The Newtown, Conn., tragedy has sharpened emotions in Illinois over how to respond to a recent concealed carry court ruling.
Predictably, many gun control proponents want the state to appeal the federal ruling, which gives Illinois 180 days to enact concealed carry. They point to Newtown as Exhibit A that more guns on the streets doesn't improve public safety.
But these are two separate and distinct issues and it's illogical to intermingle them. President Obama has launched a national discussion on gun violence, and the factors in our society that contribute to it. But concealed carry is not one of the factors. The rest of the states have concealed carry already, and there's no evidence that it has increased violence; actually it may deter criminals.
Appealing this case would be a costly undertaking, and probably a futile one. Rather than waste money fighting in court, the wiser course would be to craft thoughtful concealed carry legislation that would restrict who is eligible to get a permit. The goal shouldn't be to keep people from carrying guns, but rather making sure those who do are responsible individuals.
Illinois now has less than 180 days to get a law in place or have concealed carry become law by default, with no rules at all.
Rather than either extreme, let's focus the debate on defining what constitutes reasonable restrictions.