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(courtesy chicagotribunecom via We Are Done Asking Twitter account)

Grief is a process: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance. The Chicago Tribune, for example, is slowly coming to terms with the fact that Illinois residents will soon be able to exercise their natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms. They are at the beginning of their journey, moving out of denial. Permit to carry gun no license to shoot, the headline proclaims. “This spring, law-abiding residents of Illinois will be able to walk the streets with a loaded gun,” the lead announces with bated breath. “But those who decide to carry concealed weapons will have to grapple with a tough question: When is it appropriate to pull the trigger? The answer, according to some firearms experts, isn’t always easy to figure out. And the legal and emotional consequences of making a bad decision can be dire.” You’d expect a litany of defensive gun uses (DGU’s) gone wrong. If so, well . . .

You’d be wrong. OK, not entirely. The Trib is not quite out of denial yet. Yet the majority of the article provides common sense (yes, I said it) advice on when it’s OK to use deadly force to stop an imminent and credible threat to life and limb – although the authors don’t quite put it that way.

The Illinois statute makes it clear that firearms can only be used in cases of self-defense or in the defense of others — and imminent danger must be present. Only individuals know the point at which they feel their life or someone else’s is being threatened. And that sometimes creates a gray area where mistakes can be made.

Insert stories of bad shoots here, followed by quotes from politicians and anti-gunners predicting blood in the streets? Not this time, Mr. Bond . . .

Ultimately, it is up to prosecutors to determine whether a shooting constitutes a crime. Whether the gunman has a concealed weapons license does not affect how prosecutors evaluate an incident, officials said.

“What one person might perceive as imminent danger could be different from another’s, but when we look at a case, we look at the facts and the individual case and determine whether a person was properly using self-defense,” said John Brassil, supervisor for the felony review unit of the Cook County state’s attorney’s office.

Officials acknowledged there will be a learning curve for gun carriers and law enforcement officers who will have to get accustomed to dealing with people carrying legal firearms. But prosecutors said nothing will change in the way cases are prosecuted when a civilian shoots someone.

“The self-defense laws were not changed by the concealed carry statute,” Brassil said. “The concealed carry statute, in effect, allows persons to possess a weapon certain places … but you have to look at other statutes and determine whether a person was justified in the use of a weapon.”

That’s the good news, illustrated by examples of good shoots and spot-on quotes from two Chicago-area firearms instructors. But I would be remiss if I didn’t highlight the authors’ attempt to inject a deep sense of foreboding “balance” into a story weighing the personal impact of concealed carry. In fact, the article ends with one such “cautionary tale.”

Todd Hadley . . . used his 9 mm handgun to shoot a man to death and wound another outside a Milwaukee party in November 2012. He had a concealed carry license, though the gun was not concealed in the moments before the shooting. His lawyer contended he fired in self-defense after being chased, threatened and hit with a glancing punch. But prosecutors charged him with reckless homicide and recklessly endangering safety with a dangerous weapon.

Hadley, 27, spent 11 months in jail before he had a jury trial and was acquitted.

He said the shooting only strengthened his belief that he needs to protect himself. Though he said he thought the shooting was justified because he was in serious danger, it has changed his life.

His incarceration was stressful for his mother, he said. And after his trial, he left Milwaukee for Illinois because he feared retaliation for the shooting.

“I wish that it didn’t happen,” he said.

Just as the editors of the Chicago Tribune wished the state hadn’t repealed its concealed carry ban, making it possible for citizens to defend their lives against criminal predation, and their liberty against the statist ambitions of local, state and federal government. But they did. And the paper will have to come to terms with it. But first . . . anger.

Mark my words: The Trib will greet the first lethal Chicagoland DGU with howls of righteous indignation and torrents of I-told-you-so’s. And then, someday, they’ll move on. Thank God and the tireless efforts of pro-gun groups.

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  1. And when the BLOOD DOES NOT FLOW and the criminals finally find justice on the streets and crime numbers drop the ANTIs will still not accept the facts that “The best way to stop a bad person is with a good person with a gun !

