Yesterday’s big discussion about the self-defense shooting in Chicago by an Uber driver that put a suspect in the hospital with multiple gunshot wounds – while nobody else was hurt – was underscored this morning by the Second Amendment Foundation, whose federal right-to-carry lawsuit force Illinois to adopt a concealed carry law 21 months ago.
On a weekend that saw four people killed and at least 30 others wounded in Chicago, the legally-armed citizen became a hero, perhaps sparing several people from harm. The unidentified Uber driver is licensed to carry, a result of a federal lawsuit filed by the Second Amendment Foundation in Moore v. Madigan.
A similar lawsuit, filed by the National Rifle Association in Shepard v. Madigan, also put the screws to Prairie State lawmakers. After former anti-gun Gov. Pat Quinn tried to veto the legislation, the legislature overrode his action. At the time, SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb applauded lawmakers for their courageous 77-31 vote in the House and 41-17 vote in the Senate. The 2013 veto attempt may have contributed to Quinn’s defeat last fall, bringing angry gun owners with long memories to voting booths.
Although Illinois had to be essentially dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st Century – where the Bill of Rights once again includes ten amendments – the Friday night shooting incident justified the effort, gun rights activists suggest. Gottlieb noted this morning in a press release that the shooting met the usual standard “so often tossed out by gun control opponents” to push their gun control agenda.
“It has saved one life,” Gottlieb observed, “and possibly more lives.”
One could almost feel the slap across the faces of so many gun prohibitionists who have just about worn out the phrase, “If it saves just one life, don’t you think it’s worth it” as they tug at the public’s emotional heartstrings to legitimize their battle to erode the Second Amendment. It has been a useful debate ploy, but one that just got stepped on by reality.
The best news, according to the authorities, is that the Uber driver will face no criminal charges, while the guy he put in the hospital is being held without bail following a Sunday hearing. The 47-year-old good guy, who appears to have been armed with a six-round handgun chambered for .45 Colt and .410 shotshells, acted in self-defense and defense of others, according to the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office.
Various accounts of the shooting, including the one published by the Chicago Tribune, say a group of people walking near where the Uber driver was stopped at or near Logan Square were in the line of fire when the suspect, identified as 22-year-old Everardo Custodio, allegedly pulled a handgun and opened fire. The shots apparently didn’t hit anybody, but by then the Uber driver had pulled his gun, which has been erroneously identified by some reports as a “shotgun,” and capped off six rounds. The suspect was reportedly hit in the leg and lower back, and was being treated at a local hospital.
According to a spokeswoman for the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office, Custodio faces aggravated firearm-related charges including unlawful use of a weapon. A handgun was recovered at the scene. So far, there has been no explanation for why the suspect opened fire, but solid justification for why the Uber driver returned fire.
“Thanks to his quick action,” Gottlieb said, “nobody else was apparently hurt in this inexplicable incident, the kind of random violence for which Chicago has become notorious over the past several years.”
Gottlieb noted that the SAF lawsuit “was aimed at putting law-abiding citizens on equal footing with street thugs and dangerous nuts.” He called the incident “a text book example of an armed citizen using his legally-carried defensive sidearm to protect his fellow citizens from violent attack.”
“This is precisely the reason law-abiding citizens in Illinois fought so hard for concealed carry, and why we went to court to make that happen,” Gottlieb said. “While SAF deplores violence, we’re delighted that our lawsuit made it possible for this armed man to stop a potentially deadly attack.”
The Windy City, which had for nearly three decades made life nearly impossible for citizens who merely wanted to defend themselves, their homes and families, may have to get used to the fact that legally-armed citizens will shoot back. This may require some serious cultural re-thinking on the part of some authorities and no small amount of career re-examination by the criminal element.
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