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It’s not the end of the world

Friday, Dec 14, 2012

* My Sun-Times column

I’ve long subscribed to the belief that if someone’s behavior isn’t hurting anybody else, then the government ought to leave them alone.

Legalizing marijuana certainly falls into that belief structure. If somebody wants to get high and eat Cheetos all day, then I don’t think they ought to be locked in steel cages.

There was a time just a few years ago when the “mainstream” media constantly fretted about blogs — forgetting that the First Amendment didn’t belong solely to “traditional” news outlets. But the country is much better off after a literal explosion of free speech. Blogs have made us more informed and are now as American as the Chicago Sun-Times. Heck, the Sun-Times now has blogs. The more speech, the better.

I’m not particularly religious, but as long as you don’t use the government to impose your specific religious practices on me, then I’m all for you doing your thing.

I think there are far too many restrictions on public protests. Having to reroute your shopping trip because a group is marching in the street is not really being harmed. The government has too often used the possibility of smallish annoyances to motorists as an excuse to literally steal peoples’ constitutional rights to peaceably assemble.

Guns are a different matter. Clearly, guns can really hurt people. I’ve struggled with this issue pretty much all my adult life. My mother hated guns, so we had none in our house, but her brother and a brother-in-law had guns and I used to occasionally shoot with them. I’m not afraid of guns the way some are. I’ve been to a few war zones, seen a few fire fights, but was never once armed. I’ve never felt the need to strap on a pistol while in “bad” Chicago neighborhoods, either, and I’ve spent time in those.

Most of the people who want the right to carry a concealed handgun happen to be white suburban or rural men. It’s easy to play armchair psychiatrist and dismiss them as perpetually angry, overcompensating paranoids.

But not everybody who wants a concealed handgun in public is a wingnut. Women are often threatened by ex-boyfriends and know the cops can’t offer much protection. People who work in dangerous neighborhoods at night could have a legit reason to carry . Decent, law-abiding citizens who live in areas infested with gang thugs can’t be blamed for wanting to pack heat.

I’ve spent some time in Florida, where the cities can often be as crazy or even crazier than anything we see up here. The state has a concealed carry law but the Sunshine State hasn’t exploded in violence. Florida’s murder rate in 1987, the year concealed carry was legalized, was 11.4 per 100,000 residents, according to government data on disastercenter.com. Illinois’s rate that year was 8.3. Last year, Florida’s murder rate was 5.2 per 100,000. Illinois’ was 5.6. I don’t think Florida’s law mattered much either way.

So, I’ve evolved.

Nobody wants to see gangbangers carrying concealed handguns. But if somebody has never been convicted of a felony, isn’t crazy, doesn’t have an order of protection against them, belongs to no gang, can pass a training course, can be required to renew their licenses every year or so and isn’t allowed to bring guns into schools or some other public places, then I don’t really buy into the hyperbolic fears about the tragedies that will befall us because Chicago’s U.S. Appellate court has ruled that the state’s gun carrying bans are unconstitutional. It’s just not going to be the end of the world.

* Meanwhile, the Tribune argues for a two-track approach in the wake of the appellate court ruling. Appeal to the Supreme Court and craft a “may issue” bill in Springfield

The resulting indignation in some quarters, and jubilation in others, is understandable. Longtime opponents of concealed carry in Illinois, this page included, have suffered a major setback. But what they — we — cannot do now is pout. The wise and practical response now is a two-track approach:

If [Attorney General Lisa Madigan] thinks Tuesday’s 2-1 decision justifies an appeal to the full 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, fine. Illinois doesn’t have a lot to lose. But a subsequent appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court could invite the justices to, in effect, expand their earlier decisions and limit restrictions on concealed carry that other states have enacted. Nationally, gun control advocates could lose more than they’ve already lost.

Simultaneously, though, Illinois lawmakers need to obey the appellate panel and write what its majority prescribed: a new law that legalizes concealed carry, within “reasonable” restrictions. That lawmaking will require more efficiency, and less rancor, than the low-performing General Assembly has demonstrated of late. But legislators will be, pardon the phrase, under the gun: If they don’t comply, it’s conceivable that police and sheriff’s officers no longer could enforce the law that the judges invalidated but left in effect temporarily.

* The Sun-Times wants an appeal and a very restrictive concealed carry law

The Legislature might even be able to find a way to continue banning concealed carry while rewriting the law to satisfy the appeals court, which said the current law doesn’t rest on sufficient justification. Short of that, the Legislature could consider a narrowly crafted law, such as that in New York, which has concealed carry in theory but does not grant many permits.

Supporters of concealed carry have brought the issue to Springfield many times but have not had enough votes to prevail.

While not denying the appeal of concealed carry to people who feel threatened, we have long opposed such laws, arguing that we should be working toward a more civilized society, not an armed camp.

In a dissent Tuesday Judge Ann C. Williams wrote, “[the] Illinois Legislature . . . sought to ‘prevent situations where no criminal intent existed, but criminal conduct resulted despite the lack of intent, e.g., accidents with loaded guns on public streets or the escalation of minor public altercations into gun battles.’ . . . The danger of such situations increases if guns may be carried outside the home.”

The Legislature has every reason to limit that danger as much as possible, and it should continue to do so.

* Related…

* Editorial: Go slow on crafting concealed carry law

* Editorial: Gun carry ruling correct and overdue

* Kadner: Time for a concealed carry law in Illinois

* SIU must consider impact of concealed carry: University President Glenn Poshard told the board of trustees at its meeting Thursday college campuses were previously exempt from concealed carry laws, but since the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals wants the state to start over with new legislation, such restrictions might not end up in place. “We may end up with low restrictions on concealed carry on our campus,” Poshard said, noting the prospect could become problematic for the university

- Posted by Rich Miller        


103 Comments
  1. - Colossus - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 9:15 am:

    While I’m no fan of concealed carry, I’d happy trade a vote in favor for a vote to legalize marijuana for recreational purposes. It’s called compromise, folks.


  2. - Anonymous - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 9:21 am:

    Yours is a voice of reason, which is in short supply on any number of hot topics


  3. - Sunshine - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 9:31 am:

    I would opt for conceal carry of a joint, doobie, roach, or pin joint.

    There is always the fear than cartel gangs will use their pot distribution network for more hard
    drugs if they lose the pot distribution dollars.

    As to conceal carry, I support it though would likely only carry if I were driving cross country. One never knows when a monster rabbit will attack from a cave.

    Two very difficult issues but I think both have reasonable and acceptable solutions; concealed carry likely the easier one to resolve.

    Next, let’s solve the pension crisis by taxing religious institutions and earmarking those taxes for the pension system and education of our children. That would be a great good for the church.


