Yesterday, I wrote (somewhat intemperately, one could argue) about Marion County, Illinois Sheriff Wolenhaupt, and his opposition to the idea of "average Joes" being permitted to carry concealed firearms.
Today I would like to present (with permission) a letter written to him by a hard-working Illinois gun rights activist, in response to the sheriff's statements.
Dear Sheriff Wolenhaupt,Could not have said it better myself.
You are quoted in your local newspaper as saying, "The right to carry concealed weapons by the 'average Joe' - I'm not ready for that,". Well Sheriff, get ready for this; you had better not vacation outside of the state of Illinois any longer, because the “average joes” in 48 other states do in fact carry concealed weapons. I for one, am offended by your remarks. I am an “average joe” and I have an out-of-state permit to carry. Now fear not, it is absolutely worthless here in my home state, but I do use it while traveling out of state. Let me tell you about my cats. We had them declawed when they were kittens, but they are “house cats” and we provide continuous 24 hour protection for them and do not allow them outside where they may encounter trouble. Are you willing to provide ’round the clock security for us “average joes” that have been declawed by the state? I am assuming your answer would be no. I suppose you have not thought about the “average jane” who could have prevented the rape and murder, would she have been permitted to carry. I don’t think anyone’s life should be put at risk because of how some other individual might “feel” about it. Furthermore, in the article, you speak as if only police are worthy of having the means to defend themselves. This smacks of elitism. As sheriff, you above everyone else should want the best means of protection available to your constituents should they choose to implement it. They entrusted you enough to elect you as sheriff, I think it only fitting that you trust them and stand up and demand that their right to self defense be restored! In closing, I ask that you think about this quote from Thomas Jefferson, one of our most notable Founding Fathers…"Laws that forbid the carrying of arms . . . disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes . . . Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man."
The sheriff, quite simply, is wrong in not trusting "average Joes" with the means to defend themselves. Being wrong is no disgrace--if it were, there would be no one more disgraced than I. The disgrace comes from being unable to retreat from a wrongheaded position, even in the face of irrefutable evidence that one's original position is, indeed, wrong. Letters like the one above provide the kind of irrefutable evidence to which I refer. I hope Sheriff Wolenhaupt gets enough such letters to improve his understanding.
He can be contacted, by the way, here:
204 N Washington St
Salem, Illinois 62881
UPDATE: According to the Marion County Clerk, Sheriff Wolenhaupt has submitted a letter to the county board stating that he has reconsidered his position, and asking that the resolution be placed back on the agenda. I commend the sheriff for his willingness to see reason, and now have some hope that he will reexamine the issue of concealed carry for us "regular Joes," with the same openness of mind.