That was the takeaway message for me from the Huntley Tea Party’s forum on gun control.
Bill Jenkins, whose 16-year old son was killed in Richmond, Virginia, put declining gun ownership statistics on the screen arguing that John Lott’s “More Guns, Less Crime” analysis was false, that Concealed Carry legislation was not the cause of less crime, rather the end of a 1990′s crime spree was. I’ll tell you. I’d drive to Chicago to hear them debate.
Jenkins also showed a slide showing crime increasing in Concealed Carry states at the same time it was increasing in states without that privilege.
“You cannot use the ‘decreases crime’ argument to support Concealed Carry legislation,” he said.
Illinois State Rifle Association President Richard Pearson took on another of Jenkins’ statistics, that of the small percentage of gun owners who use their guys to deter crime.
He offered two examples from his own life.
He told of a guy walking into his jewelry store, locking the door behind him and asking, “What would you do if I tried to rob your store?”
“I’d shoot you with my 45,” Pearson replied as he pulled his gun from the holster behind his back. The man immediately unlocked the door and left.
He told the audience at the Huntley Park District Building Auditorium that he did not report the incident, that the Police Department was across the street and couldn’t have done anything to help him.
A second incident occurred when a car with men pulled next to them in a threatening way. The drive of the pickup in which Pearson was a passenger pulled onto a dirt road, made some dust fly, stopped the pickup and when the car following the two came into view its occupants faced a shotgun.
Needless to say, they drove away.
Pearson didn’t report that to the police either.
The point he was trying to make was that one statistic upon which Jenkins was relying might not be as important as Jenkins thought.
There were fascinating comments by Todd Vandermyde about how the military had found a 50-caliber rifle developed for hunting and turned it into a sniper’s rifle used by the military after Jenkins said he favored restricting the ownership of military grade guns.Clearly, Vandermyde knew that part of the issue better than Jenkins.
That was the issue part of the evening.
Tomorrow, McHenry County Blog will report on the electoral side.
The event was chaired by former Huntley School Board member Jim Carlin.
Coordinator of the Huntley Tea Party is Linda Bakwell.