  4. - shore - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 9:31 am:

    I agree with you 100 percent. I’ve lived in awful areas and never owned a gun, but people should be able to own them if they play by the rules. Chicago is not going to turn into the wild west because a few more folks own guns.


  5. - TimB - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 9:35 am:

    I think it’s important to note, that Judge Williams fears, “e.g., accidents with loaded guns on public streets or the escalation of minor public altercations into gun battles.” have NOT been documented in the 40 or so states with “Shall Issue” laws.


  6. - mythoughtis - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 9:39 am:

    SIU already has a problem with guns. Two students were robbed at gunpoint this week in a dorm that had key card security… so the arrested suspects turned out to live in that dorm.


  7. - Bob in Peoria - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 9:40 am:

    Chicago politicians seems to have this dysfunctional attitude, that ONLY THEY can dictate Illinois legislation. If they don’t like something, too bad for the rest of Illinois. If they like something, who cares what the rest of Illinois thinks?


  8. - late to the party - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 9:46 am:

    For better or worse, the supreme court has already decided on the 2nd amendment. While i don’t agree with their interpretation, there are plenty of other SCOTUS rulings I agree with and would like to think that states have to enforce their rulings. I can’t cherry pick.

    Illinois should pass conceal carry with reasonable restrictions. We should, however, stop pretending that it will make us safer.


  9. - SIU - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 9:48 am:

    Poshard at SIU is worried about guns on campus? Men armed with guns commit an armed robbery in an on campus dorm, Wednesday.http://www.wsiltv.com/news/local/SIU-Leaders-and-Students-Respond-to-Armed-Robbery-183432381.html A little over a week ago 10 stundents where arrested for fighting on campus.http://www.wsiltv.com/news/local/SIU-Students-Arrested-Banned-from-Campus-for-Fight-182086421.html SIU Carbondale has been ranked on a list of America’s most dangerous schools. http://www.wsiltv.com/home/top-story/SIU-Carbondale-Ranks-on-Dangerous-Schools-List-181062331.html Lets worry about our BIG problems first.


  10. - Plutocrat03 - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 9:52 am:

    I am also pretty much on the side of allowing adults to do whatever they want as long as their behavior does not hurt anyone else. My only concern regarding legalizing the use of marijuana relates to driving under the influence. Impaired drivers, regardless of the source of impairment need to be kept off the road. Washington State has passed some legislation relating to setting thresholds of THC levels while driving. Perhaps this is the answer, or something more sophisticated needs to be prepared.

    Legalization on a national scale has many benefits. A new revenue stream, (since it is fashionable to enact sin taxes), a flushing of a portion of the prison population of those convicted of minor marijuana offenses, an elimination of a commodity for the narco traders……

    I do disagree about the ‘harm’ of protesters marching in the street. While I do not believe that anyone assembling needs to ask for permission to air whatever grievance they wish to air, the consequences to public safety need to be considered. Pedestrians in a public roadway are putting themselves in danger and as such require police protection. That costs the public money and takes police from other, perhaps more important duties. I do not consider it to be an undue burden for protesters to select a venue suitable to the size of the protest.

    If I want to hold a party, which will involve closing off the street in front of my house, I can make arrangements in advance. The city will provide appropriate barriers. Spontaneously closing off the street is not fair to the neighbors and will certainly trigger a visit from the police. A bit of courtesy goes a long way.


  11. - Mittuns - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 9:52 am:

    Well said, Rich. Agreed 100 percent.


  12. - just sayin' - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 9:53 am:

    Excellent column Rich.

    I don’t see myself ever seeking a permit, but as you note, some people will have a legitimate need. I especially like the idea of women working a late night shift having the option if they desire.

    And the gangbangers, while presumably would fail the legal permit process, have them anyway.

    Most people aren’t going to carry just because they don’t want their friends and co-workers thinking they are gun nuts, or if they are men they don’t want women assuming they are compensating for something else (and yes, women are thinking that).


  13. - dupage dan - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 9:55 am:

    =There is always the fear than cartel gangs will use their pot distribution network for more hard
    drugs if they lose the pot distribution dollars=

    That’s the best reason I have seen for legalizing pot. Do it or something worse will happen.

    Prunella.


  14. - vise77 - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 9:55 am:

    Very well said, Rich. I live in a sketchy Chicago neighborhood but never wanted to carry a gun. I grew up Downstate, among hunters and NRA members, and never was afraid of guns, as I was spoiled to have grown up among extremely responsible gun owners. There is no way–none whatsoever–that the USA will ever be gun free, so we may as well accept that fact and craft sensible policies that reflect such reality.


  15. - Judgment Day - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 9:59 am:

    Regulating lifestyles is both expensive and time consuming - and tends to be much resented by the people being ‘regulated’. You can see that in the ‘comments’ being made in the ‘concealed carry’ threads.

    Both political parties need to learn from that. And, especially here in IL, it’s both expensive and time consuming - and we here in IL have better things to do with our money (like pay down our back bills) and time (like reduce our governing structure down to supportable levels).

    Treat marijuana just like we do alcohol. Just expand DWI to include marijuana. And tax it the same as alcohol.

    There are a couple of thorny issues that will have to be addressed. First, there’s been a lot of past business employment decisions which have been made based upon what has been up to current ‘illegal’ marijuana use. We’re going to have to give those decisions ’safe harbor’ (grandfather) status of not subject to being litigated.

    In simple terms, let’s agree in advance not fight the last war all over again.

    Second, it’s still ’smoking’, but just with a different material. Same rules as apply to tobacco. Can’t smoke inside public buildings, got to be however many feet from the entrance, etc., no puffing in bars, restaurants, etc.

    In simple terms, what applies to one, applies to all.

    Above all, Common sense. Make the process straight forward and easy to administer for the folks out in the field.

    As far as ‘quantity’ goes, who cares. As long as the taxes are paid on the stash, don’t really care how much you have - if you want a garage full, no problem. If you want a garage full without the taxes being paid on it - BIG PROBLEM.

    Let’s not force the police to have to start carrying around a digital scale to measure everybody’s stash - they already have got enough stuff to lug around. Cut the people doing the actual enforcement work a break.


  16. - Cook County Commoner - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 10:05 am:

    I’m more afraid of Squeezy (and the fiscal issues represented by it) than legalizing pot and allowing folks to carry. Most people who want to smoke pot or carry a gun do it regardless of the law. May as well legalize and tax these activities and feed the revenue to Squeezy.


  17. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 10:28 am:

    Thanks for another excellent article, Rich. I feel about the same on concealed carry and marijuana. I have a close relative who was involved in an abusive relationship, and who was stalked. The relative bought a big stun-gun type of weapon that was not easy to conceal. I would have felt better if this person had a legally-obtained concealed firearm.

