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Republican State Senator John O. Jones says he’s “optimistic” that Illinois will issue concealed carry permits. Eventually. Hope springs eternal for the 16-year House and Senate vet. Now that the Supreme Court’s McDonald ruling has deep-sixed Chicago’s handgun ban and incorporated the Second Amendment, Jones will once again introduce legislation to enable concealed carry in the Land of Lincoln. “We’ve tried and tried to convince Chicago legislators that people have the right to bear arms,” Jones told “The court ruling means we’ve been right all along.” So how many times HAS Jones gone down this road?

“I’ve lost track,” Jones tells TTAG. But he hasn’t forgotten who’s to blame for the impasse. “There are 102 counties in Illinois. Cook County [home to Chicago] is just one of them. They call the shots . . . We can’t let one county dictate gun control legislation for the rest of the state.”

Yes, well, they do. So what’s different now?

“We’ve got this Farm Bureau program where we adopt a legislator from Chicago,” Jones reveals. “We bring them downstate, where they learn milk comes from a cow rather than the store.”

Yes and?

“We take some of them to the shooting range where they see that it’s fun to shoot if you do it right. I think some of them are looking at things a little differently now.”

Yes, well, sixty percent of the Illinois House and Senate representatives hail from Cook county and what are called the “collar” counties (surrounding The Windy City). For concealed carry to make any headway, Jones would have to garner support from the locus of gun control.

McDonald or no, good luck with that. Lest we forget Chicago Aldermen passed Mayor Daley’s gun control package by a vote of 45 to zero. As in none.

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  1. As I've harped before, Illinois is two separate and distinct places. Chicago (Cook County) and everywhere else. Unfortunately, The Daley Democrat Political Machine completely overwhelms the rest of the state — including Springfield (for proof, see the Blago trial coverage). And lest ye, fellow TTAG readers, admonish me and the rest of the state's citizens to take Illinois back, let me remind you all that the Daley Democrat Political Machine pwns you, too. Check out the current occupant of the White House, and then get back to me.

    Downstate politicians did get close to getting CCW in Illinois when Daley was passing the hat to pay for his precious Chicago Olympics (since he'd need the whole state to help pay, not just Cook County residents). While never "official", legislators like Jones were willing to help fund (tax) the Games in exchange for CCW everywhere outside the metro. When Daley's Olympic bid fell flat on its face, the deal died.

  2. Monte, thanks for the comment and the, uh, reminder of our shared complicity in this Prairie State concealed carry debacle. Of course, Illinois isn't the only state where an urban base is at odds with the rural population on the subject of guns. The gun-hating Eastern states—New York, Massive Taxes, Row Deyeland, Connecticut—are similarly hamstrung. I was hoping the Supremes would bail us out. Nope. FYI: I've got an editorial in tomorrow's Washington TImes that takes them to task for leaving African Americans in the lurch. Should be fun!

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