This article was written two days after the 7th Circuit decision and prior to the Sandy Hook School shooting. It was subsequently withheld from publication until now out of respect for the victims, their families and the entire Newtown, Connecticut community so as not to appear to trivialize or politicize the suffering of that community. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the victims, their families and that entire community. An article relevant to that incident is soon to follow.
I’ll tell you what now; every freedom loving citizen in Illinois must join every law-abiding firearm owner, sportsman, and recreational shooter in Illinois and prepare to defend from tyranny the one Amendment to our U.S. Constitution that has defended all others…our Second Amendment.
In a decision that clearly sides with the United States Constitution and the American People over government tyranny imposed at the will of government bureaucrats, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down Illinois’ ban on the carrying of concealed firearms by private citizens. Five years ago this would have been national news worthy of countless hours of national media coverage. Two and half years ago such a decision should have sent shock-waves of reality through the halls of the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield that would have echoed all the way to Chicago’s city hall and the Cook County Board. However, in December 2012, some four plus years removed from the Heller Decision and two and half years after the McDonald Decision, both U.S. Supreme Court rulings, the Political ruling class throughout Illinois is aghast at the 7th Circuit decision.
A full dissection of the 7th Circuit Courts’ decision, though fascinating to a dork such as me who considers such reading not only informative but highly entertaining…however tempting, is hardly necessary. What must be carefully distilled from all the legalese in both the affirming and dissenting opinions is the clear contrast in opinion to one central question: Where precisely does true power rest: In the hands of government officials …or in the hands of the People?
The answer to that very basic question forms the nucleus from which either the anti-gun lobby or the pro-gun lobby forms their rationale. As the U.S. Supreme Court clearly answered via the Heller decision and further substantiated and expanded upon in the McDonald decision, the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States protects an individual right. As much as the anti-Second Amendment activists, A.K.A. the vast majority of the Democrat party, A.K.A. the vast majority of the media would like you to believe the contrary, that simply is not the case.
We the People now sit squarely inside the 180 day deadline mandated by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to the Illinois State Legislature to either craft concealed carry legislation or have the ban expire. As inept as the Illinois Legislature has proven itself to be, I would not bet on the latter. The mere fact that Illinoisans have had to fight tooth and nail to get this close to realizing concealed carry is a testament to the utter contempt for the Second Amendment harbored by many powerful politicians throughout Illinois. Despite the 2008 Heller Decision, the City of Chicago still saw the McDonald case all the way to the Supreme Court. Despite the McDonald decision the city of Chicago still refuses to allow gun stores selling a legal product to operate within the City limits, and despite requiring Chicagoans as part of the process to obtain a Chicago Firearm Permit to take an approved 4 hour class with 1 additional hour of range time the city has effectively banned gun ranges within the city limits. How confident can law-abiding Illinoisans be that these same politicians will be reasonable concerning the language in the Concealed Carry legislation that they were basically ordered to write? Call me cynical, but my confidence in getting “actual’ concealed carry legislation as opposed to ‘perceived’ concealed carry legislation is slim to none. The difference between ‘actual’ and ‘perceived’ concealed carry legislation is as simple as the difference between ‘shall issue’ and ‘may issue’ concealed carry legislation. For those unfamiliar, ‘shall issue’ concealed carry laws delineate a baseline threshold of requirements that a law-abiding citizen must meet and once met the State ‘shall issue’ that citizen their concealed carry permit. On the contrary, ‘may issue’ concealed carry laws delineate many of the same baseline requirements that a law-abiding citizen must meet in order to obtain a concealed carry permit. However, once those requirements are met the State then requires each individual to meet several other much more restrictive criteria and in most cases requires each individual to ‘prove’ to it necessary to their protection to have a concealed carry permit by virtue of an actual threat on their life. Even then, the permit ‘may’ or ‘may not’ be issued purely at the subjective discretion of some state appointed bureaucrat. In other words, ‘may issue’ places the power in the hands of a few government bureaucrats, whereas ‘shall issue’ places that power where it rightfully belongs…in the hands of the people.
What type of concealed carry legislation can law-abiding Illinoisans expect their politicians to be working on at this very moment? I assure you, the anti-gun lobby has been networking between Chicago, New York and Washington D.C. bureaucrats to aid in crafting the most restrictive version of concealed carry legislation they can dream to fruition. What every law-abiding firearm owner and every other freedom loving Illinois citizen must do now is simply contact their local State Representatives and Senators via e-mail, written letters and phone calls and respectfully convey to them the need for ‘actual’ concealed carry legislation in the form of a “SHALL ISSUE” bill. These politicians MUST understand that their jobs are at stake and anything less than a minimally restrictive “shall issue” concealed carry law will mean their jobs come next election.
In closing, I would urge all of you, including your family and friends to please join the Illinois State Rifle Association, and if you are already a member please consider a small financial donation to the ISRA. These legal battles cost an extraordinary amount of money and every little bit helps make that fight possible. These fine men and women are out there on the front lines doing the lion’s share of the work in securing and maintaining our Second Amendment protected rights. Additionally, if you are not already a member, please consider joining the National Rifle Association. This is of course the parent organization to the ISRA and quite frankly the last line of defense against the outright abolition of our Second Amendment. Thanks for reading. Until next time, play safe.