So, Illinois is finally going to pass a concealed carry bill, according to the Chicago Sun Times editorial, which goes without a by line. A tip of the hat to David Codrea and the War on Guns website for pointing me to this piece.
The editors seem to believe in the magical thinking I was speaking about, that although they have been putting ever more draconian laws on the books for 40 years, with the result that crime has increased, the solution is to continue with even more draconian laws. Let me disabuse them of the notion. Most violent crime committed in the city is committed by drug gangs and others who have determined that they will take their chances without the protection the law provides. In other word, they are what we call "outlaws." Nothing you write on pieces of paper, no magical incantations, affect these sorts of people. Now drugs are illegal in this country. So what happens when a rival gang tries to take over another gang's territory, or steals its product and sells it at cut rate prices? Gang members can hardly appeal to the police to rectify the situation. Having turned their backs on the law, they are left to defend themselves as best they can, and being outlaws and thugs, they are insensitive to the need to avoid collateral damage in their attacks on rival gangs.
One solution to this situation is to allow private peaceably armed citizens to carry concealed handguns. It has been shown that as these shall issue laws are enacted, in State after State, the violent crime begins to wane, and this effect apparently has staying power. The effect continues to work even twenty years after such laws are enacted. Now to magical thinkers, tinkering with their magical incantations to find just the right words, this may seem counter intuitive, but for those of us in the real world, we perfectly well understand. The thugs only had to contend with other thugs before. Now they have to figure that someone in the near vicinity may also be carrying, may not like being collateral damage, and might shoot back. Outside of gang activity, home invasions, rape, robbery all are reduced because now criminals have to think about their natural prey being armed and ready to shoot them. They may be amoral thugs, but they did not sign up for being killed by their victims.
But perhaps you wish to claim that people in the Chicago area so backwards that they will respond differently, and that you will have blood soaked streets as the citizens take the law into their own hands and mete out vigilante justice to the hapless drug lords who are just trying to make a living. But you will find that a hard sell. People living in Chicago today came originally from elsewhere, even if it was several generations ago. If their relatives elsewhere did not react like so many barbarians to having a gun, why should Chicagoans? The same arguments have been used in every State that has enacted shall issue laws, and in every State the results have been the same: none of it came true. And then there's the message you send if you appear to side with the outlaws and thugs. But what else is one to conclude when governments and the newspapers oppose something that gives the victim, the true first responder, the tools they need to fight back at the moment an attack takes place? Of course governments want to maintain the facade that they are all powerful against crime and that the citizen should depend upon these experts to "do something" about it. But when Chicago becomes a contender for murder capitol, with higher rates of death than suffered by soldiers serving in the Iraq war, it has become pretty obvious that Rahm Emanuel is not controlling anything. As the liberals like to say, time to try something new.
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