    President Obama will be on ABC’s “20/20″ tonight, saying that prosecuting marijuana should not be a top priority of his administration, in light of the recent legalization in two states, so that’s a bit of good news.


  18. - Norseman - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 10:29 am:

    I like it. Pot for Squeezy. Theme for pot legalization campaign, “Let’s mellow the fellow!”


  19. - Anonymous - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 10:38 am:

    The Florida murder rate reduction from 11.4/100,000 to 5.2/100,000 after implementation of concealed carry may well be due to several factors in addition to the legal ability to be armed. However, had that statistic been the reverse, I’ve no doubt the argument would be made by gun control advocates it was proof positive concealed carry did not save lives. TimB is right; concealed carry in the other 49 states has not resulted in the “wild west” scenario the Chicago pols foresee. Statistics show that only 1%-2% of citizens eligible for concealed carry actually exercise the right, but it’s been enough to deter a significant number of murders and other crimes nationwide, and actually reduce crime rates. While Chicago is certainly a much different situation than the rest of Illinois, the experience nationwide suggests a similar positive effect could be had were concealed carry implemented. What Chicago has been doing to this point hasn’t worked all that well, and we haven’t seen any meaningful proposals other than concealed carry that would change that.


  20. - Small Town Liberal - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 10:46 am:

    - Just expand DWI to include marijuana. -

    Already does.


  21. - langhorne - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 10:54 am:

    the attention span of the GA being what it is, concealed carry goes to the top of the list. my christmas wish, therefore, is for them to pass a reasonable, balanced, constitutional law for the entire state by easter. then they can get back to casinos, the budget, pensions, etc etc. hey, i said it was a wish. i am putting it in my letter to santa mike.


  22. - Confused - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 10:56 am:

    “Most of the people who want the right to carry a concealed handgun happen to be white suburban or rural men. It’s easy to play armchair psychiatrist and dismiss them as perpetually angry, overcompensating paranoids.

    But not everybody who wants a concealed handgun in public is a wingnut.”

    Rich, I suspect you didn’t mean this the way it could be interpreted. I just want to point out that even the vast majority of white suburban or rural men who want concealed carry are not wingnuts.


  23. - coz - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 10:58 am:

    to all posters (over the last several days)who are saying -”a man is going to carry a gun to COMPENSATE for something else”-
    yes, i am compensating
    compensating for a dude/dudes, that might want to jack me and steal my wallet - the “dudes” might not have a gun but i’ll bet a nickel they have some sort of weapon


  24. - Econ Prof - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 10:59 am:

    Very nice, thoughtful column Rich.


  25. - Econ Prof - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 11:02 am:

    *In a dissent Tuesday Judge Ann C. Williams wrote, “[the] Illinois Legislature . . . sought to ‘prevent situations where no criminal intent existed, but criminal conduct resulted despite the lack of intent, e.g., accidents with loaded guns on public streets or the escalation of minor public altercations into gun battles.’ . . . The danger of such situations increases if guns may be carried outside the home.”*

    1. How has that worked out so far for the City of Chicago?

    2. Can she point to anywhere in the U.S. where there has been a rash of ‘escalation of minor public altercations into gun battles’ from people with concealed carry permits? Why do these folks think that this type of craziness will only happen in Chicago?


  26. - Rich Miller - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 11:09 am:

    ===compensating for a dude/dudes, that might want to jack me and steal my wallet ===

    I wasn’t aware that such a thing was common in Mahomet.


  27. - Just askin - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 11:14 am:

    Coz, in your example, open carry would be a greater deterrent than conceal carry.


  28. - Anon - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 11:38 am:

    Marijuana use is not that harmless. As I recall, USA Today reported that a nearly a half million people were treated in emergency rooms for injuries/illnesses due to marijuana use last year. Given that people are reluctant to admit involvement with illegal substances, these figures are no doubt on the low side. Recent research showing permanent decreases in IQ among teen marijuana users has been widely reported (and that probably explains a few people I know). No one has definitively answered the lung cancer question yet. And while current DUI laws may cover marijuana, no standards for what constititutes intoxication or practical methods for measuring intoxication exist, rendering them fairly useless. Employers are no better positioned to cope with the potential problems than law enforcement. Society has enough trouble paying for the costs of our first legal drug–alcohol. We are ill prepared to take on another. I don’t think it is good public policy to lock people up for using marijuana, except in the instances with others are endangered or injured, but I don’t think it is a good idea to make it legal either.


  29. - Rich Miller - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 11:40 am:

    ===I don’t think it is good public policy to lock people up for using marijuana, except in the instances with others are endangered or injured, but I don’t think it is a good idea to make it legal either. ===

    Well, if you don’t lock people up for it, then what the heck would you do?


  30. - Jeeper - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 11:43 am:

    After watching Chicago politicians being “reasonable” on the issue of concealed carry (actually guns in general) for decades, I almost (but only “almost”) hope the other side is as “reasonable” and amenable to “compromise” as Cook County Democrats have been. The court has given gun owners and downstate legislators the “hammer” on this issue. Will they use it?


  31. - dupage dan - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 11:43 am:

    Anon @ Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 11:38 am: =Marijuana use is not that harmless=

    Here we go.


  32. - Rich Miller - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 11:46 am:

    Also, your USA Today figures are worthless…

    http://reason.com/blog/2012/10/31/newsweek-he-upsides-of-legalization-have?utm

    According to the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NHAMCS), the 375,000 instances in which marijuana is noted in an ER visit are not necessarily instances in which marijuana caused an “averse reaction.” Rather, the survey tells us that in those 375,000 cases, marijuana was “commonly involved in an emergency department visit.” So, if you smoked a joint on Tuesday, and on Thursday you blew a tire in your work vehicle and careened into a guard rail, then had your blood drawn at the ER, marijuana was involved in your emergency room visit. While people do ocassionally get so high that they call for an ambulance, the NHAMC survey doesn’t distinguish between people who go to the ER with drugs in their system, and people who go to the ER because of the drugs in their system.


  33. - anon - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 11:46 am:

    http://www.courant.com/news/breaking/hc-police-responding-to-incident-in-newtown-20121214,0,3969911.story


  34. - Anon - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 11:47 am:

    Fines. Community service.


  35. - Pot calling kettle - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 11:47 am:

    I would hope that the law that passes will keep guns off college campuses. With a large concentration of teens who are still developing the “executive function” of their brains in a high stress environment with lots of experimentation, the last thing you need in the dorms are guns.

    While I agree that generally speaking concealed carry does not appear to increase or decrease gun violence, I think it would be prudent to keep the guns out of the dorms.


  36. - Rich Miller - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 11:48 am:

    And the point behind that link is… ???


