Don Harmon is the President Pro Tempore of the Senate in Illinois, and boy does he hate the idea of citizens carrying guns. Even with the entire judicial system informing him that yes he really does need to respect all of the amendments to the Constitution and not just the fashionable ones, Don believes that it is his job to make it as hard and as tedious as possible for any one of his constituents to carry a gun. It’s an opinion that he made clear in a recent article, and which I will enjoy ripping apart for the next few minutes. Join me, won’t you? . . .
Don starts off spouting the party line that Illinois is being forced – forced! – to adopt a law that will turn their state into the wild west, complete with blood flowing in the streets.
With a judicial gun to our heads, the Illinois General Assembly last year enacted a deeply flawed law allowing Illinois residents to carry concealed weapons in public. Mislabeled as a “compromise,” the law is dangerously lenient. It also takes authority away from local governments and police chiefs to take actions they believe are necessary to protect their communities.
Less than a paragraph into the article and Don’s already in trouble.
The belief among gun control advocates is that anything less than complete prohibition of guns is “dangerously lenient,” despite all evidence to the contrary. They honestly believe that allowing law abiding citizens to carry concealed weapons will cause an immediate spike in the murder rate. Never mind the fact that all of the other states that made the same change have somehow avoided that fate. Those same alarmist predictions of blood in the streets never came true, no matter how loudly the local mainstream media screamed.
In reality, people with a concealed carry license are less likely to commit a murder than are members of the police. But because Don doesn’t like guns. He chooses to ignore that fun fact and work off his own twisted imagination instead.
While Illinois is the latest (and last) state to offer concealed carry licenses, it’s in no way the most lenient. In fact, I’m probably more likely to get a concealed carry license in New York before I get one in Illinois. Nevertheless, Don laments that the law is “dangerously lenient” and uses some stats to back that claim up.
Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart has reported that of nearly 9,500 county residents who applied for five-year concealed carry permits since early January, 300 had records for domestic violence, gang activity, gun crimes, sex crimes, burglary and other criminal activity.Yet, the Illinois State Police had given initial approval to all but five of those applicants for concealed carry (Chicago Sun-Times, Feb. 12, 2014).
You might think that shows the new law is giving concealed carry permits to criminals. But in reality, it’s more sensationalism and fear mongering from sources that are trying to push an anti-RKBA agenda. The article Don cites (this one) is similarly vague about the “records,” and with good reason — they’re using the word “record” to mean “arrest” – not “conviction.” Harmon apparently believes that merely being arrested for a crime makes you automatically guilty, and therefore should disqualify you from exercising your constitutionally protected rights. Because obviously the police never arrest any innocent people.
Don apparently dislikes the Fifth amendment almost as much as he does the Second, and is choosing to ignore that one as well.
But he’s in a tough spot. He hates guns, and on the eve of concealed carry becoming a reality, he needs to “do something” before these crazy gun nuts are allowed to go wherever they want carrying death and destruction along with them. So in a moment of genius he decided to resort to that age old, last ditch excuse for restricting just about any right or personal freedoms: we must do it for the children.
I received a call this week from an Oak Park mom troubled by having to explain to her six-year-old why there were suddenly pictures of guns everywhere. I’m told psychiatrists and psychologists are investigating the effects of the visual bombardment we will endure, particularly on our children. Senate Bill 2669 might address that risk.
The Oak Park/River Forest Chamber of Commerce is hearing from some businesses that don’t want individuals to carry weapons in their stores and restaurants, but are hesitant to put up a sign that might offend some customers.
I’ve introduced legislation – Senate Bill 2669 — that essentially says to churches, restaurants, and business owners: “Post a sign if guns are welcome. No sign? No guns.”
Harmon’s position is that pictures of guns are harming the mental well being of children, and therefore the law needs to be turned on its head. Don wants the concealed carry in the Land of Lincoln only permitted where the store owners specifically go out of their way to give it a green light. Because those images of guns are harming the mental health of children.
I’d just like to point out that images of guns have been a staple of American life for, well, centuries. From the western TV shows of the 1950s and 60s to modern Call of Duty games, images of guns are everywhere. And yet, the crime rate continues to drop and “gun violence” is at an all time low. Again, Don is projecting his own mental anguish at seeing pictures of guns on the children and using that as an excuse to ignore facts and logic and all those other inconvenient annoyances of lawmaking.
The reality is that Don Harmon hates the idea of legal concealed carry, and he’s flailing about, grasping for any pretense to allow him to gut the laws now on the Illinois books. Never mind that in the dozens of states that have implemented legal concealed carry there’s been nothing nothing approaching the blood-in-the-streets doomsday scenarios perpetually predicted by the Civilian Disarmament Industrial Complex.
Again, never mind that concealed carry holders are statistically more law abiding than police officers. Never mind that it’s a fundamental individual enumerated civil right protected by the Constitution and affirmed by the supreme court.
Don doesn’t care. The best he can come up with for his discrimination against gun owners and their Constitutional rights is a vague “do it for the children” plea. And based on that flimsy rationale, he wants a system in which concealed carry is only allowed in places witt great big signs saying that it’s OK. No thanks.