Guest Column: Time to allow concealed weapons in public places
By Daniel Robert Smyth
While it amazes me still that we have to apply for and receive permission to carry personal protection in public places, I did follow through and go through the loops to be able to use my rights.
When I was selling and repairing guns in my home, I did get the Federal Firearms license and obtained an Illinois state FOID card. As I bought properties in other states, I was able to get the concealed carry permit that was valid in every state that had CCW permissions. Florida was the toughest and the most respected permit to have, so I followed the law to get my CCW permit there!
Along with the permission to carry my concealed gun most anywhere in public, the CCW permit afforded the carrier more perks than non-carriers. In a gun altercation, a CCW permit holder is given the benefit of the doubt by the police. Usually when the officer is done with questioning, the CCW permit holder conceals his weapon and continues on his way. Non-CCW permit holders, if they don’t go directly to jail, may receive their firearm when the police are good and ready to release it.
When a CCW permit holder buys a gun, there is no wait at all! The CCW permit holder may buy as many as he can afford, without a waiting period.
The CCW permit availability is a deterrent against aggression.
While the media love to play with the phrase ROAD RAGE, there have been incidents of road rage that have resulted in death because a CCW permit holder was fearful for his life. These events actually were held up in court! Yes, when you come to my car window yelling and screaming, and I am frightened for my life or safety, you can be dead real fast in states that allow CCW permits to free citizens.
The CCW permit classes were a wealth of knowledge to me. I knew a lot of the laws, and have been a multi-gun user and supporter for many years. I went into the CCW permit classes thinking I had all the answers, and I did not. Everyone, whether you intend to own a concealed weapon or not, should take these classes. During the classes, you get to ask the questions you think you have the answer to, and get the straight scoop on what will happen to you legally in different situations.
As it is now, more and more people are deciding to carry weapons in public places. Within the law or against the law, people generally will do what they need to do to protect their family and property. As Illinois is the only state to forbid the concealment of weapons by private individuals in public places, one has to wonder why.
In recent news, I heard my governor allude to the idea that people in the grocery store who bump carts together will end up having a shootout!
Florida and Texas were supposed to be the states we were to look at for the failures of the CCW permit idea. So far, the records for every state that has such a permit option reflect that the permits do no harm at all! All of the lies and misconceptions have been unfounded.
The CCW permit will enable me and others to have special protections against those who would rather we lay down our guns and come out with our hands tied! Currently, when I come home at night, I have to watch for cops that might frisk me for weapons and thugs that think I am an easy target. The permit will allow me in Illinois to welcome the police as an ally, as I focus my attentions more on the people who would do me harm!
Daniel Robert Smyth is a 7th Ward Rockford citizen/homeowner.
From the June 29-July 5, 2011 issue