  37. - Rich Miller - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 11:51 am:

    ===Fines. Community service.===

    For what, exactly? Your data is bad, you don’t want them locked up, so why do you want people punished at all?


  38. - walkinfool - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 11:54 am:

    I’ve seen arguments on both sides, and the court found it unresolved whether gun carry restrictions hurt or help the crime rates.

    What I have been convinced of is that wider gun ownership increases the accidental death and suicide rates. As an emergency room doctor said, “We don’t see a lot of failed suicide attempts by firearm. We see plenty by other means.” Proliferation of gun ownership is not good for this society, even if individuals have the legal right.


  39. - Pot calling kettle - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 12:00 pm:

    == SIU Carbondale has been ranked on a list of America’s most dangerous schools. ==

    If you read the original ranking article, all the way down at the bottom, they allude to the fact that even their “most dangerous” university is quite a bit safer than a city. And, looking at the FBI data, campuses have much lower crime rates than the country in general.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/most-dangerous-colleges-in-america-2012-11?op=1
    http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2011/crime-in-the-u.s.-2011/violent-crime/violent-crime


  40. - Ken_in_Aurora - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 12:00 pm:

    @ - anon - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 11:46 am:

    Unless that shooter has a CCW (highly unlikely but not impossible), I can’t see what posting that link adds to the discussion here - unless you’re trolling.


  41. - anon - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 12:01 pm:

    I apologize for the lazy link post. There was a shooting in a Connecticut grade school. One child killed, 20 people wounded. I find it relevant for this discussion. I know that advocates say that guns dont kill people, people kill people. However, we live in a violent society, one where a seemingly normal person today isnt tomorrow. When the time comes, and he/she snaps, a handgun allows that trusted person to get into close proximity of innocent children. I realize that these shootings occur with rifles too, but i also realize that taking away people’s rifles would never happen. However, I look at the faces of these children being led from the school following the shooting and wonder why we continue to let this happen. I think of the parents who’s child is dead and my heart breaks. Guns definitely kill people.


  42. - Rich Miller - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 12:01 pm:

    ===that wider gun ownership===

    OK, but there’s no good data that concealed carry leads to wider gun ownership.


  43. - Ken_in_Aurora - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 12:02 pm:

    @ - anon - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 11:46 am:

    I don’t see how the prospect of guns in dorms is much of an issue. You must be 21 years of age to possess a handgun. How many 21 year olds are living in dorms?


  44. - Aldyth - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 12:03 pm:

    As I read this over my lunch hour, I’m listening to a radio report of a shooting at an elementary school in Connecticut where the parent of a student came in with two guns, killed the principal, school psychologist, and there are students who are victims.


  45. - TooManyJens - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 12:04 pm:

    walkinfool, I agree, but I would think most of those suicides and accidental deaths take place at home (or if you’re going to take your gun somewhere to kill yourself, I doubt you’re worried about whether carrying is legal). So I don’t know if that’s relevant to concealed carry.


  46. - Anon - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 12:04 pm:

    The USA Today figure was quite a bit higher, and while I understand the lack of precision here, I think saying that figures are worthless is an overstatement. It is not probable that none of these admissions were due to marijuana use. And, the uncertainty here demonstrates that the tools we have at this point in time are inadequate. Even if intoxication were legally defined, we can’t measure it. We simply aren’t ready for this yet. Let Colorado and Washington work out the bugs.


  47. - There needs to be a national debate - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 12:07 pm:

    I can see both sides of the gun issue. But when 27 people (including 18 children) are killed in a shooting rampage, something SANE needs to be done.


  48. - Rich Miller - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 12:12 pm:

    ===But when 27 people (including 18 children) are killed in a shooting rampage, something SANE needs to be done. ===

    No argument there. But some of the worst laws are often based on worst case scenarios like this one.


  49. - Anon* - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 12:19 pm:

    Here we go. What does concealed carry in Illinois have to do with a nutjob killing 20+ people in Connecticut? Do you think not having concealed carry would deter that? MURDER is illegal and that didn’t stop him. On the other hand, if someone at the school had been carrying a legally concealed firearm he or she may have been able to put a quick end to the shooter’s rampage. Instead they were all ducks in a shooting gallery.


  50. - Small Town Liberal - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 12:20 pm:

    - Marijuana use is not that harmless. -

    Neither is alcohol. I’m happy I don’t risk going to jail when I hit up the booze aisle at Jewel.


  51. - Small Town Liberal - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 12:25 pm:

    Anon* - I agree that this incident in Connecticut shouldn’t be linked to concealed carry, but why do folks always have to go to the “If someone had been carrying” argument? Connecticut has concealed carry, didn’t stop this. Colorado has concealed carry, didn’t stop that tragedy.

    I hate the ridiculous arguments on both sides.


  52. - dupage dan - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 12:28 pm:

    anon, the answer is fewer guns? Pretell, how do you propose to do that without trampling on a constitutional right?

    Do you really think that if there were fewer guns on the street that this wouldn’t have happened.

    Your post is really just a bumper sticker slogan. It does NOT further the discussion in any meaningful way


  53. - anon - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 12:30 pm:

    Dan, youre right. It would be a constitutional trampling. But, these kids would be alive if the shooter didnt have access to the guns. Its not a bumper sticker. Its unconstitutional logic, but logic nonetheless.


  54. - dupage dan - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 12:30 pm:

    Concealed Carry only works if someone is actually carrying the weapon. It appears from stats that few folk actually take advantage of the freedom once it is established. I wonder if this kind of horrific tragedy has any impact on it.


  55. - Springfieldish - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 12:30 pm:

    ===”No argument there. But some of the worst laws are often based on worst case scenarios like this one.”===

    As opposed to laws imposed by default due to the passage of a federal district court deadline?


  56. - amalia - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 12:31 pm:

    in a few hours, when my numb sadness wears off, the time for discussion about guns and our society will be at hand. it’s gonna be a loud dinner out this evening. but right now, I’m so sad and sorry for the people who died in that school in Conn. and if the reports are correct that an entire kindergarten class is gone, well, there are no words. watching the news and praying for the lost souls in Connecticut.


  57. - dupage dan - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 12:33 pm:

    =these kids would be alive if the shooter didn’t have access to the guns=

    Yep, I have seen the research. Possession of guns causes berzerkitis. Take away the guns and you prevent berzerkitis. Case closed.


  58. - E town - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 12:42 pm:

    Absolutely right on the mark Du Page. No other legal product can kill so many in such a short amount of time. I am sure we will find the handguns used in this tragedy had high capacity ammo magazines. Reports say close to 100 rounds in a matter of minutes. Wake up America this crap will continue to happen if we sit on our hands and don’t count on gutless legislators to help


  59. - Springfieldish - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 12:44 pm:

    Take away the guns and you limit the lethality of berzerkitis, Dan.

