"Noting the high rate at which young, black males are stopped by police and the fact that it is currently a felony to possess a concealed handgun, he said that an honest, law-abiding, young, black male would be 'nuts' to carry a concealed handgun in Illinois" (2010: 74). It cannot be denied that people living in urban areas who must defend themselves with concealed handguns have the most to gain from passing conceal and carry laws. The absent of police protection is, in general, more absent from these areas than other less-dangerous neighborhoods, which seems ironic. Lott states that in a 1982 American Housing Survey, 60 thousand households were asked if their neighborhoods had adequate police protection. Black, urban area residents were twice as likely as whites to report that they did not have adequate protection, and six times more likely to say that they had considered moving because of inadequate police presence and protection in their neighborhoods (2010: 75).
The debate over Illinois conceal and carry laws could be argued for and against for many more years, but there is no reason why it should. Conceal and carry laws should be passed in the state of Illinois as it is not only a citizen's Second Amendment "right to bear arms," but conceal and carry laws train law-abiding adults to use guns responsibly and require them to possess a license. Offering licenses and permits for handguns to people makes it so that they will not need to break the law, which many end up doing in order to protect themselves as the police have proven to be inadequate (especially in minority areas where crime is pervasive).
Criminals in Illinois are already carrying concealed weapons and this forces non-criminals to get their own concealed weapons as a form of self-defense. Unfortunately, this means that many young, black men, who are honest and law-abiding, will break the law in order to protect themselves from these criminals. These criminals do not have licenses or permits, but the people who are law-abiding and honest could have licenses and permits.
There is no evidence to prove that concealed carry laws have led to vigilantism or a "Wild West" environment. Furthermore, just because people carry concealed guns does not mean that they will suddenly, without cause, turn violent and/or deadly. On the contrary, Lott (2010) has shown that if states that did not permit concealing and carrying in the past had permitted concealing and carrying, a significant amount of murders, aggravated assaults, rapes and robberies could have been prevented.
Movies, television, the media, and entertainment such as video games has sensationalized guns and it is now evident that we live in a gun culture; however, our gun culture does not have to be one that is associated with irresponsibility and law-breaking citizens wielding guns. On the contrary, our gun culture could transform for the better. The state of Illinois could greatly benefit from passing the concealed carry bill as it would allow citizens who want to own guns for self-defense and protection of their family to illustrate their responsibility and their law-abiding behavior learning how to handle a gun, defend themselves and others, avoid injuring third parties, safely carry a concealed handgun, and fire a handgun (Wisconsin Policy Institute Report 2006). The criminals will still not license or get a permit for their guns, but they will know that there are citizens out there who are protecting themselves from crime and violence. Passing this bill in Illinois is a step in the right direction in changing our gun culture for the better and showing criminals that regular citizens will not stand to be violated in any way and will protect themselves, their property, and their families no matter what.
"Approve Conceal-carry Law in Illinois | Illinois, Right, People." The Telegraph. 9 Mar.