Now that Concealed Carry is the law of the land, will you be packing?

Now that it's legal to carry a concealed weapon in Illinois, do you find yourself looking differently at your fellow Illinoisans?

As a note of interest, according the the Government Printing Office, “Illinoisan” is the official name for people who live in Illinois. Other recognized demonyms-that's what they're called, “demonyms”-include Illinoisian, Illinoian, Sucker, Sand-hiller and Egyptian.

I don't know how the Government Printing Office got to be in charge of demonyms or where they came up with Sand-Hiller and Egyptian, I only learned of their existence today. Demonyms, not the Government Printing Office.

That was a lot of digression. The question is, though, whether the average person feels more or less safe knowing that the guy in the trench coat at the front of the line at Starbucks might be packing heat.

I've said before that I have mixed feelings about the whole concealed carry thing. There's plenty of hard-line attitudes on both sides, but, to the thinking person, it should be a bit of a conundrum.

Personally, I feel quite capable of carrying a loaded gun in my pocket, knowing that I'm a responsible citizen and a crack shot. I also don't spend inordinate amounts of time in bars, nor am I driven by an overwhelming sense of paranoia.

I don't seek the 15 minutes of fame I might get if I actually shoot someone.

I've taken the requisite courses for a Concealed Carry license in Illinois and if it were up to me, half the knuckle-draggers in those classes wouldn't have drivers licenses, much less a permit to carry a loaded weapon.

For the shooting portion of the class, I brought my little target .22. Ammo is cheap, it doesn't make a lot of noise, there's almost no kickback and the small magazines hold enough of those little bullets that I didn't have to reload them.

The guys around me were all packing cannons. Most had 9-millimeter semi-autos, while some had the biggest 45 caliber hand guns money could buy.

Guns are a cheap way to play “I've got the biggest dick”. Or, “I am the biggest dick”.

The case the NRA always makes is that law-abiding citizens should be able to go about their business, armed to the teeth with any array of modern weaponry they choose. That,they claim is what is guaranteed in the 2nd Amendment.

First, I don't think a bunch of gap-toothed yahoos running around the forest is what the Founding Fathers meant when they began the 2nd Amendment with “A well regulated militia...” For some reason, we always seem to gloss over the fact that it's supposed to be “well regulated”.

There's a weird mentality amongst the gun crowd. At a gun show last week in Florida, George Zimmerman-yes, that George Zimmerman-was sitting at a table signing autographs. Even if you were somehow twisted enough to think Zimmerman was justified in his use of deadly force, how can his shooting of an unarmed teenager possibly propel him into celebrity status?

It almost legitimizes Kim Kardashian's and Paris Hilton's celebrity status.

What troubles me most, though is what passes for our definition of law-abiding. There's lots of so-called, law-abiding citizens out there that you would not have over for Thanksgiving dinner. In fact, the benchmark for “law-abiding” might be never having been caught.

No matter how anti-gun you are, though you have to keep one thing in mind. In all of those drive-bys and playground shootings that seem to plague Chicago, the shooters were carrying guns long before it ever became legal in Illinois.

Now that it is legal, few of those bangers could pass even the low threshold test of never having been caught and it's unlikely they will ever give up their guns to comply with any law that you can think of enacting.

Until Illinois passed the Concealed Carry law in August, my town had an outright ban on guns and I was not happy about that. It's like a welcome matt to home invaders.

You could, however keep guns in your house if you registered them with the PD. Five-oh. The Man. That didn't seem like a very good idea, either. If I'm not mistaken, that's how the Nazi's knew which doors to knock on back in 1930.

The main upside to law-abiding citizens owning-and even carrying-guns is that it gives the bad guys something to think about. Like, “Maybe this isn't the best house to break into, the dude inside might be loaded for bear”.

Same thing on the streets. Let them wonder if the guy sporting a tie and an attache case is Quckdraw McGraw, rockin' a 9-mil with 10 rounds of hollow points and the know-how to use it.

In the mean time, be careful shooting your mouth off. The guy in the trench coat at Starbucks might just be looking to shoot someone's mouth off.

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