By Major Van Harl USAF Ret
Wisconsin --(Ammoland.com)- Master Sergeant Moisha Johnson has just retired from the Air Force after twenty two years of excellent service to her country (not a real person). MSgt Johnson is originally from the south side of Chicago.
She never thought she would move back there after her Air Force career, but, like many middle aged Americans, she has elderly parents who need her support.
MSgt Johnson used her time well while in the Air Force and got her degree. This enabled her to land a teaching position with the Chicago school system. MSgt Johnson did not want to live in the City of Chicago, but being a teacher in that city comes with the requirement to reside inside the city limits.
MSgt Johnson was trained on both handguns and long guns in the Air Force. She deployed to a number of “hot” locations in the world where she had to carry a firearm everyday to her point of work. She is no stranger to weapons.
Now MSgt Johnson was permanently “deploying” to another “hot” location—the south side of Chicago. Her odds of getting shot in Chicago went up greatly over her odds of begin shot in Afghanistan. Her plan was, just as in the military where she was armed and in-harm’s-way, to carry her military firearms training into her new civilian life.
The problem is she was moving to the “blue” controlled, gun-hating state of Illinois and worst yet the really gun-hating city of Chicago. Now it just so happens that Illinois has been forced to create a conceal carry law that the City of Chicago cannot enact any local ordinances against. So the positive thing is that MSgt Johnson can bring her firearms with her when she moves to Chicago, get her state-issued conceal carry permit and be safer should she take mass transit in the city.
But wait–there is a catch. Chicago, through the State of Illinois, has managed to insert a Jim Crow, Apartheid-based firearm restriction into the new conceal carry law.
Law-abiding Illinois citizens who have gone through the rather difficult process of acquiring their new Concealed Carry Weapon Permit cannot carry their “legal” firearms on public transportation. If you have ever ridden on public transportation in a large city, you will quickly figure out who actually rides the buses and trains–minorities and white people of lesser means. I know lots of middle class business men and women ride the commuter trains of the Chicago area, but the majority of them ride the relatively safe morning and evening rush hour trains. They are not on a city bus at 11:00 pm coming home from work on the south side.
What the City of Chicago has (unofficially, of course) said is that minorities and poor whites are where the potential gun violence will come from, so let’s insert a restriction that will, for the most part, impact “them” in an uneven manner.
If I go to Chicago as a middle class white guy, I will drive my vehicle and pay the high parking fees, doing this for my convenience. If MSgt Johnson wants to come up from the south side by train to go shopping on State Street, she has to disarm herself–kind of shades of Mississippi in the 1950s.
Every 21-50 year old minority person you meet on the streets is not a criminal—fact not media hype. If you are a law abiding citizen with no criminal record and you follow your state’s requirements to acquire your conceal carry permit, why must there be restrictions that clearly target certain classes of American citizens?
Approximately 5% of the people who kill or are killed in Chicago are white. The rest of the perpetrators and victims are minorities, with black Americans being in the highest percentages of both killer and killed.
I understand the concern about minority gun violence in Chicago, but I also understand MSgt Johnson, USAF Retired, now a residence of Chicago is one of the good guys in that City. She is a perfect example of who the new conceal carry law was meant to help.
Why must Jim Crow–with a little “j”--have to restrict her ability to protect her law-abiding self? The bad guys on the south side of Chicago are going to carry their guns on the buses and trains anyway. They do not have and cannot get a permit to carry concealed, so they just bring their illegal firearms along and good people become victims.
To all the career military out there, enjoy your hard earned retirement, but be aware that your new civilian life can be more dangerous than when you were in uniform.
Major Van Harl USAF Ret. / email@example.com
About Major Van Harl USAF Ret.:Major Van E. Harl USAF Ret., a career Police Officer in the U.S. Air Force was born in Burlington, Iowa, USA, in 1955. He was the Deputy Chief of police at two Air Force Bases and the Commander of Law Enforcement Operations at another. He is a graduate of the U.S. Army Infantry School. A retired Colorado Ranger and currently is an Auxiliary Police Officer with the Cudahy PD in Milwaukee County, WI. His efforts now are directed at church campus safely and security training. He believes “evil hates organization.” firstname.lastname@example.org