Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Concealed Carry Permits and the lack thereof

When I first got a gun, I lived in a state that had a CCP law. It wasn't a 'shall issue', it was a 'may issue' law; you had to undergo a background check in order to be considered and if that came back clean then you were issued the permit. Ths particular state had reciprocity with many other states, meaning that I COULD carry in more states than I could NOT.

Then we moved to Illinois, and the frustration began.

IL does not permit concealed carry, period. In fact, you have to be granted a Firearm Owners ID (FOID) card in order to even touch a firearm in a store or purchase ammunition. The FOID card application and background check was just as comprehensive as the one for my CCP - in fact, it took longer to get the FOID card.

Basically, you can't carry a gun in Illinois. Chicago and it's draconian gun laws have tainted the rest of the state. I think that needs to change.

I live close to a high crime area; the local newspapers and TV stations are constantly carrying reports of people being shot and killed on the streets....and nearly all (I won't say 'all' because I don't want to talk in absolutes) of those homicides was committed by a person who was in legal posession of the murder weapon; they're all done with unregistered 'street' guns. When was the last time you heard of FOID card owner being involved in a drive-by? How about holding up a gas station? Mugging someone? Home invasion, perhaps?

Earlier this year, just across the river in MO, there WAS a report of a man who was shot and killed by a person with a legally owned, concealed firearm. The man was robbing his victim at gunpoint the time - he pointed an illegally acquired, unregistered 9mm at him and told him to hand over his wallet and phone. The victim was carrying a .38 special in a small of the back holster, and after he'd passed over his wallet he reached back as if to get his cell phone, pulled his gun and shot his assailant in the chest. It was a justified homicide; he killed his attacker in self defense.

I spent half my life in England, where guns are outlawed. The old adage of 'when guns are oulawed, only outlaws will have guns' is true, and outlawing those guns has done NOTHING to decrease the crime rate. People simply stab each other with knives now - and there was even a law in the pipeline banning knives with blades over a certain length. What's next, banning people from using their bare hands?

I understand that when the Second Amendment was written it's intent was to allow the citizens of the US to protect themselves from foreign enemies and invaders, NOT necessarily from each other..... but times they have a'changed, folks. Every law abiding citizen in the US, regardless of what state they live in, should be able to own and, if they so choose, carry a gun on their person to protect themselves from the thugs and criminals that seem to be breeding so prolifically.

Times have changed, society has changed, cultures have changed. . . and laws, more specifically IL state laws, should change, too.

It's time.


Anonymous said...

Hi - I am in the UK and live in a part of the country where knife crime is not an issue.

Personally, I would much rather people 'stabbed one another' than criminals ran around with guns! The risk to others of a knife in an attack, IMHO, is far less than someone carrying a gun - no chance of stray bullets or other people being threatened.

I don't know anything about the law you talk about regarding the length of a knife, but assume that the longer the knife, the more damage that can be done, hence shorter knives are maybe 'less' dangerous.

Your suggestion that the UK would 'ban people from using their bare hands' is way off the mark; why do people want to fight anyway??!!

MedicMatthew said...

I hate to say "give it time" but well, give it time. With the recent ruling on the McDonald v. Chicago case in which "The Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment incorporates the 2nd Amendment right recognized in Heller v. D.C."

We're likely to see a lot of state gun laws changed, particularly in non-free states like Illinois and Massachusetts and California.

Now, my question is, assuming you could have a CCP where you currently live, how does living on base affect your ability to carry?

Ninjamedic said...

Anon: My point was that anti-gun supporters claim that banning guns reduces the overall violent crime rate, and that's simply not true. If people don't have guns, they'll find another way to hurt each other.
The CJA 1988 states: "It is an offence for any person, without lawful authority or good reason, to have with him in a public place, any article which has a blade or is sharply pointed except for a folding pocket-knife which has a cutting edge to its blade not exceeding 3 inches." [CJA 1988 section 139(1)] .
The banning bare hands comment was supposed to be tongue-in-cheek: guns are banned in the UK so people use knives. If knives are banned, what's next?

Matt: The base does not allow for concealed carry, regardless of what the state law is. I don't really mind that so much because the violent crime level on base is virtually non-existent. Off base is where the danger is - I try to avoid going to those places as much as I can, but sometimes I don't have much of an option. For instance, 3 weeks ago a woman was shot and killed on the side of the interstate in East St Louis - a road that I HAVE to travel on to get to the city. 2 years ago, a medic friend of mine was shot in the same area whilst transporting a patient.
I've never been of the mindset that 'I have a gun so I can put myself in any situation I care to, regardless of the danger', even when I had a CCP. I try to avoid dangerous places and scenarios, but sometimes...well, shit happens, you know?

Jenny Irvine said...

Anonymous - Your first line tells me that you're not aware of anyone around you who may have been a victim of crime. I also live in the UK, in a relatively crime free area but am aware that only criminals commit crimes and it doesn't really matter what laws are brought in, there are going to be people out there who will break them to get their own way.

There are people in my life who have been mugged both at knife and gunpoint. The muggers were junkies and/or gangmembers. These friends and family members are law-abiding and did nothing to attract the attention of these 'people' who think it is ok to do as they wish, apart from being in the wrong area at the wrong time.

The UK needs to wake up to what is going on. There are too many laws now, leaving the Police with too much paperwork to do so they spend most of their time in the office filing reports that nobody's going to read.

It is currently illegal to carry a locking knife or a knife longer than the palm of your hand (approx. 3 inches or 76mm) without a 'valid reason'. The validity of this reason is decided on the spot by the policeman who has stopped you. The law that Labour were looking at bringing in was going to stop people carrying knifes at all. So if you go to your local supermarket to buy a knife block and then carry it home you could have been facing an automatic prison sentance. Luckily, this has been repealed as the prison service is so overcrouded that they cannot deal with what they currently hold.

I say legalise knifes and guns, give us all a chance to defend ourselves and not have to face handing over our wallets and phones when threatened, and then having to deal with the fall out, ie having to wait days for the police to come and take statements and then never hearing anything again because your case is now just a number in amongst all the other numbers they are dealing with at the time...

Anonymous said...

Jenny - why would you legalise the carrying long knives and guns in the UK? You appear to be staying 'so that people can defend themselves'.

This is a slippery slope IMHO. I live in a relatively crime free area. Most of the crime around here is burglary - car crime - theft etc. There is practically no violent crime against people here. This being the case, why would you legalise carrying guns and knives in the UK?? You are inviting people who choose to break the law to use the weapon they would legally hold. So the burglar who breaks into a house, if disturbed, now uses his legally bought firearm/knife against the occupant.

There are some inner city areas in the UK which I almost certainly wouldn't want to walk around at night. Having said that I lived in London for 11 years and didn't ONCE see any violent act against another - unless you count the Poll Tax riots - and that was violence against the police. I shudder to think what would have happened in the Poll tax riots if firearms had been legal. Areas of central London would have been no-go areas.

If you give people the right to carry firearms you also, presumably give them the right to use them against another. Two wrongs do not make a right - something I am trying to instill in my two boys :-)

Thankfully violent crime is not as common in the UK as it is in the US but I think it would have the capacity for being so if firearms were legalised as you suggest.