Worried that the lame duck General Assembly will try to pass a pro-concealed carry bill before the year ends, several gun control advocates, lawmakers and church leaders have banded together to form the “Stop Concealed Carry Coalition” to ensure that Illinois remains the sole carry-free state in the country.
“While we don’t expect that the concealed carry bill will come up, it may because there will be a lot of horse trading going on in the final days of this old General Assembly,” Cook County Commissioner Larry Suffredin told the Chicago Tribune.
“We need to remind those who have stood with us that they need to stay fast with us and make sure that we oppose concealed carry,” Suffredin added.
On Monday, members of the coalition held a press conference at the Chicago Temple (see video of press conference here) and explained why the group ardently opposes allowing law-abiding citizens to exercise their Constitutional right to keep and bear arms.
“This coalition has looked at the experience of other states which do allow people to carry concealed, and based upon that experience we are convinced that the more guns there are in our churches, in our schools, in our play lots, on the streets, in movie theaters, and in shopping malls, the more guns there are in these and other public places the more shootings, injuries and deaths there will be and this is not what we want for Illinois,” said Organizer of the Stop Concealed Carry Coalition Lee Goodman.
“Illinois stands alone, is the only state that does not allow people to carry concealed weapons. We are proud to stand as an example for the rest of the nation,” said Goodman.
At this point, one should stop and ask what “experience” the coalition looked at to arrive at the conclusion that more guns creates more crime?
As Guns.com recently reported, a Virginia professor empirically proved, in a Richmond Times Dispatch article, that the notion of more guns creating more gun-related crime is a mathematical impossibility based on the state’s crime data:
Gun-related violent crime in Virginia has dropped steadily over the past six years as the sale of firearms has soared to a new record, according to an analysis of state crime data with state records of gun sales.
The total number of firearms purchased in Virginia increased 73 percent from 2006 to 2011. When state population increases are factored in, gun purchases per 100,000 Virginians rose 63 percent.
But the total number of gun-related violent crimes fell 24 percent over that period, and when adjusted for population, gun-related offenses dropped more than 27 percent, from 79 crimes per 100,000 in 2006 to 57 crimes in 2011.
As Guns.com has also pointed out in the past, this trend in Virginia mirrors a nationwide trend suggesting that more guns, more law-abiding citizens carrying concealed firearms, does not make society more violent, more dangerous, more crime-ridden.
Yet, despite this overwhelming, statistically sound evidence, the Stop Concealed Carry Coalition believes it is doing the right thing by fighting to make the Land of Lincoln the lone holdout.
“Thank God Illinois can be an example and not be pressured into following the rest of the country,” Father Michael Pflager said, according to the Tribune.
“Those who have tried to make guns part of America’s wardrobe and folks like the NRA and others, who work very hard to try to impose fear among so many people to think a gun is the only way to protect you,” Pfleger told CBS Chicago.
Thus far the coalition has collected upwards of 6,700 signatures in support of its stop concealed carry petition. Once the group reaches its target of 7,500 signatures, it will present them to state lawmakers and pro-gun control Gov. Pat Quinn (who will no doubt, gladly accept them).
Though, even if the coalition reaches its goal of 7,500 signatures, those will pale in comparison to the fact that 10 Illinois counties passed – by an overwhelming majority – a non-binding concealed carry referendum this November (for more on this click here). It’s evident that the majority of Illinoisans want concealed carry – and it’s just a matter of time before it happens (hopefully, fingers crossed).