Posted 22 July 2012 - 11:12 AM
I saw your comments on a Fox News report stating that you your task force found that concealed carry would not increase violence in Illinois but that you would still vote against concealed carry legislation if it did not ban “high-capacity, rapid fire weapons” such as those used in the recent Colorado shooting.
You are to be commended for taking steps to further your knowledge in this area, and I applaud the efforts of the task force.
Still, your comments are troubling for several reasons.
First, most of the states that you studied to assess the impact of concealed carry laws do not restrict magazine capacity. Did you find that states that did have such restrictions (such as California or New York) have lower rates of gun violence?
Second, criminals do not follow the law. Such a restriction will only affect law-abiding citizens. In Colorado, if a theatre patron had been carry a concealed weapon, a restriction such as the one you propose would have put him at a disadvantage against the shooter who would clearly not have paid any attention to the law.
Third, restricting magazine capacity dilutes the defensive value of a firearm with no appreciable gain. There is a reason why our police don’t carry 10 round magazines when 15 or 17 round magazines are available. Ammunition is survival in a defensive situation.
Lastly, your proposed restriction would not have prevented or even mitigated the Colorado shooting. In addition to handgun, the shooter apparently had a shotgun and a rifle with a 100 round magazine. Neither of these weapons would be covered by a concealed carry law.
I understand the need to be circumspect in the aftermath of a tragedy like the shooting in Colorado, but it is important to remain objective, reasoned and fact based as you evaluate legislation. Concealed carry does not increase gun violence, and magazine capacity is clearly not a factor in that determination. It is certainly not a reason to vote against a concealed carry bill that Illinois citizens want and is long overdue.