    And, if the ISRA gets its Christmas wish, the EASE with which berzerkitis can become lethal.


  60. - anon - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 12:45 pm:

    Dan, this isnt a joke. I can see you are digging in. I didnt say that a gun caused this person to snap, but it did enable him to kill 27 innocent people, 18 of which were kindergartners. I cant imagine that you have children because if you did you wouldnt put gun ownership over any childs safety.


  61. - TooManyJens - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 12:49 pm:

    ==No other legal product can kill so many in such a short amount of time. ==

    I doubt that’s true — you could do a lot of damage with a car or with a bomb made of legal components — but no other legal product can kill so many in such a short amount of time and has no other purpose than to injure and kill.


  62. - Ken_in_Aurora - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 12:50 pm:

    === I cant imagine that you have children because if you did you wouldnt put gun ownership over any childs safety. ===

    Oh, no - the “it’s for the children” mime is trotted out.


  63. - Rich Miller - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 12:53 pm:

    People, I understand the grief and shock at this latest mass killing.

    But wishing for a solution ain’t gonna make it happen.

    Like it or not, the US Supreme Court has ruled that possessing a gun is a constitutional right. Chicago’s federal appellate court has ruled that Illinois’ carry laws are unconstitutional.

    So taking all the toys from all the boys is not an option here.

    This isn’t a sophomore dorm room. Try to deal with legal realities, please.


  64. - Ken_in_Aurora - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 12:56 pm:

    Not that anyone cares what I think, but…

    The Connecticut shooting is an unspeakable travesty. I would not be surprised to learn that there were clear points in the shooter’s history where the shooting could have been reasonably foreseen and possibly mitigated.

    But this tragedy has near zero to do with the topic of concealed carry in Illinois! If past history is any indication a certain vocal segment of antis will play the sympathy card all they can to further their agenda which I personally find to be despicable.


  65. - dan linn - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 12:57 pm:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/05/25/AR2006052501729.html

    “The largest study of its kind has unexpectedly concluded that smoking marijuana, even regularly and heavily, does not lead to lung cancer.”

    ======Employers are no better positioned to cope with the potential problems than law enforcement. Society has enough trouble paying for the costs of our first legal drug–alcohol. We are ill prepared to take on another.========

    Employers can still drug test and if they wanted they could do BAC tests every morning but most don’t and eventually many of those that do drug test will phase it out once they realize cannabis consumption doesn’t infringe on work duties. And for those whose consumption does hinder their work they can be fired for that.

    Alcohol abuse and associated health problems are different than cannabis abuse and potential cannabis problems for many reasons. One is because those who abuse alcohol become violent, risk taking and often don’t recall their behavior while those who abuse cannabis might become lazy but also might not recall much. Alcohol is the only legal OTC intoxicating drug, add another to market and consumers can have a choice and there will be those who choose the safer substance with fewer negative side effects like hangovers, health risks and personality alterations etc. Furthermore one could argue that the costs to society from cannabis prohibition, namely the prison industry, cartel violence and loss of respect for the law are already greater than the costs of alcohol abuse.


  66. - Ken_in_Aurora - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 12:59 pm:

    @ - anon - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 12:55 pm:

    Who is mocking? You dragged out the “having children trumps all” card. I actually care for the children and for finding ways to prevent further mass tragedies that don’t involve knee-jerk ideological reactions.


  67. - anon - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 1:06 pm:

    Again, this isnt knee jerk. This isn’t the first gun massacre we’ve suffered.


  68. - Pot calling kettle - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 1:13 pm:

    ==But this tragedy has near zero to do with the topic of concealed carry in Illinois!==

    Actually, it does. Tragedies like this impact overall public opinion and the actions of legislators. The details of who had the gun, how he got it, why he did it, etc, are all part of the story and may or may not involve concealed carry directly. But, any event like this moves public opinion with respect to guns.

    This incident will impact the final language of the bill that passes out of the GA. It will result in a bill that has more restrictions.


  69. - Demoralized - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 1:13 pm:

    I’m sick to death of people bringing up tragedies like the one in Connecticut today as an argument on any side of the gun debate. It’s extremely insulting and insensitive. I understand the politics of the matter, but the fact that people cannot respect that this is a tragedy and no matter what the laws are or are not would not have prevented this tragedy, makes me angry.

    Anybody that uses this tragedy (or those that have used past tragedies) to make any argument or point in the gun debate should be utterly ashamed of themselves. You have no scruples.


  70. - Anonymous - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 1:14 pm:

    What a ghastly day. Yes, yes, I get that concealed carry and tragedies like the one in Connecticut are not linked in causal terms (that we’re aware of). But perhaps concealed carry advocates and the NRA, ISRA et al could take a moment to recognize that to a lot of people there is a powerful emotional connection between the unfettered ability of folks to walk around with guns and these mass killings . I won’t argue that this is an analytically sound, statistically proven relationship. But it doesn’t predispose a lot of people to like guns. Personally I’d have an easier time accepting concealed carry if the gun rights lobby didn’t have a track record of scorched earth opposition to reasonable restrictions on the right to own weapons capable of these massacres.


  71. - Springfieldish - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 1:16 pm:

    Play the sympathy card? The proponents of concealed carry have been playing the safety card for decades. And yet there is no data that more guns via concealed carry in Englewood would reduce the murder rate. We read, “How’s that Chicago ban on guns workin for ya?” over and over again. When children in Chicago are killed by cross-fire, I have always found such mindless Palin-esque snark to be offensive. We accept the Walter-Middys as reasonable and condemn the ’sympathy cards’?

    In a just world, we would hear actual proposals from Todd and the ISRA to limit the flow of illegal guns, to offset the actual costs of gun related injuries and deaths on federal, state, and county budgets, or, even allow actual costs to be determined (they’ve blocked them for decades, and as such, the 7th Circuit didn’t have hard cost data), and how to actually legislate reasonable restrictions. All the back-patting for the ISRA’s lobbyists of just a few days ago seems rather unseemly today, doesn’t it?


  72. - Demoralized - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 1:17 pm:

    As to the marijuana debate, if you want to keep locking up minor drug offenders (and I’m not talking about the large scale people) you better start building a whole lot more prisons.

    I could frankly care less if individuals want to do drugs. If you want to screw yourself up then it’s fine by me. As long as you aren’t hurting anybody else then as far as I concerned it’s nobody elses freaking business. The problem with this topic and other topics involving people’s personal lives is the number of do-gooders who think they should have a say in how a person lives their life. I’ve always operated under the live and let live philosphy. Unfortunately, there are some who want to stick their noses in where they don’t belong.

