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Article posted: 1/5/2013 5:00 AM

We have the right to protect ourselves

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Professing to be the toughest in the United States, our gun law have failed. Take a look at the lack of effectiveness with the current ban. Murders in Chicago in 2012 are more than 500. Gang shootings account for better than 70 percent of Chicago deaths, and most of those are innocent unarmed citizens, young and old.

As has been reported, while some 2,000 U.S. troops have been killed in Afghanistan since 2001, more than 5,000 people have been killed by gunfire in Chicago during that time, based on Department of Defense and FBI data.

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Criminals know the public is not armed and they are free to do what they want with little penalty. Statistically, crime rates drop in states with concealed carry. Thugs are less likely to attack an armed person because of the chance they might be injured. A recent shooting in a Utah mall was stopped by an armed citizen who was able to change the shooter's course.

I do agree that the "gun show loophole" needs to be closed. If the government wants to get involved, then issue a federal gun owner's license. Make sure everyone who applies meets federal guidelines and mental health criteria. Only those licensed would be able to purchase guns. Florida and Utah both require training and background checks before you get a concealed carry permit.

It's time that Illinois move into the 21st century and allow citizens to protect themselves and severely punish illegal gun use with real prison time. I for one don't want to be a victim; I would like the right to protect myself and family when we are outside our home.

Earl Hobbs

Rolling Meadows

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