"I need your sage advice: Should I spend money I don't have?"
- Overheard at GameStop
Unlike my last blog post about Illinois government, this time I won't make any accusations about who is the Cylon: I'll just lay out the facts and let you be the judge.
A few days ago, Governor Quinn unveiled his new "budget plan" - which involves borrowing $4.7 billion, leaving $6 billion worth of bills unpaid, including cuts to education funding, but no tax increase. The Chicago Tribune reported that the reason he did this was to encourage state senators to vote for a tax increase, because nobody would like the alternative. And Quinn's "Illinois Budget web site" now states that he supports a tax increase (see the bottom under "Increased State Revenues.")
And budgetary problems aren't the only "crisis card" that's shown up recently: pretty soon, restaurants and retail business across the state may be the host to yet another round of exciting combat action. That's right, a new bill is going to be passed to allow concealed carry of handguns in Illinois. There are just two interesting amendments that supporters of the bill added: one said that any state legislator who voted against the measure will not be allowed to get a concealed carry permit for himself, and the other says that any retail business that bans handguns inside the business will be civilly liable if a concealed carry permit holder get injured or killed in a violent crime at that business - the theory being that if the business "disarms" the permit holder, who then "can't defend himself" and gets hurt, the business should be liable..
Questions for discussion:
1. The point of the first amendment discussed above is that politicians shouldn't be "hypocrites" by voting against concealed carry but then getting a permit themselves. Should this principle be extended to apply to other laws too? For example, if Legislator X votes against a tax cut that passes, should Legislator X still have to pay the higher tax rate?
2. As for the other amendment, does it work both ways? If the business DOES allow concealed guns, a concealed carry permit holder legally brings a gun in, and the gun is discharged (either accidentally or on purpose) and injures someone, is the business liable for allowing the gun on?
3. If the purpose of concealed carry is to deter crime, then why make it "concealed"? It seems to me like if I was carrying a gun to deter crime, I would want criminals to know that I am armed so they will be deterred. (On the other hand maybe the idea is that if concealed carry is legal, then criminals won't know who is armed and who isn't, so would play it safe and not attack anyone.)