    And, before anybody says “Ya, but then we have to pay for their healthcare costs,” I say baloney. I’m all for making them ineligible for state subsidized healthcare. Drug test people. You do drugs, you’re out of luck getting the bill paid for.


  73. - Mark - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 1:19 pm:

    I picture someone with a beer can, a doobie, and a gun strapped to their body.
    It would then be legal to drink beer, smoke marijuana, and carry a weapon.
    Or yet another law to prevent that.
    Even then you could have both substances in your system.
    The biggest would be proponents of right to carry are in a grave.
    As the one legislator pointed out, lots of people in crime infested neighborhoods can’t figure out why Illinois is the only state that doesn’t allow them to legally carry a firearm to protect themselves, when obviously lots of people in their neighborhoods illegally carry firearms.
    I’ve heard several addicts state marijuana was their entry to more severe illegal drugs.
    It could be argued legalizing marijuana would keep them away from illegal drug dealers.
    But cigarettes are legal and that didn’t keep them away from illegal marijuana dealers.
    So I doubt it.


  74. - John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 1:21 pm:

    >>>>>I can see both sides of the gun issue. But when 27 people (including 18 children) are killed in a shooting rampage, something SANE needs to be done.

    What do the Israelis do?


  75. - Anonymous - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 1:26 pm:

    “I’m sick to death of people bringing up tragedies like the one in Connecticut today as an argument on any side of the gun debate. It’s extremely insulting and insensitive. I understand the politics of the matter, but the fact that people cannot respect that this is a tragedy and no matter what the laws are or are not would not have prevented this tragedy, makes me angry.

    Anybody that uses this tragedy (or those that have used past tragedies) to make any argument or point in the gun debate should be utterly ashamed of themselves. You have no scruples.”

    What? Do we live in a vacumn? Of course this plays into the debate. You may not like it, it may not SEEM fair to you, but it happened. We don’t have all the info now but apparently some wack job killed a lot of people, apparently with a gun or guns.


  76. - E town - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 1:32 pm:

    Regardless of where you stand on the issue of guns, and who your god might be please keep the victims, their families and the entire Sandy Hook community in your prayers in the days and weeks to come.


  77. - Rich Miller - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 1:32 pm:

    ===We don’t have all the info now but apparently some wack job killed a lot of people, apparently with a gun or guns. ===

    You can’t discuss policy based just on that. Public policy requires details, you have none.


  78. - downstate commissioner - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 1:33 pm:

    Good column, Rich. As an admitted gun nut, I have wished for legal carry of a firearm since I was a kid. Apparently, this might happen in the next few months if the far ends of the issues can accept compromise. Todd may be a little over the top in his assertions that the whole issue is back up for grabs and the compromises are out. While sympathetic to this viewpoint, I don’t agree with this attitude. The current bill (and I admit that I haven’t gone back and read it recently) in the house is probably the best and quickest way to settle the issue: it contains training, licensing, prior crime/mental conditions (although I might have that confused with the FOID card rules); and I seem to remember that some reciprocity is included.
    I certainly can live with the restrictions as proposed now. But any attempt to make it more restrictive will only stir up the hardcore guns-for-everybody-without-restrictions group.

    Okay, I started this comment a couple of hours ago, got called away, and then heard about the mess in Connecticut. It will impact the debate in the general assembly; the anti-gunners will try to connect it to the concealed carry debate.
    But, I will stick with what I had said earlier. Pass the existing bill, and move on to other stuff. It can (and will) be tinkered with later.


  79. - Anonymous - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 1:35 pm:

    I’ve read three articles about the CT massacre and none have yet reported whether those guns were licensed.


  80. - ZC - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 1:38 pm:

    I’ll agree with anyone who states we should back off any assertions until we know a lot more about today than we do. That goes for both sides - those immediately promoting this tragedy as a call for gun control , and those immediately asserting (equally without grounds) that you just can’t, can’t talk about gun massacres as a justification for why we might want further regulations of guns. And I’m not sure quite about your point either Rich - I get it that practically we can’t act outside the constraints of the courts, but of course we can and should call out the courts if they make really stupid rulings. I don’t think that was your point but just to note in passing.


  81. - Pot calling kettle - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 1:40 pm:

    ==You can’t discuss policy based just on that. Public policy requires details, you have none. ==

    While I agree that good policy relies on facts and details, public opinion does not. And while I would prefer policy and legislation to be based in facts and scientifically supported analysis, we all know that public opinion sways voters and thus their elected officials.

    Since the final carry bill that passes the GA will require the support of legislators with moderate views on the issue and public opinion is likely to shift to the control side of the scale, I think this tragedy will result in a more restrictive bill passing to to Gov. than was likely a few days ago.


  82. - Boone Logan Square - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 1:42 pm:

    I wonder if Mike Bloomberg (who just spent over $3 million successfully primary-ing a pro-NRA US House Rep from California) might next turn his sights (and millions) to state legislatures?

    Given the looseness of Illinois state campaign finances, I could see such a move.


  83. - Rich Miller - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 1:42 pm:

    ===none have yet reported whether those guns were licensed===

    Illinois, as a state, doesn’t license or require permits for individual guns.

    Also, CBS says the suspected shooter is from New Jersey. Connecticut has no reciprocal concealed carry law with any state. And New Jersey has a very strict “may issue” policy. One of the guns was reportedly a rifle, which isn’t exactly concealable.

    In other words, the early reports mean this shooting likely has little to do with legalized concealed carry in Illinois.

    Mental health, however, is a key aspect (as noted in my column), and there are holes in the reporting and deficiencies in the way people are reported. Discussion about that would be appropriate.

    Most of the rest of the talk - on both sides - is off topic and will be deleted from here on out. Keep this to Illinois, people.


  84. - Rich Miller - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 1:45 pm:

    Pot, that would be true if the bill was being debated in the GA this week. That won’t happen for months.


  85. - Rich Miller - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 1:51 pm:

    ===I get it that practically we can’t act outside the constraints of the courts, but of course we can and should call out the courts if they make really stupid rulings.===

    I don’t disagree. But what’s done is done, man. What I’m arguing for here is a bit of realism.

    Barring a constitutional amendment (and that will never happen in a country that can’t even pass an assault weapons ban) it’ll likely be generations before Heller is in danger of being overturned, considering the court’s history.


  86. - E town - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 1:59 pm:

    Rich, while we don’t require licenses for individual gun purchases you do need a FOID card to purchase a firearm


  87. - Rich Miller - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 2:01 pm:

    Yes, I’m well aware of that.


  88. - Colossus - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 2:12 pm:

    Thank you, Dan Linn, for a reasoned take on one aspect of this post.

