There’s a new wind blowing in the Windy City as law-abiding Chicagoans are reportedly arming up because, according to the online DNAInfo.com, they are worried about crime in the city.
This comes as another weekend of blood-letting has wrapped up in the metropolis along the southwest shore of Lake Michigan. WXRT, the local CBS affiliate, reported five homicides over the weekend, with at least 14 other people wounded. The body count is above 100 so far this year, and things are just getting started.
Last year saw more than 760 slayings in Chicago. The Chicago Sun-Times keeps a running count on the slayings at Homicide Watch.
DNAInfo quoted Joel Ostrander, owner of a local firearms training business, who reported a “huge number of students from Chicago who want to learn how to handle a gun.” He noted that these students “are well-educated, professional people looking for a way to protect their homes and families.”
The story noted that last year saw a 63 percent increase in the number of permits issued to Chicago residents than in 2015. More than 38,700 Chicagoans were issued a Firearm Owners Identification Card by the state last year. State police said some 212,000 people living in the city now have licenses to own firearms. More than 22,000 of them got permits to carry last year.
Anthony Guglielmi, spokesman for the Chicago Police Department, is quoted by WXRT noting that few legally-purchased firearms are involved in Chicago crimes.
“Our issue is with illegal guns and repeat offenders who use them to engage in violence,” Guglielmi told the station.
Illinois residents have evidently warmed up to the three-year-old concealed carry law, which became effective in July 2013. This was the result of two separate lawsuits, one filed by the Second Amendment Foundation and the other by the National Rifle Association.
Call it a sign of the times, or a signal that Windy City residents have simply had enough.