used the gun to save their lives, but maybe wound up in jail for not retreating)

  25. Definite truth here – people with permits don’t gun other’s down. Criminals, who would get their guns illegally no matter what, do the killing.

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