    As for the guns aspect, I’ll just hold my tongue.


  89. - Norseman - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 2:16 pm:

    Rich, it’s Friday and everyone is trying to get a grasp out of the terrible tragedy in Sandy Hook and things are getting a little goofy. What do you say about closing this thread down early out of respect to the victims and their families. This debate can continue next week.

    God bless them and may they rest in peace.


  90. - amalia - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 2:26 pm:

    the President’s statement linking recent tragedies of Oregon, Colorado, the temple shooting in Wisconsin, and Connecticut also mentioned children on the streets of Chicago. and that action must be taken to address the problem, regardless of politics.
    god bless all the victims.


  91. - wordslinger - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 2:30 pm:

    I think the greatest disservice to any sort of rational discussion on gun control in the United States were the blanket bans by Chicago, Oak Park, Evanston, DC, etc.

    It was Big Brother at its worst. Ridiculous, feel-good, goo-goo legislation that did not address any problem at all, but told people how they had to live within their homes.

    Folks were genuinely, and rightfully, honked about it. I’m glad the NRA pursued this injustice and were victorious in the courts. And I’m still angry at the goo-goos who fought it, apparently because they don’t have the common sense that God gave a goose.

    I never supported those bans. Your home is your castle and, besides from zoning and the like, it’s none of my business how you choose to live within your walls.

    The public square is different. We all share that.

    If someone can show me, anywhere, where the use of firearms by a regular citizen in the public square furthered their protection or that of the community, I’d be glad to see it.

    Every day, I read stories of the use of firearms in the public square to commit violence against citizens. By definition, of course, it’s criminal, whether by gang-bangers protecting their drug turf on the West Side or lunatics murdering kindergarteners in small-town Connecticut.

    I respect everyone’s rights. But with rights come responsibility. We have to get the guns out of the public square for the good of us all.

    We’re becoming indifferent to these massacres because they happen too often — and too easily.

    It’s mid-December. Count the number of gun massacres since the last time it snowed in Chicago. I can think of four off the top of my head. I suspect there are more.

    Let’s reason together, and get guns off the streets, and make it unacceptable to bring a gun in the public square.

    Nothing good ever comes of it.


  92. - Demoralized - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 2:32 pm:

    ==You may not like it, it may not SEEM fair to you, but it happened. ==

    And it DOES NOT MATTER in the grand scheme of the debate. If you think it does then you are mistaken. It doesn’t matter what the laws are or are not. Things like this are going to happen and there is absolutely nothing (unfortunately) that we can do about it.


  93. - Anonymous - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 2:37 pm:

    Somebody earlier asked what the Israeli’s do about gun control. So I looked it up.

    In a nutshell, everyone at age 18 serves in the military for two years. They’re all issued weapons. After they got out of the military, then turn them in. It’s very hard to get a gun permit in Israel. I had no idea. Her’s a link, I have no idea how legit it is:

    http://www.jta.org/news/article/2012/07/24/3101546/despite-militarized-society-israels-strict-gun-laws-keep-civilian-violence-down


  94. - Precinct Captain - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 2:50 pm:

    Actually Rich, it is end the world next week, or at least the end of the Mayan calendar.


  95. - Precinct Captain - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 2:51 pm:

    Actually Rich, it is the* end of* the world next week, or at least the end of the Mayan calendar.


  96. - Anonymous - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 3:04 pm:

    ==You may not like it, it may not SEEM fair to you, but it happened. ==

    And it DOES NOT MATTER in the grand scheme of the debate. If you think it does then you are mistaken. It doesn’t matter what the laws are or are not. Things like this are going to happen and there is absolutely nothing (unfortunately) that we can do about it.

    *** Not this time. You can bet they’ll be a national debate now lead by Obama. I just caught NBC’s video of the White House press conference. The argument that we can’t do anything about these shootings is stupid. We can. It’s called gun control.


  97. - illinifan - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 3:13 pm:

    As we debate conceal carry, I think it is worthwhile to also focus on the carriers responsibility to be a responsible gun owner who is fully trained. Most police officers I know rarely ever use their weapons since they are trained how to effectively diffuse a confrontational situation. I have a deep concern about the few idiots who will carry weapons who don’t learn how to use or handle the weapon correctly. To drive a car we require more training and licensing to legally drive the car than we do to get a FOID card and ultimately a weapon. I would have less of problem with the issue, if we required training before the FOID is issued.


  98. - Ken_in_Aurora - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 3:16 pm:

    Nut control would be more useful than gun control, and is something that will need to be addressed here in IL when following the court’s instructions. Too many unstable individuals fly under the radar in this country since deinstitutionalization and the dominance of pharmaceutical psychiatry.


  99. - Precinct Captain - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 3:39 pm:

    So, Anonymous (10:38), you complain that if the statistics were reversed (murders up with CC), then gun control advocates would use them to support gun control measures, but then, based on no cited evidence other than “statistics”, you proceed to claim that that “only 1%-2% of citizens eligible for concealed carry actually exercise the right, but it’s been enough to deter a significant number of murders and other crimes nationwide, and actually reduce crime rates.” Crime has been in a decline for a long time since the record rates of the late 1980s and early 1990s and that was when many states still had no CC and restrictive forms of may-issue. CC is just one part of many things: leaving the height of the crack cocaine epidemic, new policing strategies, economic growth, new strategies in urban planning, and higher incarceration rates. Plus, the research on CC is mixed and not definitive.

    http://www.wral.com/news/state/nccapitol/story/11204311/
    http://www.angelfire.com/rnb/y/ratesusa.htm#years
    http://www.gun-nuttery.com/rtc.php
    http://www.cnn.com/2012/10/17/us/violent-crime/index.html
    http://www.disastercenter.com/crime/uscrime.htm
    http://www.okhighered.org/fac/pdf/research-efficacy-concealed-carry.pdf


  100. - titan - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 4:29 pm:

    @Rich - crime has been generally declining for a while. So both Florida and Illinios should expect to have seen declines.

    Illinois is at 67.5% of its prior rate.
    Florida is at 46.5% of its prior rate.

    CCW may not be the explanation, but it clearly didn’t make the problem worse in Florida.

    As to the school shooting, I’ll bet that schools there are “gun free” zones.
    Flo


  101. - Anon* - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 5:08 pm:

    Word,
    There’s no way to allow guns in the home without the chance they are going to be used illegally, whether inside or outside the home. There is also zero chance they will be banned altogether. The second amendment ensured we would get our guns and the pandoras box they came in. There are at least 200 million firearms in the US. At this point there is no feasable way to prevent lunatics from getting guns and using them.


