Letter to the Editor at Chicago Tribune: Illinois Armed and Dangerous

Anyone who believes that the lack of gun control created “the Wild West” should be forced to watch Gangs of the New York. There’s your 19th century mega-violence. As unpopulartruth.com points out, “In the real Dodge City of history, there were five killings in 1878, the most homicidal year in the little town’s frontier history. In the most violent year in Deadwood, South Dakota, only four people were killed. In the worst year in Tombstone, home of the shoot-out at the OK Corral, only five people were killed. The only reason the OK Corral shoot-out even became famous was that town boosters deliberately overplayed the drama to attract new settlers. They cashed in on the tourist boom by inventing a myth.” A myth that gun grabbers use today to argue against armed self-defense. To wit this letter to the editor at chicagotribune.com . . .

Chicago and Illinois are making the mistake of a lifetime (or of many lives) in allowing ordinary citizens to carry concealed handguns. It is due to the total historical amnesia of our leaders that they are going backwards in trying to solve the city’s violence problem

The shoot-‘em-up towns of the Old West had that reputation because everyone carried a gun, there were no standards for how and when to use a gun, law enforcement was weak, and the jails were full — oddly similar to our situation.

Concealed carry will result in increased killings on the streets of Chicago. Will the concealed guns only be used in lawful situations? What exactly are those times? Will our road rages become more deadly? Does calling a man a liar or a snitch or a coward call for the name-caller’s killing? Will insults and disrespect give rise to gunfights? (Don’t say no. This is exactly what the gangs often kill for.)

The leaders in the Old West first barred guns from the saloons and then further barred guns from those entering the town for pick up on the way out. Law enforcement was strengthened and the laws regarding proper use of guns were clarified. The fewer guns, the better. Chicagoans do not need to carry guns. This will not end the shootings on our streets.

— Thomas H. Fegan, Chicago 

Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to distort it for their own ends and, thus, repeat it.

comments

  1. avatar lagbolt1138 says:

    “Don’t say no. This is exactly what the gangs often kill for.”

    Uhhh…I’m not a gang banger. Nor am I immature. Geez.

    1. avatar Ben in UT says:

      Exactly.

      I find it hilarious that this columnist presumes that gang members will simply waltz down to their local police building and wait in an orderly line for a concealed carry permit for which many of them – gang members often having extensive criminal histories – will be denied. It’s ridiculous.

      Not only that, the first paragraph illustrates the author’s utter ignorance of current events.

      “Chicago and Illinois are making the mistake of a lifetime (or of many lives) in allowing ordinary citizens to carry concealed handguns. It is due to the total historical amnesia of our leaders that they are going backwards in trying to solve the city’s violence problem.”

      Chicago and Illinois are not making a choice, and their respective leaders are hardly trying to solve the city’s violence problem. They are being forced by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. Bit different, no?

    2. Gotta love the “allowing ordinary citizens to carry concealed”. Bleep you thomas fegan, bleep you. Statist POS.

  2. avatar tdiinva says:

    I always thought big city people were sophisticated and cosmopolitan people. Now I know that it’s a myth. Mr. Fegen clearly doesn’t know what is going outside of the city limits of Chicago. I will be going back to Loveland Colorado tomorrow pistol in hand (actually in a aluminum case until I get to Larimer County anyway) and I will be walking around armed. In my many trips to the State I have yet to be in “Wild West” gunfight. I am so disappointed.

    1. avatar Eskimoe says:

      Your comment reminded me of some lines from Tombstone:

      “We are growing. Be as big as San Francisco in a few years and just as sophisticated” – Behan
      (conversation interrupted as man gets shot in the street)
      “Very Cosmopolitan!” – Doc Holliday

      Don’t know if you were trying for the parallel, but I found it funny.

      Tombstone is one of the best westerns ever.

  3. avatar Kelly in GA says:

    Don’t say no. This is exactly what the gangs often kill for.

    Yup, and they carry concealed regardless of the law. Any other shitty comparisons you care to make?

  4. avatar DaveL says:

    It’s almost as if this person didn’t know Illinois was the last holdout against concealed carry in the US. We already know what happens when you allow ordinary civilians to carry concealed, and it isn’t what he claims.

