Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Split villages know how to deal w/ issues; they can figure out firearms

To listen to the National Rifle Association, the reason there cannot be a bill concerning “concealed carry” that exempts Cook County is because of all the chaos such a measure would create in those communities on the border.

Some of these legislators can't comprehend split (by county) communities.
The ones that literally are split down the middle by the county line.

IT’S TRUE. THERE are municipalities that either are Cook County-based, but have newer residential developments that spill over the county line, or are based at the edge of the surrounding counties and have portions that cross over into the Land of Cook!

The NRA-type argue that the potential for chaos is too great – because an individual’s ability to get a permit allowing them to carry a pistol on their person for self-defense (allegedly, although I think it’s more about ego-stroking than anything else) depends on what part of town they live in.

And what happens if, in the course of daily business, a person happens to cross over the county line while remaining in their home town. Is their permit suddenly not legitimate because they happened to come to the attention of police while in the Cook County portion of town?

Theoretically, I suppose it is possible for this kind of chaos to occur. There might well be police officers who will dread the idea of having to pay attention to exactly where an incident occurred. God forbid if it happens that an incident happens RIGHT AT the county line (which usually is a street so innocuous that one doesn’t realize right away that they’re no longer in the civilized land of Cook County and have ventured into one of those bumpkin counties that surround us.

YES, I AM being sarcastic by phrasing it that way. There really isn’t any significant difference between the Cook County portions and the collar county portions of any municipality that happens to be split in such a way.

If anything, the split is a part of the unique character of those communities. Local officials are used to having to deal with different jurisdictions – particularly when it comes to the police having to figure out which state’s attorney’s office to contact and whether they’re dealing with the Medical Examiner’s office on the West Side or one of those coroners in the outer ring of cities at the edge of the Chicago area.

Which means I have faith in the ability of the local police to figure out for themselves how to handle the dichotomy that would occur should it turn out that any “concealed carry” measure winds up exempting Cook County as a political compromise that lets the rural communities of Southern Illinois have their pistol-packin’ mamas while leaving the portion that accounts for nearly half the population of Illinois to decide for itself what sensible restrictions ought to be in place for firearms possession.

The simple fact is that we have many laws in Illinois that are passed with exemptions for any community with 3 million or more people (which means Chicago is exempted) or 5 million or more if the intent is to exempt all of Cook. There even are laws written explicitly for Chicago and Cook County.

HONESTLY, I BELIEVE the fight by the firearms advocates over this issue is that they view it as a way of forcing the rural mindset onto the urban area that accounts for so much of Illinois’ population. An exemption totally undermines that effort!

Which is why the NRA types earlier this year talked of deliberately opposing any Chicago-oriented bills as payback for opposition to “concealed carry” and are now saying they would kill off any bill on the issue that tries to exempt Cook County.

Who knows? They might well find out that those communities that are split between the counties will try to push for local measures that would unify the municipality – most likely in favor of firearms restrictions for the whole community!

Gee, the idea of people realizing that a pistol in the hands of a panicking person who thinks their personal safety is at risk might be just as dangerous as all the “criminals” they want to fear! That probably hurts their ego more than anything else.


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