Illinois is one of the last states to refuse the right of self-defense to its residents by granting law-abiding citizens the right to carry a concealed weapon. What if – just what if – Illinois legislators didn’t have their heads stuck so far in the sand that they cannot see what legislators in almost every other state have recognized – that a citizenry with the right to carry arms is a citizenry that can defend and protect itself.
What if Illinois law allowed carrying of concealed weapons, including in public places – government offices, parks, schools, stores, buildings? What if 10-15-20 students in that hall on the campus of NIU had been armed last Thursday? When the shooter stepped out on the stage with his shotgun and pumped it, how many armed students would have readied themselves to defend the safety and peace of all in the hall?
Yes, the shooter might have gotten off a few rounds, but by then he would have been cut down by a fusillade of bullets. Trained, qualified, skilled, law-abiding, permit-holding citizens know when to shoot and when not to. They know if they can hit the target. They know when not to shoot. They understand their personal liability if they do shoot.
Law-abiding, armed citizens are going to be very careful when they do shoot, because their entire financial well-being is at risk. And they’d better be right to shoot. Just defending themselves or others could bankrupt them.
What’s holding Illinois back? Several years ago this State was only a few votes away from enacting a concealed-carry law. And now? Far, far away. State lawmakers from Chicago have a huge impact in Springfield. You’d think they would WANT concealed carry laws. Why not give their own residents a fighting chance against the gangbangers and other criminals? But no… they want the police to handle it. I guess that’s why we read of killings in Chicago almost every day.
And some of the close-in northern ‘burbs? Skokie? Wilmette? What’s wrong with those folks?
I feel pretty safe out here in Woodstock. I’ve only lived in one city – Richmond, Virginia – where I felt so unsafe that I carried a gun in the car where I could reach it. Richmond was the murder capital of the U.S. at the time, with many carjackings and ATM robberies. My mind was made-up in advance that I was not going to get murdered by a robber or a carjacker.
I’ve been robbed at gunpoint once in my life; I was lucky – all they took was my money and my watch. I had just left a restaurant and got hit in the parking lot. When they only got $6.00, they were not very happy. When I made the report to the cops, I told them I had almost said to the robbers, “Look, I’ve already been robbed once tonight. You’ve got to rob people before they go in restaurants!” The cops said it was good I didn’t say that, because the same two robbers had just robbed a woman a block away, and they only got $5 from her. Two robberies - $11.00 net. They weren’t having a good night. The cops grabbed them 20 minutes later, when they made a U-turn in front of a police car.
When people learn that they do not have to feel unsafe when law-abiding, armed citizens are walking the streets or driving their cars, they will realize that they are better protected as well. When the criminals don’t know who is armed and who isn’t, the criminals are less likely to take the risk that the next victim might be armed and ready to defend himself or herself.
Many police officers and many police chiefs throughout the country support concealed carry laws. They know that law-abiding citizens are not the problem. It's the criminals with guns who are the problem!
Contact your state legislators now. Demand the right to defend yourself. Take a firearms training class. Buy a gun. Buy a good gun; it won’t be cheap. Only buy a cheap gun if your life isn’t worth much. Learn how to use it. And practice often! Know at what distance you can hit the target (and beyond what distance you can’t). Practice in low-light conditions. Find a range where you can practice with lights out. Fire a few rounds without ear protection, so the sound of gunshots won’t panic you.
McHenry County State Rep. Jack Franks said on Monday, “I’m certainly willing to listen to all the potential solutions to avoid any tragedy like this occurring again in the future. I wish I had the solution, but I don’t.” (Northwest Herald, 2/19/08, Page 1)
Yes, Jack, you do have the solution. Concealed-carry in Illinois. Now, will you finally support it?