When a legally-armed citizen traded gunshots with a would-be robber on Chicago’s South Side Chatham neighborhood, it reminded people in the Windy City that it is possible to fight back, which may be something the “capitol of carnage” desperately needs.
The city ended 2016 with a reported 762 murders and President-elect Donald Trump has reported warned Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel that if he can’t get a handle on the violent crime, the federal government might step in after Trump takes office.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, 19-year-old Andre D. Lacaze was fatally wounded in an apparent exchange of gunfire that sent a 23-year-old armed citizen to the hospital. The armed man, who was not identified, reportedly was hit in the hip.
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The newspaper said that the armed citizen was walking at mid-afternoon on Dec. 30 when he was approached by the suspect, who pulled a gun and attempted a robbery. A fight erupted and the armed citizen drew his own licensed gun and shot the alleged would-be robber in the head.
There was a second suspect, who reportedly ran when the shots were fired.
This incident underscores a rising national interest in concealed carry for personal protection. The Washington Times reported Monday that gun rights groups are pushing broad agendas with national concealed carry at or near the top of the list. They also want an end to widespread “gun free zones” were only law-abiding people are disarmed.
Increasing numbers of people are getting their permits or licenses. Arizona reported 299,680 active carry permits at the end of 2016, and a permit is not even required to carry openly or concealed in that state.
Washington State’s Department of Licensing Tuesday reported 571,476 active concealed pistol licenses, constituting a total of 61,898 licenses issued for all of 2016. This includes more than 100,000 CPLs in King County, which encompasses ultra-liberal Seattle. About 20 percent of all those licenses are held by women.
Elsewhere, a story in the Capitol Journal noted that South Dakota issued 30,029 concealed carry permits in 2016.
In Minnesota, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported that “Fears about Trump’s rhetoric on one hand, and fears that his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton might try to restrict gun ownership on the other fueled a spike in gun permit applications in Minnesota (last) year.” Last year, the state issued 70,112 permits, the newspaper said.
Whether this surge translates to political pressure from the grassroots for a national reciprocity bill remains to be seen. But with Republicans in control of Congress and the White House, it is possible such legislation may be considered soon after Trump takes office later this month.