    1. avatar Sixpack70 says:

      Maybe he didn’t. Maybe he doesn’t understand that all of his fears did not happen in 49 other states because he is Chicago centric. He only knows what’s happening in Chicago and nowhere else. I’ve seen the same thing in Boston.

      1. avatar swampsniper says:

        Becoming “Chicago centric” must be something like getting used to living in a cesspool.

        1. avatar neiowa says:

          Or being trained as a Community Organizer.

    2. avatar Mark says:

      Everywhere but Illinois and the coasts we have to travel by small boat because the “rivers of blood” are too deep for cars and trucks.

  5. “Concealed carry will result in increased killings on the streets of Chicago.”

    I find that highly unlikely, sir. Please provide evidence that making law abiding people safer will somehow magically increase the homicide rate in the murder capital of the country.

  6. avatar Lupy123 says:

    He might be right about the increased killings. For awhile, if it happens, armed citizens will not be taking any crap from gangs who like to shoot things up. They will shoot back. Thus the chances are increased of someone getting killed. The moment the gangs realize this, they will back down and the killings will decrease.

  7. avatar pk in AZ says:

    What or who exactly is “an ORDINARY citizen”??

    1. avatar Tom says:

      Not a cop.

    2. avatar Mark says:

      Ordinary citizens are people like myself who were born and raised before every child became exceptional.

      1. avatar Denny says:

        +1 Like Pre 1970

        1. avatar joe says:

          pre-1990

    3. avatar Pantera Vazquez says:

      Ordinary Citizen=He/she for whom the Second and all other amendments were written, The beneficiaries of the Bill of Rights-everyday people.

  8. Some of the replies from pro-control antis are also total cliches.

    The argument that the failure of Chicago’s tough anti-gun laws is not the fact that they don’t work but that the “surrounding” counties and cities do not have equally stringent laws.

    By any stretch of logic, if this were true, Chicago would still be a relative gun-free paradise compared to these towns while these surrounding areas would have more crime than Chicago due to their obvious ease in procuring a firearm.

    Never let logic stand in the way…

  9. avatar KCK says:

    Chicagoans do not need to carry guns. This will not end the shootings on our streets.
    Why would law-abiding citizens legally carrying concealed weapons solve the problem of felons, gang members and drug dealers engaging it criminal behavior shooting EACH OTHER .
    Who suggested that it would?
    It will only give the innocent victims a chance and because of the new risk factor, criminals may incorporate it in their calculations and thereby reduce crime for that type of victim.
    CCW’ers will and should remain on the sidelines and only will engage when involuntarily pulled into an unfortunate circumstance. A statistical rarity.
    It still seems that the people that say these things, think that the current cadre of criminal concealed carry will be the same as the new legal ones. ie. Guns are all the same whether carried by criminals or law abiders
    Remember avoid StupidX3

    1. avatar KCK says:

      It must mean that we are currently all gangbangers but don’t yet have a gun.
      Why? Because it is against the law. Oh, I get it now, we are the law abiding rendered harmless gunless gangbangers.

  10. avatar B says:

    What the heck, gang bangers don’t get concealed carry licenses because they are criminals. They wouldn’t pass the background check, they wouldn’t go down to the sheriff’s office where there is likely a poster of them, and they certainly won’t pay a fee to carry a gun because they are criminals. Its like they don’t link cause and effect, there is just this giant gap where they somehow link their own irresponsibility and insecurity with the crap Hollywood puts out completely disregarding the wild west was the most peaceful period in American history. Violence started to go UP after easterners started bringing their ways out west and disarmed the citizens who got along perfectly fine before they came along.

  11. avatar Pete from Texas says:

    It will turn into the Wild West, the same bullshit argument they tried to use in Texas when concealed carry was first passed in the early 90’s. And as everyone that lives in Texas knows that never happened.

  12. avatar Rob says:

    “Concealed carry will result in increased killings on the streets of Chicago.”

    That hasn’t happened in Vermont, Missouri, Arizona, Wyoming, Arkansas, or Alaska which have Constitutional Carry.

    Nor has it happened in North or South Dakota, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, North or South Carolina, along with many other states that have “Shall Issue” concealed carry permit laws.

    Please point to one example, any one example, within the United States in the last 30 years, where Concealed Carry laws were enacted, and gun violence went UP.

    1. Missouri doesn’t have Constitutional Carry. I wish.

    2. avatar Denny says:

      Iowa is Shall Issue CCW too, for a two or three yrs. now.

