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EDITORIAL: One brave rescue of a Cicero cop doesn’t justify concealed guns

An ambulance sits outside Mount Sinai Hospital after a Cicero police officer was shot on Thursday afternoon. | Mitchell Armentrout/Sun-Times

A man with a concealed carry gun license stepped from his car on Thursday and shot the suspected shooter of a Cicero police officer.

Good for him.

Had the good Samaritan not joined the gun battle, the Cicero cop might not be alive today, and the accused shooter might have gotten away.


We remain unconvinced, all the same, that concealed carry is good for Chicago or Illinois. There is no convincing evidence — just the occasional anecdote — that permitting people to walk around with concealed guns deters crime. There is credible evidence, on the contrary, that concealed carry leads in the long run to more crime.

Hang your argument on a single anecdote, and you can defend almost anything.

Last June, the Sun-Times reported that a concealed carry permit holder scared off a home invader suspect in Riverside. Terrific!

We also reported in June that a concealed carry license holder had shot an attempted armed robber in South Chicago. Ok!

But in May we reported that a concealed carry holder was charged with a felony for waiving a gun around while driving down Interstate 90. Not so smart!

And in January we reported that a concealed carry holder fired off his gun in a Loop restaurant. Plain stupid!

A report released last November by Johns Hopkins University concluded that it is a fallacy that “right to carry” gun laws — whether the gun is concealed or carried openly — save lives and reduce violent crime. The “most comprehensive” and “rigorous” study of the impact of such gun laws, according to Johns Hopkins, found that violent crime rates increased with each additional year a right-to-carry law was in place.

“By years 7 through 10 following the adoption of a RTC law, violent crime rates were 11 percent to 14 percent higher than predicted had such laws not been in place,” the report states. “After controlling for changes in incarceration rates and the number of police per capita, RTC laws were associated with a 10 percent higher murder rate 10 years following the adoption of RTC laws.”

But how’s concealed carry working out in Illinois?

Nobody knows.

In June, the Chicago Tribune looked at almost 40 shootings — including at least 11 killings — by some 265,000 Illinois residents who have been granted concealed carry licenses since 2014. The Tribune could not say — because the state police do not keep track —whether those shootings were justified or the irresponsible actions of trigger-happy fools.

A good man with a gun came to the rescue on Thursday of a Cicero police officer. We honor him.

But one brave deed does not justify bad public policy.

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