Sangamon County Rifle Association
Right Reason on Second Amendment Rights
Illinois Concealed Carry Long Overdue
Jim Butler, President, SCRA
April 2009 GunNews
The dirty little secret that the anti-self-defense movement doesn't want you to know is that crime is significantly higher in states without right-to-carry laws. This fact was brought forth by the famous study by John Lott and David Mustard, which led to many states adopting right-to-carry firearm laws.
This study involved county level crime statistics from all 3,054 counties in the U.S. from 1977 through 1992. During this time ten states adopted right-to-carry laws. It is estimated that if all states had adopted right-to-carry laws, in 1992 the U.S. would have avoided 1,400 murders, 4,200 rapes, 12,000 robberies, 60,000 aggravated assaults, and saved over $5,000,000 in victim expenses.
Violent crime rates are highest overall in states and cities with laws severely limiting or prohibiting the carrying of concealed firearms for self-defense. Chicago is a good example of this with their unconstitutional handgun ban, and other illegal infringement laws that only serve to deprive its citizens of the means to defend themselves. Chicago criminals don't pay any attention to these laws. This has consistently made Chicago one of the nations leaders in their high annual murder rate.
Anti-self-defense forces say that the job of protecting the people belongs to the police. But those of us who have served in law enforcement know this isn't true or possible. In rare cases police may even stop a crime in progress. But most of the time police are reduced to becoming historians and, possibly even solve the crime if they are lucky.
The courts around the nation including the U.S. Supreme Court, have often and consistently ruled that police have no duty to protect individuals. Otherwise, their duty is only to the community at large. This means the individual is pretty much on his/her own to protect themselves or their loved ones.
The main obstacle to passing right-to-carry in Illinois has always been the fact that the present Chicago dominated leadership in the general assembly has ruled we need a super majority. That difference of 11 votes from 60 to 71 makes all the difference in the world in trying to pass right-to-carry. Many legislators disagree with this ruling but so far the Chicago Democrats have prevailed depriving Illinois citizens of their right to protect themselves and their loves ones.
While drafting the Bill of Rights, the Founding Fathers confirmed that self-protection was a prime right in the Second Amendment. Thomas Jefferson, quoting criminologist Casare Beccaria, renowned for his "On Crimes and Punishments" (1764), said:
Laws that forbid the carrying of arms . . . disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. . . Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.
This is as true today as when this was written in 1764. Illinois and Wisconsin are the only two states in our country that don't have some form of a concealed carry law. No state that has passed concealed carry has repealed it.
Recently the Illinois Sheriffs' Association, to their credit, has come out in support of concealed-carry for Illinois citizens.
Jim Butler's Commentaries
Sangamon County Rifle Association Home Page