      Permit is valid 5 years if memory serves.. Yeup permit says so 5 yrs.

    3. avatar Chip says:

      Florida has over a million permit holders and you simply can not get anywhere for all the dead bodies stacking up. They block traffic, they clog up the water ways….. No, wait a minute….. never mind.

      1. avatar TheDabbo says:

        Isn’t that what all the Everglades are for?

  13. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

    1) Thomas H. Fegan is really Thomas H. Fegan, Jr. , who is a retired lawyer. http://www.iardc.org/lawyersearch.asp (BTW – Sr. was a lawyer, but he is underground and unavailable).

    2) Junior was a trial lawyer, formerly with Johnson & Bell, a plethora of trial whores, I mean lawyers: http://johnsonandbell.com/, but now he has his own shop whoring, I mean representing, himself for asbestos claims: http://www.yellowpagesgoesgreen.org/Chicago-IL/Law+Offices+Of+Thomas+H+Fegan/1398648 (which is odd given he is not eligible to practice??)

    and for the Money Shot, Jr. was involved in suing the gun industry 3) http://caselaw.findlaw.com/il-supreme-court/1361559.html

    BOOYA!!!!

    3)

  14. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

    Thomas Fegan is a retired trial attorney who sued Beretta and lost.

    http://caselaw.findlaw.com/il-supreme-court/1361559.html

    ’nuff said

    1. avatar JeffR says:

      Nice find.

    2. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

      my bad – he sued a number of manufacturers . . . under a nuisance theory. and he lost. . . . . sour grapes, indeed.

    3. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

      weird – as I read the case, it appears Fegan represented Beretta. WTF?? Did they stiff him on the bill?

      1. avatar JeffR says:

        Looks like he was just local counsel for Beretta. Probably doesn’t have any real relationships with anyone at Beretta and was just serving as a drop-box.

        1. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

          still . . . . WTF? You don’t bite the hand that feeds you, even if it was only table scraps.

    4. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      You’re my hero tonight. I thought I remembered this miscreant’s name, but couldn’t place it.

      Yes, I remember that ruling. A whole lot of butt-hurt was had by the anti’s on that ruling.

  15. avatar JeffR says:

    I work in an office full of otherwise very smart attorneys in downtown Chicago. Save for me and one other, they all think exactly like this writer. On occasion, I will try to dissuade them of their concerns with logic. It does not do any good. They just “know” that Chicago will become more dangerous with concealed carry because it is “common sense” allowing more guns on the street will not solve anything. They’re already putting up the no firearms allowed signs in our office even though actual concealed carry is months away. It was not even seriously debated as to whether to do this.

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      I don’t know how many times I’ve heard the argument that more guns will mean more crime, where the only evidence to support the argument is “it’s jut common sense.” This theory is why it is impossible to get a CCWin San Francisco, LA or San Diego–both the LAPD and the LASD have specifically so testified under oath. I watched a Piers Morgan interview with Professor Lott that also featured Alan Dershowitz, who was making (repeatedly and rudely) the same argument. But challenge these folks to cite a single study that supports this common sense proposition and you strike a dry hole. Dershowitz was reduced to ad hominem attacks on Lott that bordered on slander. So I’m not surprised. You know, though, I was taught in law school that “common sense is nonsense.” (In other words the reason for a rule of law may diverge from “common sense” and even from logic based on policy and history.)

    2. avatar Avid Reader says:

      So sad. The blindness and closed mindedness is simply amazing. Glad I don’t live there anymore.

  16. avatar BDub says:

    Large Metros are their own kind of ignorant backwater.

    1. avatar neiowa says:

      The HIVE, where all the drones mindless “think” alike.

    2. avatar KAT says:

      so true!

  17. avatar Chuck Pelto says:

    TO: All
    RE: Fegan

    He’s no ‘fool’. He’s ‘evil’.

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)
    [Liberals aren’t. Progressives won’t.]

