Recently, Guns.com reported that Illinois is poised to approve concealed carry.
News of this came by way of NRA chief lobbyist Todd Vandermyde, who said at a recent public gathering in Marion that the vote count in the state Senate is at “the tipping point of having a super majority of 36 senators to vote for a carry bill, which would be enough votes to override a gubernatorial veto” from pro-gun control Governor Pat Quinn.
Inspired by this latest update, I thought I’d help gun-rights advocates in Illinois close the gap by listing 10 reasons why state lawmakers should get off the fence and jump on the concealed carry bandwagon.
I’m sure there are more reasons than what I am about to list, so please feel free to add your own thoughts in the comments section.
1. 2nd Amendment
The 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution says, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
2. Supreme Court Decisions
If the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution isn’t clear enough, the Supreme Court has ruled in subsequent cases (Heller and Chicago) that the 2nd Amendment “protects an individual’s right to possess a firearm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.”
Although the high court has not explicitly stated the 2nd Amendment applies to self-defense outside the home, it’s been widely interpreted to mean as much as law professor and Research Director of the Independence Institute told Guns.com in an interview.
“The right to self-defense outside the home was uncontroversial and widely accepted. Much of the Bill of Rights, including the Second Amendment, affirmed principles that everyone already agreed with.”
3. Self-Defense is a Natural Right
Speaking of self-defense, it’s clear to almost every lucid individual that self-defense is a natural right. If someone is trying to kill you or your family, you have an inalienable right to fight back. Concealed carry is just an extension of this right, a way to give law-abiding citizens a means to protect themselves against individuals who wish to do them harm in any place they have a lawful right to be.
4. All Alone
As so many pro-gun advocates point out, Illinois is the only state in the nation without a concealed carry provision. For Illinois this is not a case of holding out against an immoral practice or an unjust law vis-à-vis Thoreau’s wise minority, but a case of political nearsightedness and an inexplicable attachment to a failed policy.
In other words, every state in the union has agreed that there’s no principled reason to restrict the rights of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms for self-defense outside the home, so why does Illinois persist?
If reason four doesn’t make sense or sounds too abstract, consider these two facts: (1) In 2011, Wisconsin became he 49th State to legalize concealed carry. (2) Wisconsin hasn’t melted or imploded. All hell has NOT broken loose.
6. National Reciprocity
The House of Representatives recently passed a National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act, a bill that would allow individuals with valid state-issued concealed firearm permits to carry a concealed firearm in any other state that also issues concealed firearm permits or licenses.
Again, further proof that the vast majority of states and their federal representatives in the House are on the same page with concealed carry.
7. Crime Rates
There’s no empirical evidence to suggest that allowing gun owners to carry concealed has any measurable effect on crime rates. In fact, over the years, as more and more states have expanded gun rights violent crime has actually declined, leading one to suspect that more guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens actually has the potential to reduce crime.
By all accounts, the majority of Illinois citizens want to fully exercise their 2nd Amendment rights. This fact has been made apparent in numerous public polls and was underscored by Democratic State Sen. Gary Forby who gave relatively precise metrics about the divide on his website.
“The governor is completely out of touch with what the people outside of Chicago want on this issue,” Senator Forby argued. “Over 290 million people in 48 [sic] other states can responsibly exercise their right to carry concealed weapons. It’s ridiculous that 5 million people who don’t trust their law-abiding neighbors enough are the ones blocking this right from 7.5 million other citizens.”
9. Decriminalization of Concealed Carry
Another argument to be made is that at least one state prosecutor has decided to decriminalize concealed carry in Illinois.
McLean County State’s Attorney Ronald C. Dozier has said publicly that he will “no longer use the power and authority of our office to criminalize and punish decent, otherwise law-abiding citizens who choose to exercise the rights granted to them by the Second Amendment of the United States’ Constitution to keep and bear arms in defense of themselves and their families.”
What does it say when the main legal advisor to a county government says he’s no longer going to enforce the ban on concealed carry?
I think it says, “it’s time for a change.”
10. Living up to the Slogan, “Land of Lincoln”
The Illinois state slogan is the “Land of Lincoln.” As such, perhaps lawmakers should consider the following quote:
“This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing Government, they can exercise their ‘constitutional’ right of amending it or their ‘revolutionary’ right to dismember or overthrow it.”
– Abraham Lincoln, First inaugural address, March 4, 1861.
It should be noted that this quote also applies to state governments. And I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that Illinois gun owners are more than a little “weary” with the status quo.