    • Even if all 50 states adopted Constitutional Carry with complete state preemption of the law in context to it, and crime rates across the country fell like a stone (which even they know they damned well would), they still won’t accept that one pure and simple little truth.

      The sheeple that believe them now will still believe them then.

      The fatally biased (and unqualified) academics will still sing their praises in unscientific, “peer-reviewed” garbage.

      The talking heads in the lamestream media will still cast it off as a lie and not read into any issue beyond their own headlines and personal beliefs.

      The politicians will still work day and night at nothing else but to strip us of every enumerated right in the Constitution (and the unwritten ones as well).

      People like that simply do not ever change.

    • The blood in Chicago is already flowing. It’s been flowing since prohibition. Removing or adding guns to the mix won’t measurably affect the death toll over the course of 3-10 years; it just puts more bad guys and fewer victims on the donor list. And if you cannot stop the bloodshed, at least you can try to change whose blood is being shed.

    • Part of the problem is its easier to point out something that has happened over something that has not. “Someone got shot today” is taken in more than “No one got shot this month”.

  2. We in Wisconsin, the 49th state to get CCL, are 2 years and 200,000+ permits into the process and I’m still waiting to wash my clothes in the river of blood in the street. I can’t believe that progressive anti-gun pimples would lie to me like that…

  3. “though the gun was not concealed in the moments before the shooting.”

    Gee … You mean he didn’t shoot through his holster, pocket, clothes, etc., but actually took it out and, I don’t know, aimed or something?

  4. I guarantee you that the first legal carrier to use his gun to defend his life with have the book thrown at him. It doesn’t matter if he is attacked by a mob of hungry Zombies he will be charged. I sure Cook County’s enforcement strategy will be to make self defense so painful that no one will carry.

      • Unfortunately, I believe that tdiinva is prophetic and all too correct in this case. Chicago will try every dirty trick in the book; that’s just how they roll.

    • If you’ll qualify that to be the first DGU in either Cook or Sangamon Counties, I would absolutely agree with you. Here in Madison County, I don’t think that would happen in a legit DGU, but in this lawsuit happy county, you’d better expect a civil suit, especially if the attacker manages to survive.

      I can see it now… “Well, yes I was going to cut knife him, rob him and leave him for dead. But I still deserve $5 million for the unfair pain and suffering he caused me by defending himself.” Sadly, too many juries here would agree, too.

    • Isn’t that pretty much how we view it anyway? I don’t think any of us are eager for an opportunity to pull out a weapon and harm someone in order to make them stop harming us or our families.

      Do they not understand that most of us have thought all of this out long before?

  5. Ah, now I see the difference now. “This spring, law-abiding residents of Illinois will be able to walk the streets with a loaded gun” rather than residents of Illinois who are thugs, bangers and criminals currently walk the streets with a loaded gun. Murder stats show pretty clearly that a lot of people have been carrying guns for a long time in Illinois, just not the right people.

    • Well, the other guys, being non-law-abiding, have been able to carry a loaded gun since forever; able, not permitted. I could be wrong, but there’s a chance that many in Chicago will start to feel a sense of relief as CCW comes to be a reality and they become used to it. They may hope that some CCW type is nearby when the mugger or car-jacker strikes. Eventually they may even dare, if the PC rubbish winds down, to get a permit themselves.

      Even if the clouds have only parted briefly, I’m happy for JeffR and others for whom the development must be welcome. There is even a chance that Chicago will not become another NYC for good.

    • I’m with you. I lived north of there for a few years and in the city for five. I’m really enjoying this.

      Of course, I’m still glad I don’t live there any more.

  6. From the Chicago Tribune article,
    “… the legal and emotional consequences of making a bad decision [about when to pull the trigger in a defensive gun use] can be dire.”

    The consequences are very dire indeed if you decide not to use your firearm to defend yourself and your attacker severely beats you or kills you.

    What? You say the author wasn’t going for that? Too bad. It is the truth. I have said it before and I’ll say it again. Whatever the gun grabbers say is almost always the opposite of the actual truth.

