Concealed Carry: Politicians Get Armed Protection, But Not School Kids

Saturday, December 15, 2012 | 8:45 PM

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Dec. 15, 2012 - Within minutes of the terrible school shooting in Newtown, CT politicians and ordinary folks started screaming for tougher control control laws. The only armed person at Sandy Hook Elementary School was Adam Lanza, the demented killer. Reports say that Lanza forced his way into the building. Had there been an armed door guard, things might have turned out very differently in Newtown.

As I wrote yesterday, schools are known to law enforcement as being attractive targets for criminally insane people bent on killing. That fact makes it hard to understand why so few schools have armed guards to protect the children and staff.

One factor that killers consider when choosing their targets is the amount of armed opposition they might encounter. Even the criminally insane are smart enough to choose a location where nobody else will have guns, where guns are banned. It should be pointed out that if Adam Lanza had a gone into the school without a gun but swinging a machete, he still would have killed a lot of people.

"Policies making areas 'gun-free' provide a sense of safety to those who engage in magical thinking," wrote Glenn Harlan Reynolds in USA Today on Dec. 14, "but in practice, of course, killers aren't stopped by gun-free zones. As always, it's the honest people — the very ones you want to be armed — who tend to obey the law."

The loudest voices now renewing the cry for more gun laws are politicians, mostly Democrats.  They argue that schools should be gun-free zones, and that allowing school staff to be armed would be dangerous. But which is more dangerous: Having yet another school left vulnerable to yet another armed crazy person's homicidal whims, where he can walk about shooting people at ease for many minutes until the police arrive? The moment the killer enters the building, it is in fact no longer "gun-free."

So, a bad guy is walking the halls of the school: Someone calls 911, but how they must wait for  police to arrive - with guns. Guns, not anti-gun laws, will save them from the bad guy. Police do what armed staff could have done minutes before, and needless deaths sooner, and that's shoot the attacker. But people died in the time it took police to arrive and get a bead on the bad guy.

Auric Gold says concealed carry law
in Wisconsin was "worth the wait."
Photo: Eric Tadsen
And that's exactly how the politicians want it. Many of the politicians calling for more and tougher gun laws are hypocritical about the issue. Chicago City Council members ("aldermen") are legally allowed to carry concealed handguns. "Under a state law dating back to 1872," noted Steve Chapman at Reason Magazine, "mayors and aldermen are designated peace officers. And, conveniently, peace officers are permitted to not only own but carry handguns." Chapman concluded his op-ed with, "In Chicago, only criminals and aldermen are armed. Forgive me for being redundant."

One of the loudest anti-gun voices out their is Democrat Pat Quinn, the failed governor of the failing state of Illinois. When it comes to gun laws, Quinn is a typical Democrat/Liberal.

Ted Biondo wrote in 2011 that Quinn "follows the 'Everyone’s crazy but me and thee, and I sometimes wonder about thee' mentality." In his column, Biondo asked Quinn, "Where is your evidence that the other 48 states, soon to be 49 are wrong and you are right, Governor Quinn?" Read more at eRockford.com.

Governor Quinn, by the way, is always accompanied by bodyguards armed with guns. It's okay for him to be protected by firearms, but by God he will not allow a little old lady on Chicago's south side to keep a pistol in her nightstand.

Another loud voice is Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. He, too, is accompanied by armed men with guns, and shares Pat Quinn's feeling about old women being able to defend themselves.

By extension, then, Quinn, Emanuel and most of the other Democrats ranting against the Second Amendment feel that way about leaving teachers and school staff vulnerable and unable to defend themselves as well.

State conceal carry laws
(interactive map at concealcarrylaw.com)
On Tuesday, Dec. 11, the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 that Illinois' law banning the carrying of concealed weapons in public unconstitutional. Illinois is now the only one of the 50 states that does not allow concealed carry (U.S. territories American Samoa and the N. Mariana Islands also ban concealed carry). Wisconsin became the 49th to allow it on Nov. 1, 2011.

For some reason, people like Quinn and Emanuel completely discount the experiences of 49 other states by sticking their heads in the sand and insisting that allowing Illinois citizens to enjoy the same Second Amendment rights as their fellow Americans would increase gun crime.

"The [U.S.] Supreme Court has decided that the amendment confers a right to bear arms for self-defense," wrote Judge Posner, "which is as important outside the home as inside," and that "The theoretical and empirical evidence (which overall is inconclusive) is consistent with concluding that a right to carry firearms in public may promote self-defense. Illinois had to provide us with more than merely a rational basis for believing that its uniquely sweeping ban is justified by an increase in public safety. It has failed to meet this burden." Full text of Posner's opinion.

Tragically, just three days after the Seventh's ruling, a crazed lunatic walked into a school and killed 27 unarmed people. The school was a gun-free zone, which could also be accurately called a "helpless victim zone." Connecticut, a "blue state," already has some of the nation's toughest gun laws.

Law abiding citizens obey gun laws. Criminals don't, and that's why those who follow the law should be allowed to possess guns and carry them for protection. More gun laws will not make the criminals less inclined to shoot, just as tougher drug laws have not stopped the flow of drugs.

Quinn and Emanuel are representative of many who are anti-gun. "My impression is that the strongest advocates of gun control are liberals living safely in the 28th floor of a high-rise or the safety of a politically correct suburb like Wilmette," wrote Dennis Byrne for ChicagoNow on Dec. 11. "These are the self-appointed 'progressives' who know what's best for everyone, including those living in impoverished, crime-ridden neighborhoods."

49th Ward Alderman Joe Moore, Chicago
Chicago Alderman Joe Moore,  49th Ward Dictator.
He can carry a gun but doesn't want you to.
Emanuel and his fellow travelers on the City Council say they will fight the court's ruling on concealed carry.  On Thursday, Dec. 13, WBEZ reported that many Chicago aldermen are opposed to the ruling.

"Outside a City Council meeting Wednesday," said WBEZ, "one alderman after another said they are so concerned that lifting the ban could lead to more gun violence that they are willing to write a new city ordinance even if it triggers a lengthy and expensive court fight."

That report quoted 49th Ward Alderman Joe Moore as saying,  "I believe that the city would be well within its rights to prohibit [concealed weapons] within its borders, and then we'll take that up to the Supreme Court."

Even as a failed attorney, Moore should know better: The  Seventh District Court's ruling made no exceptions for municipal governments. What Moore and others are  advocating is contempt of court.

"People's safety is at risk," said Alderman Anthony Beale, reported WBEZ. Beale, like Moore, is all for the continued violation of the Second Amendment. Beale is correct in an ironic way, however.

People's safety is at risk, but not the way Beale  meant it. As long as the bad guys have guns, and law-abiding folks are not allowed to carry outside of their homes, people's safety is threatened. As the court noted, a right to carry firearms in public may promote self-defense.

It is exactly for that reason that governors, mayors and other politicians have armed bodyguards with them. It's about time that we stop allowing tragedies such as school shootings to divert our attention from the ongoing, daily tragedy of criminals with guns shooting, robbing and raping at will, and allow ordinary citizens their full right to protect themselves. That should include teachers in schools.

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