The Vote on Personal Protection in Springfield

Chicago Tribune editorial against allowing people to protect themselves with guns.

Some have said that the vote on whether Illinois residents will cease to be the only people in the country who are not allowed to protect themselves with handguns may be voted upon today.

When I was thinking about running for Governor on the Libertarian Party ticket in 2002, I read the second edition of John Lott’s “More Guns, Less Crime.”

It was chock full of data, plus rebuttals to those who had tried to tear his arguments apart.

I became a believer that people ought to be able to carry handguns, that doing so would lead to a safer society.

Let me give you some common sense reasons why that is true.

Think of serial rapists in Chicago.

When one is on the loose, there is a TV story every night such a guy strikes.

I figure that rapists are basically chickens. They too afraid to ask a woman out on a date, so they take what they want.

But, what if some (even small percentage of) women were armed.

Might such a man fear that he might just pick on the wrong woman?

I think so.

As I have suggested before, if gun control folks really think guns provide no protection, please put a sign outside of your home saying, “No Guns Within.”

Practice what you preach.

Locally, the Democratic Party’s State Representative Jack Franks hasn’t confirmed he will vote for this personal protection bill, horribly misnamed “Concealed Carry” in the beginning by its proponents.  (One of the biggest public relations mistakes I can remember.)

Franks will pander to the same ill-informed public opinion that one of my primary opponents did in the late 1990’s.

The last weekend of the campaign a telephone message like this went out:

“Did you know that Rep. Skinner favors allowing men to carry handguns in the supermarket checkout line?”

Anyone can frame any issue in the negative.  Undoubtedly, the call cost me votes.

But the people in that supermarket checkout line would be not be safer if no one were there to protect them should some nut job decide to try to rob the place, get even with his ex-girlfriend at the register or rob the place.

I think it was 2001 that the State of Michigan passed similar legislation.  That’s where Detroit is.  Used to be a big dangerous city.  I spent the better part of a week there in 1964 and was warned to stay out of certain neighborhoods.

Detroit is in Wayne County.   The Wayne County Sheriff, a Democrat, of course, warned of the horrible things that would happen if the bill were passed.  Shootouts in the streets, etc.

After the bill had been in effect a year, he recanted.

What he had predicted had not occurred.

It hasn’t happened in any of the other 48 states where people are allowed to protect themselves with handguns.  (Wisconsin and Illinois are the two “outliers,” as the Tribune describes them.)

It won’t in Illinois either.

The bill has been limited in order to gain votes.

No guns in schools, universities, churches, casino, racetracks, stadiums, gated amusement parks or the General Assembly.

I guess the just retired state senator who said he was going to carry the gun he started having strapped to his body as an alderman (who can legally carry guns) would have been in violation of the proposal.  And I still remember the Chicago Democrat who, while reaching for his wallet to pay me from Christmas cards he had bought from my then-wife Robin, displayed the handgun under his shoulder.

I guess the massacre at Northern Illinois University, where a retired member of the Armed Services was killed in the front row could not have been prevented had this bill been in effect.  Had the woman been allowed to have a gun there, she probably could have taken the little squirrel out.

Similarly, at Columbine High School the only thing the brave male teacher could do was to throw himself between students and the wannabe OK Corral gunboys.  No change in this law would deter that from happening under this Illinois proposal.

What the Tribune and other proponents just came seem to fathom is that the police cannot always be where we need them when we need them.

What I do know is that the carjackings in Florida stopped after “concealed carry” was enacted.

And, I feel really safe in every Disney World parking lot.

They all have lots of cars with Florida license plates with, I suspect, guns inside.


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