By Johannes P.
Chicago Sun-Times columnist Neil Steinberg isn’t a fan of the fact that citizens in the Land of Lincoln will be able to legally carry a concealed firearm. Of course, that’s after jumping through numerous hoops such as undergoing a background check, paying a rather significant chunk of change, obtaining a Firearm Owner’s ID and enduring two days of training. And as long as they don’t try to do it in an area that’s on the long list of places that the Illinois legislature has banned concealed carry for ordinary proles. “Guns are about perception, fear, fantasy,” he says in a recent Sun-Times column . . .
As Steinberg sees it,
Anything that encourages someone to take that gun and stick it in his pocket by definition increases the danger of guns.
The question is: Do people need those guns? If you ask any police officer, unless he or she is in the most crime-ridden district, they can count on one hand the times they’ve had to draw their weapon. It doesn’t happen that much, even to most cops.
For civilians, it happens far less. That’s why we keep hearing these stories about fearful mopes blowing away minority teenagers and hardly ever about grandmas getting the drop on bad guys stealing their purses, then marching them to the police station. And you know if it ever happened, the NRA would engrave the story on a coin and badger Congress into issuing it. [Emphases added.]
First, that’s probably the most heart-wrenching use of the word “unless” since the conclusion of Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax.
Second, Mr. Steinberg misses the mark by apparently discounting any sort of tally of defensive gun uses in which a firearm was displayed or drawn, but not fired.
Third, it’s a good bet that Steinberg isn’t a regular reader of American Rifleman, so it’s quite possible that he isn’t aware that the NRA actually does trumpet defensive gun use stories (though, to be fair to him, I haven’t seen them actually engrave them anywhere). Still, even though times are tough for print media, I expect that they have access to the internet at the Sun-Times, and I was able to find a map that the Cato Institute maintains showing defensive gun use in the United States. And look what I found!
Name: 87-Year-Old Woman Fatally Shoots Man in Her Home
Description: East St. Louis, Illinois: On February 7, 2006, Jacksie Mae King used a revolver to kill Larry Tillman after Tillman cut her phone lines and pried the iron bars off her windows to gain entry. The 87-year-old woman was given a .32 Colt revolver for self-defense by her daughter, a police officer, after she became the victim of a home invasion beating and robbery. Even though the woman didn’t have proper Illinois credentials to own a gun, police declined to charge her with any crime.
- Incident Categories:
- Home Invasion
Date: February 7, 2006
That’s a fascinating case on many levels, no?
Now, I don’t want to be too hard on Mr. Steinberg – we all have our own particular ideological blinders, and it’s pretty clear from the language he uses that the column is an emotional reaction to his side’s political defeat more than a well-reasoned argument:
We don’t need to argue — not that anybody for sane gun control has the heart or the guts to pipe up anymore. All we have to do is sit back and watch the future unfold, which is all we’re going to do. It would be funny if it weren’t so tragic.
Still, I can’t help but wonder…what is it that Mr. Steinberg is really worried about? If constitutional carry has somehow not resulted in rivers of blood flowing in Vermont (home to Bennington, Woodstock, and the Hon. Bernie Sanders, no less,) and licensed carry is available in urban areas as diverse as Philadelphia, Cleveland, Miami, Houston, Phoenix, Denver, Portland, and Seattle, what horrors does he see in store for Chicago?
Ultimately, what was the point of his column? Other than to vent his spleen at the fact that his downstate rural political opponents — whom he clearly views as his social and intellectual inferiors — got the better of him here, it’s hard to tell.