  18. avatar akira says:

    @ bdub: true. Its funny because affluent metro dwellers love to stereotype rural whites as being ignorant and xenophobic, but they themselves are the most stuck up people on earth, who don’t know or care about anything outside their metro area (unless its a nice destination for their next vacation)

    1. avatar Denny says:

      agreed

  19. avatar darkstar says:

    He says more guns won’t stop shootings. I would ask him, what will? See if he has any answers to that. Instead of getting to the root causes of Chicago violence this guy and his ilk want to blame the easy target. Guns. I wonder why they won’t take on the many true causes. Too tough I guess and it doesn’t mesh with the social engineering groupthink.

  20. avatar Mediocrates says:

    I think the people of Chicago should forever be at the mercy of the lawless. Time to put up a new border fence.

  21. avatar CarlosT says:

    Washington state has had shall-issue CCW since the ’60s, and I guess we just keep forgetting to slaughter one another. If I remember correctly, the state’s homicide rate is about 2.1 per 100,000 and Seattle’s is 2.3 per 100,000.

    1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      Wyoming is “Constitutional Carry” now, we’re armed to the teeth (with 60% of households owning at least one gun), and lots of people carry.

      You can buy a gun, buy the ammo, load it, strap it on and walk down the street in about 10 minutes. Most of that time will be spent filling out the 4473.

      And yet, there’s no shootouts. No slaughters. No drive-by shootings. No kids getting gunned down, at schools or anywhere else.

      1. avatar Andy says:

        I dunno…. Longmire implies that Absaroka, at least, is pretty violent… what with the murder of the week on that show… Isn’t that how it REALLY is out West (as I sit in Alexandria, VA, happy I’m not on the other side of the Potomac)? 😉

        Katee Sackhoff sure is nice, tho…

  22. avatar Nigil says:

    Sigh.
    Please don’t lump myself and the other intelligent humans in Chicago in with this dirtbag. I promise that not all of us are ignorant, statist, elistist, uncompromising, self-righteous asshats with nothing better to do.

    1. avatar Scott says:

      If you say so, Nigel. I live downstate(no, I’m not a farmer!), just about everyone I’ve met from the People’s Republic of Chicago have been like this ass clown. I am happy to hear that there are normal, intelligent folk such as yourself. It’s a pleasure to converse with you. Just, please don’t expect me to visit!

    2. avatar Chuck in IL says:

      Hey, I’m a downstate farmer! Should I be offended? Just kidding. Nigel, you are definitely in the minority. The people of Chicago are smug, elitist and generally ignorant of the ways of the real world.

  23. avatar Russ Bixby says:

    “Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to distort it for their own ends and, thus, repeat it.”

    Au contraire, mon ami. Those who study history might successfully repeat it — armed citizens keeping homicides per year down in Chicagoland, as in the good ol’ days.

    Then again, Deadwood vacillated from 2500-5000 persons during its Wild West days, making 5 in the worst year between 0.001-0.002 per capita.

    Since Chicago has a population of about 2.7 million, the same ratio would yield 2700-5400 murders per year before we might start to get nervous.

    Even were one to count only the population in the “bad” parts, they’re doin’ alright.

    That said, they can do better – and will with lots of guns in the hands of the Good Guys. However, maybe being like Deadwood’s not such great goal.

  24. avatar XDGC says:

    Oh, Fegan… Just another clown with out a clue! Apparently people in Killcago REALLY DO need to carry guns! They’ve outlawed the possession of guns so much to the point that ONLY outlaws have them. I wonder if Fegan thinks you win a boxing match by letting your opponent punch you in the face…? Do these people realize that conceal carry permit holders are like 5X less likely to commit crimes than the average person?? Wouldn’t that correlate to thinking “hey that’s a good trend” no.. that would take thinking. OK.. so we have 300 million guns in America, about 30k people died as a result of guns which is 0.0001% ratio (if you calculated one gun was used per death, which isn’t the case but for simplicity sake then it would actually be a smaller percentage)- -that’s a pretty ridiculously low percentage! Then also consider that 2/3 of these deaths are suicides and as this very site has shown availability of guns don’t increase suicide rates, then consider again that nearly 1,000 of these deaths are justifiable homicides which leaves us with around 10,000.. of which 75% are criminals killing criminals, we are left with around 2,500 or so deaths that we may have a chance to do something about. Of course these are approximations but I guarantee that final number isn’t far off and until some people out there can stop pissing into the wind on this and accept the truths that guns are good we can make a real difference. We live in an ocean of guns these days so I suggest everyone learn to swim… Plus, if they dive in they can wash all the pee off their faces.

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