So my trip to Chicago (2 whole days now) wouldn't be complete without some great news coverage. Admittedly, there was a man who brought a tiger to the bar with him - on a leash - and that made me smile.
And then there's the usual hysteria about guns out here.
With the first of the Illinois Concealed Carry Permits being mailed to residents from the Illinois State Police this week, Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy did an interview with even more of his gun hype and hysteria. Talking to WBBM, McCarthy said, "What’s going to happen is, that’s putting illegal guns on the street, because people steal cars, and now they’re not just going to get the car, they're going to get a bonus. They're going to open the glove compartment and find a firearm".
I guess Supt. McCarthy thinks that no one is stealing guns from cars and houses now. What the Superintendent is really worried about is that this will spike his crime statistics because gun theft will now be reported as opposed to the old system where people had to hide the fact they were protecting themselves.
McCarthy went on to say, "It's outrageous. It's not well thought-out. And 16 hours of training is not even near to being adequate to learning how to use a firearm, let alone become proficient with it, nor learn when you can use it."
Again the Superintendent and I disagree. A shooter can reach a baseline of proficiency in 16 hours with a firearm. We're not talking about turning them into Jerry Miculek or Rob Leathem here, we're talking the four safety rules and basic operation as well as the legal ramifications of carrying. Of course, the Superintendent must be comparing that to the whopping 40 hours that Chicago police recruits do in training and then their intensive shooting qualifications each year. What are those qualifications? I'm glad you asked:
State of Illinois Police Annual Firearms Qualification
A score of 70% is a passing score
5 Yard line – Total of 12 rounds
Stage 1 Draw/Present and fire 2 rounds in 6 seconds
Stage 2 Draw/Present and fire 2 rounds in 6 seconds
Stage 3 Draw/Present and fire 2 rounds in 6 seconds
Stage 4 Draw/Present and fire 2 rounds in 6 seconds
Stage 5 Draw/Present and fire 2 rounds in 6 seconds
Stage 6 Draw/Present and fire 2 rounds in 6 seconds
Shooters will reload without command as needed between stages of fire.
7 Yard line – Total of 12 rounds
Stage 7 Draw/Present and fire 3 rounds in 7 seconds
Stage 8 Draw/Present and fire 3 rounds in 7 seconds
Stage 9 Draw/Present and fire 3 rounds in 7 seconds
Stage 10 Draw/Present and fire 3 rounds in 7 seconds
15 Yard line – Total of 6 rounds
Stage 11 Draw/Present and fire 3 rounds in 10 seconds
Stage 12 Draw/Present and fire 3 rounds in 10 seconds
That's right, Chicago's finest shoots a whopping 30 rounds of ammunition each year. I mean, with that kind of intensive annual training what citizen could possibly keep up with their proficiency in firearms?
What interview about the dangerous concealed carry people would be complete without equating concealed carries to criminals? McCarthy said, "When these men and women pull over a car, think about how dangerous it is for them to be in a split-second moment to figure out if it's a legal or illegal firearm. Either way, it puts them in danger,".
Hey Garry, let's go with the general idea that it's only a split second decision if the gun is out of the holster and in the suspect's hand. If it is, that's an illegal gun. Other than that, it's not a split second decision because the officers are being calmly told by an everyday citizen that they are armed and licensed.
Thanks for playing the panic game starring Superintendent McCarthy.
Side note: I do want to give special credit to the Illinois Concealed Carry Licensing Board. While many panicked that this would become a rubber stamp board for law enforcement wanting to deny permit's for any reason the board has apparently stuck to their mission statement and overturned over half of the objections as not meeting the legal standard.