This weekend, Your Ward Room Blogger was driving through Central Illinois, and stopped for dinner at a café in Farmer City, a small town between Decatur, Champaign and Bloomington. On my way out, I picked up the only free newspaper left on the rack: GunNews, a publication of the group Guns Save Life, which is “affiliated with the Illinois Federation for Outdoor Resources, the Civilian Marksmanship Program, the National Rifle Association, Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership and others.”
Guns Save Life organized the March 10 Illinois Gun Owner Lobby Day, a rally which saw hundreds of gun fans march through Springfield, chanting “Conceal Carry Now!”
Most Chicagoans could care less what anyone in Farmer City thinks. But Farmer Citians care a lot about what Chicago thinks. They resent what they see as our interference with the rural gun culture, and they insist our murder rate is proof that gun laws are ineffective. The right to carry a concealed weapon is a big issue there.
Here’s an excerpt from a GunNews column by Jim Butler, of the Sangamon County Rifle Association:
Illinois and Wisconsin are the only states that don’t have a right-to-carry law … Many of us have noted the irony that the Chicago area tends to have the most restrictive gun-control regulations in the state, yet at the same time they have the highest crime rates. The irony is even more perverse as Chicagoland’s leaders have fought the hardest against the most effective means to reduce violent crime: the option of law-abiding citizens having the right to legally carry the means to protect themselves and their families.
Conceal carry is illegal here because there’s no other state whose politics are so dominated by a single big city. But it’s likely to pass the legislature, if only because Downstate Democrats need a victory to take home after Chicago Democrats rammed through civil unions, a tax increase and a death penalty ban. According to GunNews, “sources have told Guns Save Life that the votes are there to pass the legislation and the only question is whether or not the Governor’s office can co-opt enough of those votes to sustain a veto.”
Elsewhere in GunNews, there’s a page entitled “North of I-80 News,” which provides updates on the mayhem in the Gomorrah by the Lake: “Teens rampage on Mich. Ave.,” “Rep. Gutierrez wants local domestic terrorist freed.”
Frankly, Chicagoans need to start paying attention to South of I-80 News. GunNews is worth reading, just because it offers opinions you won’t hear in Cook County.
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