By Rob Morse
Democrat legislators in Illinois make it hard for honest citizens to protect themselves. Illinois’ government is controlled by Chicago politicians, and, sadly, those politicians like gun-prohibition.
They say their laws makes all of us safer. Facts say otherwise. Illinois politicians claim gun-control is “for the children” but we can count the bodies of the dead and injured who are the real victims of gun control.
Chicago has a problem with violent criminal drug gangs. Illinois politicians say the drug gangs would be non-violent if they couldn’t get guns. The solution, the politicians claim, is to pass more gun-control laws and to disarm more law abiding citizens. That’s what we’re told by Chicago politicians. The Chicago news media reports these political press releases without questioning their truth or looking for alternative explanations.
Let’s do what the news media should have done and take a deeper look at the problem. With 2031 people shot and wounded in Chicago this year, and an additional 458 shot and killed, it is obvious that existing gun laws have not made us safe.
Still, politicians claim these violent drug gangs will obey the next gun law, even though the murderers, assailants and rapists ignored the 23 thousand existing firearms regulations that politicians have passed so far. Politicians say the same thing with every law they pass, so there is no reason to believe they are telling the truth this time.
Judge for yourself. We know that violent gangs in Chicago already smuggle drugs and illegal immigrants around the globe and across our borders. Politicians claim that new ink on paper will stop the gangs from smuggling the next a pound of steel, lead and gunpowder. That hasn’t worked so far.
These gun-prohibitionists claim that the problem isn’t really about Chicago. The city is an unfortunate victim of lax gun laws in other states. That is like claiming that the drug problem in Chicago is really the problem of lax drug laws in Columbia and China.
History shows us that when we take a shipment of illegal drugs away from the gangs, the gangs simply go out and buy more illegal drugs. Likewise, when we take away their guns, the criminals go out and get more illegal guns.
The fact we’re trying to ignore is that criminals break the law. They don’t obey our drug laws, our immigration laws, our prostitution laws, or our gun laws. Politicians can blame someone else, but Chicago politicians created the environment where people turn to drugs and to crime.
Chicago has both high crime AND stringent gun-control. Passing gun-prohibition laws and disarming honest citizens makes things worse rather than better. Disarmed victims are easy targets for gangs of armed criminals. Gun control reduces the number of honest and law abiding people who legally carry a concealed firearm in public. That leads to more crime victims.
Illinois makes it difficult to obtain a concealed carry permit, and nowhere is it harder than in the city of Chicago. Politicians required that applicants for a carry permit demonstrate their skill with a firearm. Then the politicians outlawed shooting ranges where honest citizens can learn to shoot and demonstrate good marksmanship. In contrast, the criminals use the streets of Chicago as their shooting range.
We can put numbers to the body count. The state of Illinois has over 300,000 licensed concealed carry holders. That number should be closer to 800 thousand if Illinois had a concealed carry rate that matched the rest of the United States.
But Illinois isn’t like the rest of the US. An Illinois permit costs more and takes longer than almost any other state. Half-a-million people gave up on getting their permit because of the difficult process in Illinois.
Those law abiding citizens were disarmed in public by Illinois laws and regulations. Disarming half a million law abiding citizens has real consequences.
Based on FBI statistics, about 2700 of the victims of violent crime in Illinois this year were disarmed because of the extremely burdensome requirements that stopped them from going armed in public. We’ve made it hard on the law abiding citizens, but criminals don’t bother to follow those firearms restrictions.
Those 2700 victims were their own first responders. They were on their own to stop the attack on themselves and their families. They were on their own until they could call the police. They were on their own until police could get to the scene and arrest their attacker. Illinois politicians guaranteed that the criminals were armed, but those 2700 victims were not.
Most of those victims would have stopped their attacker if they were armed. Almost all of the rape victims would have stopped their attacker if they were allowed to go armed in public.
Self-defense seldom requires pressing the trigger. The vast majority of criminals run away rather than face an armed victim. That is a good thing.
Illinois politicians said that concealed carry holders are a danger to the public, but that isn’t true. Where we have data, we find that concealed carry holders are more law abiding than the police. Civilians who defend themselves with a firearm are much less likely than the police to shoot innocent bystanders. These people with a permit to carry a firearm in public are our neighbors, and as we’d expect, they behave responsibly.
Unfortunately, Chicago politicians would rather disarm the victims. The victims’ blood is on their hands. The victims of gun-control should be on our conscience as well.
This article originally appeared at Rob Morse’s Slow Facts blog and is reprinted here with permission.