Illinois' concealed carry law nears due date

Illinois lawmakers have until June 9 to come up with guidelines for its gun-toting citizenry. After that date, it could be argued that with no law in place, anyone not specifically prohibited from owning a firearm-like convicted felons-is allowed to carry a .38 Special in his or her waistband.

Illinois AG, Lisa Madigan got an extension from the Supreme Court, giving her until June 25 to file an appeal to the 7th District ruling that Illinois’ ban on concealed weapons-the last state in the union to maintain such a ban-is unconstitutional. The June 9 deadline, however is still in effect for lawmakers.

Now, before you get your liberal panties all bunched up, please be assured that I think universal background checks are not only a good idea, but long-overdue. It’s insane that an insane person with a pocket-full of cash can walk out of a gun show with a grenade launcher.

I’m also for a ban on assault rifles, 20-round magazines and armor-piercing bullets. As an avid gun owner, I don’t see any of that as an infringement on my right to bear arms.

I’m not a hunter, but I don’t think you need a AR-15 with a 30-round clip to take down a doe-eyed doe, or even a 2000-lb moose. And I think our cops have enough to worry about without having about every pistol-packing desperado being able to shoot through their “bullet-proof” vests.

I am, however in favor of concealed carry. Why not? I’ve carried a knife of one sort or another for decades and never sliced up anyone. At least not anyone I like. Until we can get all the guns away from the criminals, which will be never, arming law-abiding neighbors is the next best thing.

It would be easy enough to shoot up a 7 Eleven if that were my intention. I don’t need a license for that. All I’m asking for is the same thing that every gangbanger in the city takes as his God-given right. The ability to meet deadly force with deadly force, to defend myself and my love ones on an even playing field.

I can see the dilemma some may face with that reasoning. More guns can only lead to more gunfire, right? Maybe for a little while, but that will even out. As defenseless victims become armed citizens, the criminal types are going to become a lot more careful about where and when they draw their weapons.

Look at it this way: If you put a sign in your window announcing Gun-free Home, yours becomes the most likely home on the block to be burglarized.  Take that confidence away from intruders and they’ll go looking for easier pickings.

I’m all for giving peace a chance, but until everyone else gets onboard, I’ll hang with Smith & Wesson.  You know what they say, it’s better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.

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