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IL: Office Shooting Has Some Calling For More Weapons

Office Shooting Has Some Calling For More Weapons
Advocates Renew Effort For Concealed Gun Law
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Mike Parker

(CBS) CHICAGO A gunman's rampage at a downtown law firm last week has gun advocates renewing an old push for a change in Illinois law.

As CBS 2's Mike Parker reports, some people say more weapons will actually reduce crime.

A gun rights group says the victims of Friday's tragic Loop shooting rampage might still be alive if law abiding citizens were allowed to carry concealed weapons. Richard Pearson of the Illinois State Rifle Association believes armed office workers, might have stopped it.

"If a person had concealed carry, a lot of people might be around that would be near enough to prevent such a thing," Pearson said.

Pearson says the three men who died Friday were shot like "fish in a barrel."

"Which means the fish don't have a chance, because those workers were absolutely defenseless," he said.

Pearson's group proposes an Illinois concealed carry law that would allow people to carry guns after they undergo firearms training, and pass an FBI background check. Then they would get a state license to be armed at all times.

The Illinois group says with more guns, crime would go down. It has happened, they say, in other states.

But a member of the gun control group, The Brady Campaign, disagrees. [Big Surprise!] :shock:

"In all those places where we've seen this, we've seen concealed carry permit holders that have become criminals because they act on impulse," said Jennifer Bishop.

"We do not need anyone else carrying guns whether they're licensed or not," added state Sen. Mattie Hunter.

A concealed carry bill could come before the state legislature next year.

Will Governor Blagojevich work against it, or even veto such a bill if it passes? The governor declined to talk about it Tuesday.

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Wow, can I be a liberal too and make bald face lies like that!!!!

Oh wow, that would be so cool!

Seriously, when people make crap up like that it makes the 1st Amendment look bad too (even though that's the only one they care about).

Edit: Has there ever been a documented situation where a person was able to prevent or stop one of these mass shootings by virtue of carrying a gun concealed, regardless of the legality of doing so?

(I am aware of an event where a school assistant principle after the institution of gun free schools ran out to his car which waw outside the zone retrieved his gun, ran back, and apprehended the shooter all before the cops came)

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One of the worst in U.S. history could have been stopped by one person - but the law prevented her from doing so. Not exactly sure but I believe the incident is why Texas changed their carry laws.

Gun ownership has new champion: Killeen massacre survivor - Suzanne Gratia; Killeen, Texas

Shooting Industry, June, 1992

Was it a surprise when Dr. Suzanne Gratia, a chiropractor from Copperas Cove, Texas, just outside Killeen, and a survivor of the October 16, 1991 Luby's Cafe massacre, came to testify before the Texas state legislature in mid-February on the subject of gun control?

Yes. It was a surprise because she was there to defend the right of all citizens to carry a weapon.

Gratia and her parents were lunching in Luby's Cafe when George Hennard crashed his truck through the front window of the restaurant, then began shooting helpless patrons execution-style with his Glock 19 pistol. At first, Gratia thought the automobile was out of control when it came through the window and moved to help the injured.

Then Hennard began shooting and she realized that this was no accident. Gratia and her 71-year-old father flipped their table over to provide a little cover while they considered their next move. Gratia reached for her purse where she normally (and illegally) carries a .38 S&W Chief's Special, but quickly realized that she had left the gun in her car.

As a WWII veteran, her father did not like being helpless and decided to charge the gunman barehanded, but Hennard heard him coming and shot him in the chest, mortally wounding him.

Just at that moment, someone broke a window at the back of the building and people began streaming out to safety. Gratia took her mother's arm and pulled her toward the window, but her mother struggled away and ran to Gratia's father.

The other patrons pulled Gratia through the window and she saw no more, but according to witnesses, Gratia's mother knelt beside her dying husband and placed her cheek against his chest as Hennard put the gun to her head and fired.

With this story to tell, spectators at Gratia's presentation might have expected an empassioned plea for tighter gun control - to keep such horrible weapons out of the hands of madmen.

They would have been disappointed.

"I blame (the death of my parents on) those legislators who deny me the right to defend myself," Gratia said in a November 20 television interview. Gratia and other Killeen survivors met with Texas legislators for the purpose of drafting a CCW bill to be introduced when the senate convenes in 1993. On March 4, the Missouri legislature requested an appearance by Gratia for the same purpose.

Sarah Brady took up the banner of gun control when someone dear to her was shot by a criminal. Perhaps in Gratia the pro-gun, anti-crime movement has a champion who can offer Brady-style emotional testimony in the fight for the survival of the firearms industry

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Governor Ann Richards then vetoed the concealed carry bill twice, if I recall correctly. Imagine that, in spite of popular misconception, Texans could not cary guns! Ms. Gratia ran for the legislature and was elected in 1996, five years after the massacre, and was instumental in getting passed the concealed carry law that Texans now enjoy. Later, Governor Bush was elected and followed through on his campaign promise to sign a bill decriminalizing concealed carry if done without a permits.

Some quotes from her.

"The Second Amendment isn't about protecting ourselves against criminals. It's about all of us protecting ourselves from all of you."

-Dr. Suzanne Gratia, a survivor of the Killeen, Texas Luby's massacre, to Congressman Charles Schumer (D-NY), 1994. Schumer must have loved that!

"Let me make a point here, in case this isn't becoming extremely clear. My state has gun control laws. It did not keep Hennard from coming in and killing everybody! What it did do, was keep me from protecting my family! That's the only thing that cotton pickin' law did! OK! Understand that! That's ...that's so important!"

-Dr. Suzanne Gratia, Killeen Texas Luby's massacre survivor

"Somewhere along the line I made one of my stupidest decisions... I was afraid that ... if ... somebody caught me with the gun in my purse, I could lose my license to practice, lose my ability to make a living. So I took the gun out of my purse and I left it in my car ... which the laws in my state are kinda wishy- washy on ...and I thought, 'Heck, if I needed it, it's probably going to be when I'm out on the road ... in the middle of nowhere and, you know, my car's broke down or something ..."

-Dr. Suzanne Gratia, Killeen Texas Luby's massacre survivor. Sadly, as we know, she was wrong.
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