  7. Since the only people out there on the streets with guns are gangbangers and criminals, I’ll take my chances.

  8. “Ultimately, it is up to prosecutors to determine whether a shooting constitutes a crime.”
    No, it’s up to juries and/or judges

  9. I bet a few months after permits get issued there will be a website listing the names and addresses of all permit holders. The Memphis TN newspaper The Commercial Appeal published all card holders info. Yes the info is a matter of public record but to shout it out as public knowledge is a bad idea. I bet The Trib does the same.

    • Actually, the FCCA (IL CCW law) forbids release of both FOID and IL CCW permit holder information.

      “Section 120. The Freedom of Information Act is amended by
      changing Section 7.5 as follows:

      Sec. 7.5. Statutory Exemptions. To the extent provided for
      by the statutes referenced below, the following shall be exempt
      from inspection and copying:

      (blah blah blah)

      (v) Names and information of people who have applied for or
      received Firearm Owner’s Identification Cards under the
      Firearm Owners Identification Card Act or applied for or
      received a concealed carry license under the Firearm Concealed
      Carry Act, unless otherwise authorized by the Firearm Concealed
      Carry Act; and databases under the Firearm Concealed Carry Act,
      records of the Concealed Carry Licensing Review Board under the
      Firearm Concealed Carry Act, and law enforcement agency
      objections under the Firearm Concealed Carry Act.”

      Several years ago, the IL Att’y General wanted the IL State Police to release all the names/addresses of FOID card holders. The ISP refused.
      I live in suburban Cook County. I submitted my CCW application on January 2nd (I had electronic fingerprints so I could apply ahead of the January 5th official opening). Somewhere I hang out online (either or commented that they hope the first CCW permit holder involved in a shooting is a woman, as even the Crook County authorities would hopefully be less liable to rake a poor little woman over the coals. That would definitely be interesting to see.

      • Better yet, an elderly black woman who shoots a mugger trying to steal her grocery money. Years ago, Mike Royko described such an incident in his column. He dared the Chicago police and prosecutor to charge her with anything.

        • That was then, this is now. The Chicago thugocracy will stop at nothing to prevent law abiding citizens from protecting themselves. Prosecuting her would send a message that if a working poor single black mother will not be allowed to defend herself what you think we are going to do to you OFWG/Sikh shop owner/Asian geek?

  10. We here in the Chicago area have had plenty of this from this reporter.
    For unfathomable reasons, the Trib uses her almost exclusively to do “gun” feature stories. Few if any contain a serious balance; it pretty much doesn’t happen in the Chicagoland region.
    The Chicago Tribune, of course, is the newspaper that called for the repeal of the Bill of Rights a while ago. They may have only explicitly targeted the 2nd Amendment that morning but they’ve made it clear the whole thing’s a bother all along.
    Just as famously, they editorialized that the President of the United States committed a criminal act by de-classifying certain documents related to a national security issue, but that the New York Times had every right under the Constitution to do exactly the same thing… because Authorized Journalists have greater powers (and superior discretion) than the President.
    At least nowadays the Trib is able to get a good proportion of the facts straight in a gun rights-related article. As recently as a decade ago, the percentage of fact versus fiction ran closer to a quarter of the time.
    And the reporter bylined above was right there in the middle of it.

  11. So the headline on the linked story is Permit to carry gun no license to shoot, but the pictured headline is Permit to carry gun NOT license to shoot. So which is it guys?

  12. Jeez. Have these dweebs ever looked at their subscriber list (or a map) and noticed that a decent sliver of the Greater Chicagoland Area is in northwest Indiana, where CCW permits are pretty doggoned easy to come by, and have been for decades? Matter of fact, Lake County, Indiana, population just shy of half a million, has nearly 34,000 CCW licenses outstanding, on the order of 10% of the adult population. Must be a bunch of licensee DGU’s gone wrong just across the border, right? Right?

  13. The rest of the nation legally carries, unlike the thugs in “Sickago” who simply carry. Stupid, evil libtards.

      • The battle we wage is with the libtards (democrats)…err…liberals, for it is they who are pushing the bad laws and thinking the evil, statist thoughts. It is they who should be shunned, not those who shine the light on the true problem (voting for libtards).
        Keep your eye on the ball.

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