Thorner & Ingold: Guns once again maligned in Skokie, IL tragedy

October 4, 2014

Saturday, October 04, 2014

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Max Gadau’s family was consoled by neighbors this week | Image Source

By Nancy Thorner and Ed Ingold – 

In a scene almost reminiscent of a Greek tragedy, Max Gadaua, a promising competitive swimmer athlete who taught swimming at Lifetime Fitness and aspired to attend college, was killed last Sunday night (Sept. 28) in what appears to be a drug deal gone bad in the 9200 block of North Kedvale in Skokie shortly before 10 p.m. It is not clear what Max Gadaua’s involvement was, aside from accompanying a young woman at her request, to “meet some people” outside a party. Gadau was shot and killed instantly and his companion was critically wounded. Reported was that both were Skokie residents and students at Niles North High School. Our hearts go out to the friends and family of these teens. Unfortunately, this tragedy is being used as a platform to proselyte for gun control.

An emotional vigil where 200 mourners gathered and left flowers at a makeshift memorial was held on Monday night on the 9200 block of Kedvale. Many of the mourners, overcome by grief, were fellow Niles North High School classmates and friends there to find comfort in one another.

As predictable as night turning into day, following the vigil a small rally was held by local anti-gun organizations “People For a Safer Society” and “Peaceful Communities.” The problem, of course, is guns and gun violence. Comments from the rally were interesting, many of them questioning the need for guns in Skokie.  One person responded “What were they hunting?”, as if guns are only used for hunting.

Nothing could be further from the truth. From the beginning of civilization (and probably before), people have threatened or used force to impose their will on others. Guns are obviously an instrument of that force, as are knives, clubs or brute force (q.v., “On the Waterfront”). But guns can be a force of good too.

As Bret Stephens of the Wall Street Journal said, “… evil only succumbs to the use of force.” Reports dribble through, despite heavy censorship in the press, where ordinary civilians use guns in self-defense. Most recently an employee used a personal firearm to stop a murderous rampage in Oklahoma City by an ex-employee and possibly Jihadist aspirant.

People who are against guns in principle confuse these two issues – evil and self-defense. Like Father Pfleger, they are too quick to advocate against lawful use of weapons, in the vain hope that the unlawful will respond in kind. In order to pass concealed carry in Illinois, it was necessary to placate dozens of legislators who, in ignorance, voted to ban legal carry in places known to attract crime and criminals – notably public parks and public transportation.

Business owners were encouraged to ban concealed carry under force of law, for no other reason than it was their right to do so. Liquor licensees in Chicago were required to exercise this “right” or risk losing that license for a minimum of 5 years. State law only requires posting of businesses which make more than 50% of their sales in liquor for consumption on premises. Most restaurants fall under that limit, and retail sales of liquor is not included because it is consumed elsewhere.

The financial burden to obtain a license for concealed carry is substantial. The license itself costs $150, non-refundable. Sixteen hours of training are required, at a cost of $150 to over $300, plus the cost of lost wages. This does not even include the cost of a weapon (plus a special $25 anti-violence tax in Cook County and a Federal 10% surcharge on ammunition). As a result, people who need it most are denied the legal right to self-defense because of the cost involved. That doesn’t mean they don’t have and carry weapons, just not legally.

It’s time to realize that the police are not obligated to, nor have the resources to provide protection for us. The right to carry a firearm would not necessarily have helped the two young high school students in Skokie. But that event should not be used to deny others that means of defense.

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