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Posted: 6/26/2001 5:18:04 PM EDT
The Chicago Tribune June 25, 2001 Annie get your fanny pack Editorial Pack up the antacid and strap on a bulletproof vest, because Taste of Chicago is almost here. And this year, a group of would-be vigilantes have declared July 4--one of the busiest days at Chicago's biggest outdoor food and drink bacchanal--to be "Gun Day." Supporters of what are called concealed-carry laws want less regulation on their ability to carry concealed firearms. They're urging their sympathizers to strap on fanny packs containing unloaded handguns and go "have a good time" at Taste of Chicago, according to the Web site of Oak Brook-based Concealed Carry Inc. The idea is to confuse Cook County State's Atty. Dick Devine and Chicago police, according to the Web site. "Let the police figure out which in the crowd of 200,000 is carrying and who is not." In Illinois, registered gun owners are allowed to transport guns that are unloaded and enclosed in a case or other container. The thinking is that it shouldn't be against the law for a marksman or hunter to transport firearms to the range or a rural area. Carrying a deceptively hidden gun, however, is a felony. But one person's "enclosed" gun may be another person's "hidden" gun. Illinois law isn't as clear as it should be. Three separate pieces of legislation that attempted to close the definitional loophole in the law went nowhere in the legislature this spring. Last year gun lobbyists decided to slither around the spirit, though not the letter, of that law. They have been urging their fellow Second Amendment advocates to make a mockery of the statute by carrying unloaded guns in fanny packs, storing ammo separately but still at one's fingertips. (Those guns aren't hidden, the thinking goes; they're enclosed.) The concealed-carry activists also are encouraging folks to pack water pistols to really "fake out" police. "Cooperate with law enforcement," they caution. "We are there to make a point and have a good time and not provoke an arrest by a police officer who in all probability agrees with us and not with [Mayor Richard] Daley," who favors more restrictive gun laws. Devine regards fanny packs as holsters. He has warned that if police make arrests of people packing heat in fanny packs, he will prosecute them for carrying weapons illegally. Police spokesman David Bayless says that if police have probable cause to search someone wearing a fanny pack, they will. "Whenever there are more illegal guns out there, it makes the job of Chicago police officers more difficult and more unsafe," he says. So if the concealed-carry folks want to test the resolve of law enforcement by creating a showdown at the Grant Park band shell, let's help the cops. Leave your own fanny packs at home. And if you happen to see the flash of a semi-automatic as the guy next to you reaches into his fanny pack for a food coupon, report him to an officer. Just as there are many ways to resolve problems, there are plenty of effective ways to make a point. None of them need to involve guns. http://chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/article/0,2669,SAV-0106250223,FF.html
Link Posted: 6/26/2001 6:31:48 PM EDT
I'll be there with my Wife, son and fanny pack. John Birch is a great guy and a hell of an inspiration. This is called taking the fight to the bastards. You can bet mayor Daley is pissed about this and it's about time we got a little jab in.
Link Posted: 6/27/2001 12:19:38 AM EDT
I wish I could be at the taste. Overpriced food and sweaty Chicagoans, heaven. But still, Chicago has the best food all around. radioman
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