  102. - Anonymous - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 5:14 pm:

    Precinct Captain, the point is CC does not appear to have increased the murder rate in Florida, nor in any other state CC is allowed. Were the Chicago pols correct in their fears, that rate of decline in Florida would not have continued, let alone surpassed the rate of decline in Illinois. As stated, many factors are in play to determine the rates, but CC does not appear to be cause for an increase, and may well be a contributor to the decrease. Looking at Chicago, highly restrictive gun laws and ordinances have not and do not deter criminals and gangs from using guns, but do help assure them that any civilian they choose is very unlikely to be armed and able to defend themselves.


  103. - Ken_in_Aurora - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 5:20 pm:

    == At this point there is no feasable way to prevent lunatics from getting guns and using them. ===

    Which points up the urgent need for better lunatic control. No snark, I’m serious.


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        * Cockroach visits Chicago's City Council chambers
        * Chicago police to check bags on transit system
        * Toddler taken from family found in Illinois

        * Feminist Gloria Steinem endorses Quinn for governor
        * Madigan, Rauner spend big on Illinois House races
        * Officials rethink early vote-counting after Madigan ruling
        * Minimum wage increase supporters urge early voting
        * Sun-Times political reporter resigns following Rauner complaint
        * Minimum wage hike supporters urge early voting
        * Federal judge orders court-appointed monitor for IDOT hiring
        * Rep. Raymond Poe to undergo stem cell transplant
        * Bill Clinton campaigns for Quinn, Durbin
        * Quinn, Rauner spar over jobs, taxes

        * Regulators close National Republic Bank of Chicago
        * Rauner, the reporter, the Sun-Times and 'appearance of impropriety'
        * Carol Adams retiring as head of DuSable Museum
        * Chicago police to check bags at CTA stations
        * Shire CEO Ornskov 'dumbfounded' by collapse of AbbVie deal


        * Judge rejects Pistorius comparison, gives 17-year sentence in murder-for-hire plot
        * Keep it peaceful in Ferguson, Mo.
        * Why wasn’t Ebola doc kept under scrutiny?
        * Enthusiastic student Stan Kij, 25, dies of stomach cancer
        * Editorial: Bruce Rauner for governor
        * Back to the past with mayor’s move
        * Illinois needs better way to deal with terminally ill inmates
        * At panel on school closings, board acknowledges more planning needed
        * Marina City residents reminded to watch their step during Wallenda’s walk
        * Republican senators question Quinn’s IDOT scandal response


        * Cops: Man stole semi-truck, critically injured bicyclist and fled
        * Former radio host convicted of mortgage fraud
        * Boy, 17, charged in fatal shooting in Englewood
        * $5 million bond in vandalism of Lombard synagogue
        * FBI searches Chinatown restaurants, at least 3 owned by famed chef Tony Hu
        * Des Plaines man who tried to hire killers to burn wife, friends alive gets 17 years
        * Man charged with DUI in 2013 crash that killed woman, 78, in Aurora


        * Listen to State Week - October 24, 2014
        * 2014 Election Coverage: Citizens, here's your homework!
        * 2 dead, including gunman, in high school shooting
        * Prosecutors want more of indicted police commander’s 'bad acts' in court
        * Prosecutors want more of indicted police commander's 'bad acts' in court
        * Bedrock 66: Charlie Parr Plays Springfield Friday
        * Oberweis Would Back Federal Same Sex Marriage Law
        * Wild Bison Return To IL
        * Scary Story: The Diviner by Susan Vondrak
        * Artist Profile: Local Troubadour Tom Irwin


        * Michael Bromberg: Benedictine looking ahead at changes in higher ed
        * Charles Krauthammer: Barack Obama, aggrieved bystander
        * Feminist Gloria Steinem endorses Quinn for governor
        * Madigan, Rauner spend big on Illinois House races
        * Our Opinion: Bell, Manar, Davidsmeyer endorsed in state legislative races
        * Craig Burns: Honesty, integrity in great supply at CWLP
        * E.J. Dionne: Ebola, pandering and courage
        * Esther Cepeda: Benefits of closing the word gap
        * Officials rethink early vote-counting after Madigan ruling
        * Our Opinion: Frerichs has the expertise to be Illinois treasurer


        * Upcoming Services (Oct. 25, 2014)
        * Shooting during fight leaves one dead
        * Artists giving new life to mural
        * CONO reaching out with social media
        * Local Scoreboard
        * Tigers edge Triopia
        * Carrollton ends perfect regular season with win over Routt
        * Local Briefs
        * (No heading)
        * Commissioner cleared of jury tampering charge


        * St. Edward 9-0 for first time in program history
        * WW South scoops up playoff berth in final minute
        * Batavia latest to consider adding turf field
        * Boys soccer: Friday's results
        * Girls volleyball: Friday's results

        * Patrick Cannon defense strategy rare but n...
        * Feds fine Jesse Jackson Jr.'s campaign com...
        * Ex-Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. faces sen...
        * Representative Jan Schakowsky Sends Letter...
        * Rep. candidate pushes to uphold marriage b...
        * Reps. Schakowsky and Waxman Introduce Bill...
        * Statement by Representative Jan Schakowsky...
        * U.S. House Passes Resolution Condemning An...
        * FAA Rejects Call For New O'Hare Noise Stud...
        * Representatives Quigley, Duckworth, Schako...

        * Republican Senate candidate Oberweis favor......
        * Republican Senate candidate Oberweis favor......
        * Republican Senate candidate Oberweis favor......
        * Republican Senate candidate Oberweis favor......
        * Republican Senate candidate Oberweis favor......

        * Bruce Rauner & Carly Fiorina Inspire Downe......
        * Have you decided what to do to cast your v......
        * U.S. Senator Mark Kirk to talk with Triton......

        * Report: Caputuring Methane A Boost For Business In Illinois
        * Sun-Times Reporters Ask Owners To Open Up About McKinney, Rauner Incident
        * Poll: Illinois Governor's Race Neck-And-Neck
        * Oberweis Reverses Marriage Equality Position During U.S. Senate Debate
        * McKinney, Clout & The Freedom Of The Press: Where Would Illinois Be Headed Under Rauner's Reign? (UPDATED)
        * Chicagoans Take Part In National Day Of Protest Against Police Brutality
        * Police Brutality demonstrators at city hall
        * Police brutality march
        * National Survey: Many LGBT Youths Face Hostile School Environments
        * Police brutality protest 1


        * Rauner rips Quinn on IDOT patronage oversight
        * Governor Quinn Announces Winners of 2014 Illinois Export Awards - State’s Trade Programs Help Companies Increase Global Sales
        * New Ad: Labor leader backs Rauner
        * Jewish Newspapers Endorse Rauner for Governor
        * Statement from the Illinois Department of Public Health and Chicago Ebola Resource Network




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