A fascinating story in Friday’s Chicago Tribune speaks volumes to the ability of legally-armed citizens in Illinois to defend themselves and stay within the law, while perhaps unintentionally letting the air out of traditional arguments by anti-gunners that concealed carry laws might lead to senseless violence.
According to the Tribune story, State Police Lt. Matthew Boerwinkle observed, “You rarely hear of an instance where a CCL holder is using their firearm in an unlawful manner. They’re generally law-abiding citizens, and they’ve gone to great lengths to get to where they’re at to have a CCL. And they’ve taken training to get there. And most of them, they understand what the requirements are to use force to defend themselves.”
This certainly correlates with arguments from concealed carry proponents who took Illinois to court a few years ago, forcing the State Legislature to adopt a concealed carry statute. Until then, the Prairie State was the last remaining holdout in the nation without a concealed carry law.
Those legal challenges had been mounted separately by the Second Amendment Foundation and National Rifle Association, working with state-level organizations and individual citizens.
At some point, there is always the question about whether those who were shot had it coming. Among the losers, according to the newspaper, were armed robbers, carjackers, “a robber with a gun to a clerk’s head” and a burglar with a crowbar. Other cases included “neighbors, an ex-girlfriend, a father-in-law, an unarmed teen stealing a Jeep,a passenger in a car during a road rage attack and a naked man acting ‘aggressively.’”
“So far this year, there have been at least eight shootings involving CCL holders. Three were reported in a single week in March.”—Chicago Tribune
At this point, it might be useful to bring up the case of a sheriff’s deputy slaying in far-away Washington State several years ago. Kint County Deputy Richard Herzog was murdered by a naked man in broad daylight on June 22, 2002. The man managed to wrestle Herzog’s gun away from him during a physical attack and pick it up off the ground, pushing the magazine back into the gun. He shot Herzog in the leg and then fired four rounds into the back of the lawman’s head.
This was after Herzog had sprayed the man with OC-10, without effect.
By some estimates, there are more than 16.3 million legally-licensed armed citizens in the United States. If they were really a problem, it would be front page news in every daily newspaper in the country, every day, above the fold, and anti-gunners on editorial boards know it.
What can be said about the Illinois experience might be said about any other state where private citizens, aware of the truth in the adage “when seconds count, police are minutes away,” have taken responsibility for their own safety, and the safety of their families.
Who disagrees with that? Among gun owners, two demographics come to mind: anti-gunners and criminals who don’t like surprises.