In a crushing defeat to anti-gun forces in the LOL, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals today struck down Illinois’ longstanding ban on CCW. The court has given Illinois 180 days to craft a law allowing its citizens to carry concealed weapons.
Judge John Posner, issuing the Majority Opinion, wrote:
“We are disinclined to engage in another round of historical analysis to determine whether eighteenth-century America understood the Second Amendment to include a right to bear guns outside the home.
“The Supreme Court has decided that the amendment confers a right to bear arms for self-defense, which is as important outside the home as inside. 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.
“The Supreme Court’s interpretation of the Second Amendment therefore compels us to reverse the decisions in the two cases before us and remand them to their respective district courts for the entry of declarations of unconstitutionality and permanent injunctions.
“Nevertheless we order our mandate stayed for 180 days to allow the Illinois legislature to craft a new gun law that will impose reasonable limitations, consistent with the public safety and the Second Amendment as interpreted in this opinion, on the carrying of guns in public.”
Illinois State Attorney General Lisa Madigan, a Democrat who argued the ban should remain in place, is silent on whether she will appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. This seems unlikely to succeed, given the current makeup of SCOTUS.
Reaction at my PD was negative in some corners, and tepid even among fellow coppers who’ve always expressed conservative opinions.
“This is bullshit,” said a left-leaning member of my Department. “Fuck the court. They shouldn’t be able to impose this sort of thing on us.”
“Yeah,” I said – mentioning things like forced busing, abortion and Obamacare as other examples of judicial tyranny. This did not endear me to him.
“People are gonna die!” he howled. “Right now, if two old ladies get into it at Safeway, they throw canned vegetables at each other (that’s an actual incident). Imagine if they can legally – legally! – carry a fucking forty-caliber weapon!”
Another cop chimed in. “Yeah. I’m not for this at all.”
“Nobody should be trusted with guns except us,” said a third. “And some of us are on pretty shaky ground. Did you see so-and-so at the last qual [qualification shoot)? Jesus, he can’t hit the broad side of a barn. And we’re gonna let people like we deal with every day carry a gun?”
After they wore themselves out fretting, and I wore myself out laughing at them, I said, “As for little old ladies dueling with their .40 caliber Glocks in Safeway … well, like Heinlein said, an armed society is a polite society. I might get pissed enough at you to throw a can of baked beans at your head, if all I can expect is a can of baby green Limas in return. But if you and I are carrying guns, or you might be carrying a gun, I’m not gonna be so quick to fly off the handle. If I’m that ignorant I’ll probably find myself removed from the gene pool in short order, and the world will be a happier place.
“I still remember when they passed concealed carry in Florida, back in the late 1980s,” I said. “You guys were just a gleam in your daddys’ eyes then, so you won’t remember the headlines, the stories on the evening news, the covers of Time and Newsweek. Oh, it was gonna be a massacre! One pitched gunfight after another, with the least provocation. There wouldn’t be enough dry ground in Florida, they said, to bury all the bodies. But, you know what happened? Violent crime fell dramatically.
“As for only the police being trusted with guns …” I stood, snapped my heels, and gave the fellow who’d suggested that idea a fine Nazi salute, telling him, “I can’t believe I’m hearing you say that. What’re you, the Fourth Reich? Some kind of elitist? Should your wife be allowed to carry a gun?”
“Well, sure …” he said haltingly.
“What about my wife?” I asked. “Or his wife? Or his? Or your brothers? Sisters? Parents? Yes? OK, so why not everybody, so long as they’re law-abiding?”
“… but the people we deal with -” someone interjected.
“We deal with criminals,” I said. “The literal scum of the earth. They can carry guns now, if they want to. Some of them do. But I don’t think we have to worry about our clientele getting legal CCW permits. The bastards are all convicted felons.”
“Not all of them,” said my friend, the liberal cop. “A lot of these ignorant motherfuckers we deal with only have misdemeanor convictions.”
He named several.
“OK,” I argued. “Here are these people who’ve had DUIs, or spent a weekend in jail for a bar fight or whatever. Yes, they’re rotten and, no, I wouldn’t like to see them carrying concealed … but how do they live? They drive beater cars, live in public housing or in trailer courts, and spend their days watching Judge Judy as they wait for the next aid check to arrive. You really think they’re gonna rush out and buy a $600 Glock? No. They get a little money ahead, they blow it on a case of Milwaukee’s Best Light, cigarettes, lottery tickets and weed. They’re so slovenly they walk the streets in pajamas, rather than buy decent clothes. And you really think they’re gonna save back for a Glock? You really think they’re gonna take the time and trouble to get a concealed carry permit? Hell, they can’t even bring themselves to earn a GED, even when the government is paying for it. I don’t think we need to worry about these ne’er-do-wells rushing out to buy guns and then to sit through a 12-hour CCW class.”
“Well,” said one. “It’s easy for you to be all for concealed carry. You’re about to retire. Us guys still working the street are gonna be in a lot more danger when everybody’s packing a gun.”
“You’re already in danger,” I said. “How many guns have we taken from crooks this year? Even in the last month? There’s already plenty of guns out there, in the hands of genuinely dangerous criminals. All concealed carry will do is allow the people we never have to deal with, people who are decent and responsible, to protect themselves when we’re not around – which, actually, is most of the time.
“What really frightens you is this,” I added: “Right now, we are the Protectors Of The Weak. And that’s a huge ego-boost. It’s like being a knight during medieval times, riding around on noble errantry, protecting the fair damsels and peasant children, being heroes up one side and down the other. Suddenly, we’re not so special anymore, not so … needed. People look up to us now because we wear a pistol. But when any law-abiding person can wear a pistol, we’re maybe not so special anymore. That’s what bothers you, you pussies. That’s the root of it with you guys. When you grow up, you’ll see that empowering law-abiding people doesn’t harm you in the least. You’ll see that what wins you respect is your good character, not that shiny automatic on your hip.”
They pondered that for a moment. Then my friend, the liberal cop, said, “Oh … screw you!”
“Watch your goddamn mouth,” I said. “I’ve had a bad day, I’m under a lot of stress, I’m wearing a bigger pistol than yours, and I bet I can draw a lot faster than you. Don’t piss me off.”
Then I laughed again, stood up, shrugged and walked out.
I hope my friend, the liberal cop, got my point.