By DOUG IBENDAHL • August 22, 2011
Last month Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker signed legislation allowing citizens of that state to carry a concealed firearm.
Illinois is now the only state that doesn’t allow some form of concealed carry.
A concealed carry bill (HB148) failed in the Illinois House by just six votes back in May.
While the bill had substantial bipartisan support, it was mostly upstate lawmakers who killed the bill, at least for now.
Of course it’s hardly the first time those three went off the GOP reservation. You can review a summary of their worst career votes HERE.
Concealed carry isn’t my big issue personally. I grew up downstate, hunted, and owned guns, but I’ve never felt I needed a gun living in Chicago. If we ever do get a concealed carry law, I still don’t see myself running out to apply.
But I can definitely understand the need. A nurse working the nightshift who has to walk through a dimly-lit parking garage, a store owner taking the day’s receipts to the bank, or just anyone living or working in a higher crime neighborhood – there are many people who would have a very legitimate need to carry what used to be called “the great equalizer.”
So Illinois is the outlier once again. But this is also once again a case where we can’t just blame the Democrats. As long as Republican lawmakers refuse to hold ranks on what should be a slam-dunk Republican issue, pointing fingers at the Democrats is just a pointless exercise in hypocrisy.
Jim Durkin, Sid Mathias, and Rosemary Mulligan – like every state representative and state senator – must run in the March 2012 Primary if they wish to keep their seats.
All three are extremely vulnerable on that vote alone, especially in a Republican Primary where GOP voters will be coming out to send a message to Barack Obama. And yes, the 2nd Amendment is a winning issue even in Cook County – especially in a Republican Primary.
Candidates can start collecting petition signatures on September 6th. The deadline to file is December 5th.
Doug Ibendahl is a Chicago Attorney and a former General Counsel of the Illinois Republican Party.