Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Veto as Political Farce

Governor Quinn recently vetoed the legislation that would have permitted Illinoisans to carry concealed weapons.  The legislature, as promised, promptly over-rode his veto.  Concealed Carry is now (or soon to be) the law in Illinois.

 So why did Quinn veto a bill that passed with overwhelming support?

His reasoning was specious and overtly political.
The entire spectacle came about when the courts ruled last year that the then-current complete ban on concealed carry was a violation of the Constitution, and that citizen’s must be permitted to keep and bear arms.   Illinois is the only state in the entire country that does not permit some form of concealed carry.

Quinn’s veto was expected, but his comments asking for amendment were not. 
He makes a number of unsupported assertions liked to flawed logic and emotional appeal.  For example:

"The bill provides no cap on the number of guns or on the size or number of ammunition clips that may be carried. Instead, it allows individuals to legally carry multiple guns with unlimited rounds of ammunition, which is a public safety hazard,” Quinn wrote in a message to lawmakers.

The obvious question here is… based on what facts?   There is no evidence or study or statistics that link the number of guns or bullets that law abiding citizens can carry to crime.  This statement is false.  In fact, the evidence is overwhelming that when the number of guns in the hands of law abiding citizens increases, the crime rates decrease.
It also betrays Quinn's ignorance about guns.  Multiple guns?  It is hard enough to conceal one gun effectively, never mind multiple guns.  Apparently he watches too many movies and thinks people are wont to carry an arsenal around with them.  If his objection is that people who intend to do harm can now carry multiple guns, what makes him think that a law will stop them from doing exactly that?
“Recent shootings, such as the horrific tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, where a gunman fired 154 bullets in less than five minutes, have put a spotlight on the extreme and unnecessary danger posed by high-capacity ammunition magazines,” Quinn wrote.

This is emotionally appealing until you remember that the Newtown shooter did not carry concealed.   Nor did he use a handgun.  Nor was he issued a concealed carry permit or a gun permit of any kind.   The Newtown shooting has exactly zero connection to the concealed carry debate unless you consider that all of the adult victims were not allowed to defend themselves in the ‘gun-free” school zone.
The best argument FOR concealed carry is that a lone madman was able to gun down nearly 30 people in a gun free zone with impunity.   Like every other mass shooting, the Newtown massacre ended when someone else showed up with a gun.  Too bad every adult in the building was, by law, unable to defend themselves and the children.

Under the bill, loaded guns would be allowed in stores, restaurants, churches, children's entertainment venues, movie theaters and other private properties, unless the owner visibly displays a sign prohibiting guns. As a matter of property rights, the legal presumption should always be that a person is not allowed to carry a concealed, loaded gun onto private property unless given express permission.

"Gun Owners can Suck It!"*
 Quinn has an interesting new-found concerns for the rights of private property owners.   Of course, what he is referring to is not truly private property.  He is referring to public spaces on private property.  Places where the government has usurped the property owner’s rights in a multitude of ways.  (Just try to limit the people that can enter your store based on skin color or religion.)  
All of these objections are designed to give him political cover with his base, and to continue the narrative that guns are bad.  Democrats are openly hostile to the concept of liberty and independence and are therefore implacable foes of self defense firearms.  
* Not an actual quote

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