Chicago representative La Shawn Ford, whose name is followed with the letter D in parentheses, made a statement to Chicago Sun-Times reporter Mark Brown that he would vote in favor of concealed-carry laws if the issue came to the table. (The remark was not well-received—by the journalist; clearly there are others who would like very much to be able to legally carry firearms in that city.) He did have a single caveat.
To be clear, Representative Ford’s a black guy and he represents a largely-black community. His one request was that “Sponsors of the bill [should] add a provision requiring the National Rifle Association to pay for sensitivity training for police officers.” We’re pretty sure we can understand that. Not all cops can handle concealed-carry permits. The NRA’s game.
“[NRA lobbyist Todd] Vandermyde said he understands the concerns of some African Americans ‘about what happens when you have a black man with a gun’ stopped by police, assuming that individual was legally permitted to carry a gun under the proposed law,” and “expressed interest in ‘reaching an accommodation’ with Ford about his ideas.”
“Black people want guns, and I know that sounds bad,” said Ford. “They’re saying we’re making criminals out of law-abiding citizens. They’re saying you’re only siding with the criminals because the criminals could care less about the law. The city of Chicago is standing in the way of concealed carry.”
That doesn’t sound bad to us; we’re quite aware of the history of gun control laws. Fortunately, Ford’s not alone in Chicago. Besides the overturning of handgun ban by McDonald v. Chicago, “There are rumors Sen. Annazette Collins, another West Side Chicago Democrat and black caucus member, would support a concealed carry law.”
Which clearly scares the likes of Mark Brown. “I don’t know if it’s such a big deal. Ford just has one vote, after all. But it could become a big deal if he gave cover to other African-American lawmakers inclined to follow suit.” Please say you didn’t just say “One black dude with a gun’s not a problem. A lotta black people with guns is a problem.” Because it kinda comes off that way…
And while a concealed-carry permit system would be a welcome change for many, Chicago still has a few other hurdles before its people can even use handguns. “[In order] to train at the (theoretical) Chicago gun range, you need an FOID card AND a Chicago Firearms Permit (CFP). [But] you can’t get a Chicago firearms permit without training and you can’t train at a (theoretical) Chicago gun range without a permit.”