The U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals today ruled that Illinois' law preventing ordinary citizens from carrying concealed weapons is unconstitutional.
Gee, does that mean that ordinary folks will have the same right to carry a concealed handgun as state Sen. Donne Trotter (D-Chicago), who was pinched when he was caught trying to board a plane with a hidden handgun? That we won't have to get a security company to do us a favor by calling us an employee so he could get a license to tote the gun?
There will be a lot of reaction from this ruling, most of it expected: Second Amendment advocates will hail it and liberal gun control advocates will denounce it. Except for this, reaction, which stood out in the Tribune story:
Ald. Howard Brookins, 21st, chairman of the City Council black caucus, welcomed the decision, saying allowing Chicagoans to carry concealed weapons would help level the playing field in neighborhoods where law-abiding citizens feel like they need firearms to protect themselves.
"Certain people will have a sense of safety and peace of mind in the ability to do it," Brookins said of conceal-carry. "I know that even people, for example, just trying to see that their loved ones get homes safely are in technical violation of all sorts of weapons violations. If you just walk out to your garage and see that your wife is coming in the house safely, and you happen to have your gun on you, you're in technical violation of our ordinance. So I would hope all these ordinances would be consolidated so there's one set of rules and people would know where the bright line is to what they can and cannot do with respect to carrying a weapon."
Brookins said he's not worried doing away with the state ban would lead to an increase in gun violence as more people walk the streets with weapons. "I think those people have a gun now, they've just been made criminals because they can't legally have it," Brookins said. "And I think the gangbangers and thugs are going to have a gun regardless."
Although I am somewhat ambivalent on gun control, seeing meritorious arguments on both side, I'm with Brookins on this. With gang wars raging outside their front doors, why shouldn't these Chicagoans be able to go out on the street feeling somewhat safer?
I was educated on this point some years ago by an African-American friend who departed from liberal orthodoxy by supporting concealed carry in no uncertain terms. She wanted one handy in her glove compartment to drill any punk who would try at break into her car at a stop light demanding her money, or her car.
My impression is that the strongest advocates of gun control are liberals living safely in the 28th floor of a high-rise or the safety of a politically correct suburb like Wilmette. These are the self-appointed "progressives" who know what's best for everyone, including those living in impoverished, crime-ridden neighborhoods.
One other thing in the Tribune story stood out for me: Illinois is the only state that doesn't have some form of concealed carry law.