The Illinois handgun carry ban has been struck down by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. Illinois was the lone hold out banning its citizens from carrying firearms away from their homes. I wanted to take a day and let some of the dust settle before I took a critical look at what this actually means.
First of all, by no means is this a BAD thing. So don’t think that just because it seems like I am not doing back flips it means I think the court ruling was a negative. The court ruled that banning the carrying of a weapon is unconstitutional, and that’s good.
The problem is, that unless the opponents of personal defensive carry fight on to the Supreme Court, this ruling will only have limited reach.
What do I mean by that? Well, let’s look at what roadblocks that Illinois, and by that I mean Chicago, will try to throw up in order to derail and undermine the spirit of this ruling.
You have a Governor who tried to ban so called assault weapons by fiat. You have a legislature that tried to levy a luxury tax on bullets and successful passed a punitive tax on firearms. And you have the biggest city in the state a den of thugs and vipers who tend to use Constitution to wipe their butts after they’re done taking a dump on the rights of citizens.
This is not necessarily the ideal situation to see a great deal of pro gun carry legislation passed into law.
What I am afraid to see happen is that, much like Hawaii, Illinois will pass may issue and then just refuse to issue to anyone. Though with the size and diversity of Illinois it may be more of a may issue situation like Maryland that it is difficult to impossible in some parts of the state to get a permit, and relatively easier in others.
If given the freedom, Chicago will most likely follow New York City’s example and give permits via cronyism, where only the connected, rich or famous are issued permits. When crime doesn’t go down in Chicago, gun control advocates will claim that the carry legislation has done nothing for crime, though will fail to point out that their law abiding citizens are still unarmed and that the criminals are not getting CCW’s in the first place.
The courts gave the state 180 days to come up with legislation to enact a carry system. Outside of that they gave them very little direction to go on. So the state legislature may still come up with the harshest, most cost prohibitive and arbitrary permitting system to which all but keeps a de facto ban in place.
Listening to Barbara Flynn Currie, the House Majority Leader and a longtime gun control advocate, I think that is exactly what she has in mind. Currie spoke out after the ruling:
“I expect a battle, the proponents of concealed carry have not yet carried the day.”
Not yet carried the day? Them’s are fightin words. Currie seems set to dig her heels in and stop any sensible legislation.
But with this ruling, perhaps the pendulum has swung enough that it won’t matter how big of a petulant hissy fit Currie and other gun control zealots throw. They have been so unreasonable for so long, perhaps they have marginalized themselves out of a position of influence.
I like what Richard Pearson, the executive director of the Illinois State Rifle Association, had to say:
“We bent over backwards before and tried to accommodate everybody, and they just threw it in the garbage. Maybe we won’t be so accommodating now.”
Hear hear. Nor should they be accommodating. The inception of carry legislation holds the most potential. Proponents must shoot for the moon (pun) and try to get the most initially. It will be harder to expand carry rules after they are initially set because the gun control crowd will always say “but you have enough all ready”, “blood in the streets”, “the children” etc etc etc.
Even in pro gun states like Florida and Texas, they haven’t been able to pass Open Carry after numerous attempts because “it’s fine the way it is”. I say poppycock to that, infringement is never “fine”.
I don’t expect Illinois to pass constitutional carry right off the bat (if they did I would have to cup my ears because my mind would be BLOWN) but that should be the goal of every state that have people who believe in the constitution. The closer you start to Constitutional Carry, the less you have to travel to get there.
It’s sad that, like a number of states, Illinois is a pretty conservative pro gun place, minus the one ugly boil of thuggery and oppression that festers therein…known as major cities. New York has NYC, Pennsylvania has Philadelphia and Illinois has Chicago. Hopefully, gun proponents within the state will stay strong and not cave to Chicago style politics.
It will be an interesting 6 months. I have hope for the state, but in a place where the dead rise and vote often, nothing is guaranteed. But who knows, maybe IL will become a shall issue, open carry, FFA state right off the bat. Tis the seasons for miracles after all!
On a side note, the ruling in this case was 2-1. That means there was a Judge who did NOT believe that the 2nd Amendment gives you the right to bear arms.
Considering the Supreme Court holds a single vote difference as well, let us hope that Roberts, Scalia, Thomas, Kennedy, and Alito are training, eating their vitamins and sayin their prayers, staying true to themselves and true to their country like all good Hulkamaniacs. We need them to stick around until we have a president who will not sell out the 2nd Amendment under the radar.
Regardless of what the future holds, this is a good step. Even if there are gun grabbing justices who would like to legislate from the bench and use the Constitution for toilet paper, so long as we keep winning cases and securing the right enumerated at our founding, we’re heading in the right direction.
Carry on Illinois!