The law means what it says

So, color me surprised when this article popped up in my Google this morning. If you roll on TFL at all, you’ve probably heard of Shaun Kranish, who was arrested for “unlawful use of a weapon” in Illinois. The particulars of the case are important – IL state law allows for the carrying of a firearm as long as the firearm is “completely enclosed” and unloaded.

Mr. Kranish was within the letter of the law, carrying his firearm unloaded, in a completely enclosed holster, with a loaded magazine separate from the firearm. Short story, he gets pinched. However, in my absolutely shocking news of the morning, a judge in Illinois actually dismissed the charge against him on the grounds that he wasn’t actually violating the law.

Of course, the immediate calls of “Not the Old West” and “BLOOOOD IN THE STREEEETS” were heard from the usual suspects.

“This is not the Old West,” he said. “I’m not advocating banning handguns. But I’m not aware of any police officer who would advocate more handguns on the street. When they start taking their weapons out of their home and walking around with them strapped to their hip, bad things can happen.”

The above quote is from the Cherry Valley Chief of Police…a political appointee. It’s worthwhile to note for Mr. Political Appointee that the actual facts don’t back up what you’re saying. Indiana has the 2nd or 3rd highest number of concealed carry holders per capita, and we have a lot less crime than Illinois.

Now, whether or not you agree with Shaun’s course of action isn’t actually the issue. Personally, I think his actions are reckless and not often not well thought out – but I can’t judge him too harshly on that issue. When I was 21, I did a lot of things that were reckless and not well thought out as well.

It’s good that judge dropped the charge. The problem is that in Illinois, this probably won’t lead to the result that Shaun (or other law abiding gun owners) are hoping for. You can see that even in the clearly apparent bias of the Chicago Tribune.

“I think the legislature intends for the law to be that people cannot carry weapons on their person, whether loaded or unloaded, and especially not in a public place like a mall.”

And it’s unfortunate, but that’s probably what will happen. Instead of the law being relaxed, a state like Illinois is going to tighten the law, and add explicit language that further strips their citizenry of their rights.

When you really get down to it; I’m opposed to this kind of method of “educating” people about gun rights. I just don’t think that doing what amounts to “scaring whitey” is going to help our cause. Really, it’s not even Shaun’s fault. When Suzy Soccermom believes everything she reads in the paper or sees on CNN, how are we supposed to convince her that it really is a right?