This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Tuesday, November 1, 2016:
Not only is the population of Cook County, Illinois shrinking, it is disappearing faster than any major metropolitan area in the country. According to the Census Bureau 10,488 residents left over the last 12 months.
The Chicago Tribune interviewed dozens of them to find out why they left. Reasons included high taxes, the state’s budget stalemate that’s been going on for years, the high crime rate, the lack of employment opportunities and, of course, the weather.
The Tribune was unable to interview the 641 persons murdered so far this year in Cook County, nor was there any attempt that this writer could find to interview the more than 3,660 people recovering from gunshot wounds suffered so far this year. Had they done so, the Trib’s indefatigable investigators would likely have found that most of them were black, young, unemployed, and members of one of the more than 60 gangs infesting the South and West sides of Chicago. Some were caught in a crossfire, and some were innocent bystanders unable to protect themselves thanks to the state’s onerous gun laws.
Those gangs number more than 100,000, with names like Vice Lords, Black Disciples, the Four Corner Hustlers, the Black P. Stones and the Latin Kings. They aren’t bothered very much by Chicago’s finest as officers are suffering from the Ferguson Effect – a very understandable reluctance to perform “preemptory street stops” – thanks to interference from the Department of Justice and the do-gooders at the ACLU. Some officers have told the Chicago Sun-Times that they have deliberately backed off from enforcing all but the most serious offenses for fear of retribution.
The state’s onerous gun laws don’t apply to them, of course, only to law-abiding citizens who would like to obtain a permit but can’t. That assures criminals with guns that they’re unlikely to be confronted with an armed citizen protecting his life, family, or property. Last year, Chicago’s Crime Lab interviewed a number of Cook County Jail inmates and discovered what most already know: they don’t buy their guns at gun stores, flea markets, or over the internet. They steal them or get them from friends, family, or gang members. It’s easier than trying to get a permit legally, as Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA), noted:
More than two-thirds of these offenders got their guns from family, friends, or fellow gang members. These people can’t obtain guns via legal means, and the existing restrictions don’t prevent them from being armed. Criminals can’t get a Firearms Owner Identification card, and they darn sure can’t get a concealed carry permit.
Criminals can get guns but innocent bystanders can’t. It’s the law. More than that, it’s built into the Illinois State Constitution: Article I Section 22, which reads “Subject only to the police power, the right of the individual citizen to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” A right that is subject to restriction by the state’s enforcement arm is no right at all.
But just to make sure that innocent Illinois citizens can’t obtain a permit, state legislators have done a workaround of the Supreme Court’s decision in McDonald v. City of Chicago in 2010 which held that “the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms for self-defense in one’s home is fully applicable to the states [including Illinois]….” Here are the requirements to obtain a concealed carry permit outside the home in Illinois:
- 16 hours of concealed carry firearms training, provided by an instructor approved by the Illinois State Police;
- A valid driver’s license or Illinois Identification card;
- A valid FOID (Firearms Owner Identification) card;
- A head and shoulders electronic photograph taken within the last 30 days;
- Ability to provide evidence of the last 10 years of residency;
- Fingerprints; and a
- $150 fee.
For most of those still living in Cook County who haven’t moved or been carried out in a body bag, these requirements represent an insurmountable obstacle to providing for their self defense.
For those still living in Cook County the future remains bleak. The records being set by criminals committing gun violence in 2016 are likely to be broken next year and thereafter.
The Chicago Tribune: Chicago area sees greatest population loss of any major U.S. city, region in 2015
The Chicago Tribune: Weekend marks deadliest of year with 17 fatally shot
The Chicago Tribune: October toll: At least 78 homicides in Chicago, 48 above same month last year