By TTAG reader ST
I grew up in the northeastern corner of Illinois, a place generally known as Chicagoland. In Chicagoland, home invasions and violent crime are a common staple of the evening news and guns are responsibly “regulated and controlled.” I left for the military, and after being posted in South Dakota for years, I came to wonder just how the heck I had dealt with living in a crime ridden, unarmed, overtaxed state like Illinois for all those years. I discovered the answer during Christmas leave two years back . . .
Bags packed and guns responsibly unloaded and locked in their case, I hit the highway for home with a fresh perspective on the Constitution and civil rights. Twelve hours later I made it to the old family home, safe and sound. The next morning I fired up the TV, only to be greeted with this: “We have a harrowing tape of a 13 year old on the phone to 911 during a home invasion.”
Disturbed by this, I asked my mother just what the heck had been going on since I left? Her response: “Welcome home. Its always been that way around here, its a big city.”
Its always been that way.
That’s when the light bulb went off. Gun laws are a reflection of a population’s desires; if a the citizens in a city or state have grown up around crime, home invasions and anti-gun dogma for most of their lives then they’ll believe that’s just the way things are, and the way things must be.
The idea of civil rights and taking responsibility for your own defense is as foreign a concept to a Chicagoland resident as it is to a British subject. Even my Illinois friends who own guns are examples of this effect: they own pistols and have jumped through the necessary FOID card hoops to buy them, but concealed carry and the RKBA are unknown quantities to them.
How can they appreciate their rights if they’ve lived their whole lives never having experienced them? During my week long leave in Illinois, my hypothesis was reinforced everywhere I looked — people cannot fight for rights they don’t know they have.
Thus, the same anti-gun politicians keep getting re-elected, more bad gun laws are enacted and the cycle of crime and violence escalates because the voting citizenry can’t conceive of anything other than what they know. And what they know are FOID cards, no CCW option and continual attempts to pass more rights-infringing legislation.
I offer this letter to TTAG because I don’t have the resources or time to research this hypothesis to its logical conclusion. I hope the Armed Intelligentsia can find time and the research space to run this idea to ground. This way, people who’ve grown up with their dad’s 1911 on the wall can gain an understanding of why places like Illinois and New Jersey keep sinking further down the slippery slope.