Nearly 10,000 Chicago-area residents have already applied for an Illinois concealed carry permit, and a weekend poll in the Idaho State Journal today shows more than 80 percent of respondents support a national concealed carry reciprocity measure co-sponsored by both Gem State Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch.
It is doubtful that either of Washington’s Senators Patty Murray or Maria Cantwell will add their names to the Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2014. Don’t count on Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin to jump aboard, either, despite the rush of his constituents to legally arm themselves for personal protection outside the home.
The Daily Herald, a newspaper serving Chicago suburbs, reported the other day that Cook County “received more concealed carry license applications than Dupage, Lake, McHenry and Kane counties combined” since the application process began on Jan. 5. On that day, according to the newspaper, the Illinois State Police received 4,000 applications, and right now, they are averaging 800 to 1,000 applications daily. That suggests state lawmakers who opposed concealed carry, along with Gov. Pat Quinn, who vetoed the measure only to be overridden, may be out-of-touch with their constituents, whom they would keep disarmed if they had their druthers.
If the national reciprocity measure were to pass the Senate and House, it most likely would face a veto by another Illinois politician who now sits in the Oval office. But the issue will make for some interesting discussion among the millions of law-abiding American citizens now licensed to carry, and those who are hoping to obtain permits and licenses this year.
Illinois firearms instructors indicated to the Daily Herald that they are flooded with applications to take the required training course. Several states have required such courses – Utah, Texas and Florida, for example – yet citizens hungry to exercise their right to bear arms lined up.
As increasing numbers of Americans are “arming up,” it will be interesting to watch homicide statistics, and whether they keep falling. While there are certainly many factors that contribute to a decrease in violent crime, the fact that more people are armed and capable of fighting back cannot be overlooked in a cause-and-effect analysis.
If nothing else, the declining murder counts strongly suggest that predictions from anti-gunners about more guns in private hands resulting in more mayhem simply have not held water.