Former Chicagoan: Concealed Guns Make Me Feel Safer

CHICAGO (CBS) — Illinois is inching closer to a law that would allow gun owners legally to carry a concealed firearm.

So what’s it like to head out in your street clothes carrying a concealed weapon?

CBS 2’s Mike Parker found former Chicagoan John Matuska, who moved to Indiana from Chicago 10 years ago. He said he moved to a state where concealed carry is legal because he feels safer legally carrying a handgun.

“I’m ready for a ride in the country, and I have my protection,” Matuska said. “I feel safe in Texas, or Florida. I feel safe in any of the carry states.”

But when he is in the Chicago area, Matuska says he feels unsafe.

“My biggest problem would be, say, having a car break down in an undesirable area where I would have absolutely no way of protecting myself,” Matuska said.

Matuska showed how he can conceal weapons wearing only a leather vest.

“I have a Glock here, which is in a special holster that somebody can’t just grab,” Matuska said. “This one has a special release and then the firearm comes out.”

Matuska says he has never pulled a gun out, and has never felt threatened enough to do it.

But the prospect of a similar law in Illinois sends chills through the leader of the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence. Patrick Thompson says he is worried that an Old West-style environment could be the result.

“I think it creates an environment where it potentially could; where you have people carrying concealed weapons; having the ability to carry them and have easy access to them,” Thompson said.

Gun rights supporters plan to descend on Springfield later Thursday to put pressure on lawmakers to vote yes on the proposed concealed carry law in Illinois.

But there will be just as much noise from gun control advocates, who will also be there.

On Tuesday, the concealed carry law passed the state House Agriculture Committee by a vote of 12-2. But the committee is dominated by downstate pro-gun rights lawmakers, and the bill must pass the full state General Assembly.

Illinois and Wisconsin are the only states left without some type of law allowing gun owners to carry weapons away from their homes.

CBS 2 political producer Ed Marshall contributed to this story.

  • franklin808

    It is more dangerous to allow non-government people to carry guns. I would be more scared knowing that Joe Average walking near me could just decide to shoot me. If you feel threatened, call the police or stay out of bad neighborhoods.

    • William Deathbeforedishonor LeSure

      @ Frank please think about the Lane Bryant Murders in Tinley Park! In states where you can get a CCW their are more woman that carry a firearm than men do. I moved into Indiana about 5 yrs ago and work in the city. Now i will tell you this North Side of Chicago more people are being preyed upon. There is a rapist in the Gold Coast/ Lincoln Park & Wrigleyville that the police have yet to catch. if I lived in this AREA of the city I would want my wife to have the ability to carry a firearm to protect herself.

    • William Deathbeforedishonor LeSure

      I would like for you to think about the Lane Bryant murders in Tinley Park! Their are more woman that carry a firearm in CCW states! Look it up please!

    • Liberal gunman

      People got shot a lot less in the “Old West” than they do now on the south and west side of Chicago!

      • Evergreen Park

        This is true. But you know there will be idiots whipping out there guns at the slightest provocation, and people willo be killed over real or imagined slights.

    • Kelly

      Thanks for proving my point Franklin. People who are going to go around randomly shooting others without provocation are already doing so. They’re called criminals, and they are carrying illegal guns. As for bad neighborhoods, name me one Chicago neighborhood that has been free of gun violence. Bet you can’t, because the criminals go wherever they want to commit their crimes, and they tend to go where the money is.

      • Kaleem

        well put Kelly. Thank you.

    • HasAClue

      Have you never been outside of Illinois Franklin? If you have, there is a high probability that a “Joe Average” has in fact been walking near you, only those that carry legally have no interest in shooting you. If you feel threatened by those that carry legally, I would suggest that you never leave the state, and hopefully soon that you never leave your house.

      And remember, the police can’t be with you wherever you may be. A call to the police in a threatening situation may quite possibly bring them in for the clean-up and investigation of your demise.

    • Bill

      Female joggers have been raped on jogging trails.Should they stay off of bad trails?You should fear the criminal who has a gun because they don’t care about laws,that’s why they are criminals!Law abiding people who get a permit to conceal carry already have been vetted because they are not criminals! Your fears are unfounded,franklin!

    • George Davis

      Right, because the flip side of that means not going anywhere you feel safe. Maybe Americans should just lock themselves inside their homes and never go outside to venture anywhere. Oh, and what about all the convicted felons carrying handguns in the city of Chicago. There’s an estimated 100,000 gang bangers running around the city that are in any neighborhood at any given time. Do you think they care if they are allowed to carry a handgun after being in prison? Until you’re mugged in the city at gunpoint like my friend was, in Lincoln Park, your flawed statement holds up. Joe Average has no record sheet and wouldn’t be able to carry his gun in the first place if he committed any kind of felony. You’re right, maybe just the convicted felons who shoot and kill people daily on the streets should be allowed to keep the fear in law abiding citizens. And by the way, there’s an estimated 3000 police in Chicago of which less than 1500 are working at any given time, you really think a city of 3 million has enough police to come to everyone’s needs because they fear the area they’re in? They have bigger issues like chasing down a small slice of all criminals that are committing crimes.

    • Mark, Sterling

      You obviously don’t know much about people who advocate gun rights. They are respectful, educated and mindful of the risks of guns and teach everyone around them how to handle them, when to use the, and (like karate) use ONLY as an absolute last resort. They wouldn’t just “pull out a gun and shoot you”. However…the people CURRENTLY carrying guns ILLEGALLY might just do that very thing. And often do. The good part is, some of them would probably hesitate a bit more if they thought “hey, this law abiding citizen COULD be carrying, and MIGHT shoot me back!”


      now to get a good size weapon, draco pistol extra magazines or drum…and ride the EL looking for punks to try me…bernie getez all over …here’s another cause you don’t look so bad….lock and load…

      • WhoDat

        Not a Marine I suspect!

    • David O

      So would you feel safer with a criminal standing next to you carrying a gun? Think about that.

  • Kelly

    Patrick Thompson’s fear of an old west environment makes no sense. If IL is currently 1 of only 2 states to not allow conceal carry, all we have to do is look at the stats from the other 48 states. Clearly there is no old west mentality going on anywhere else. In fact, living in a state where the only people carrying concealed weapons are the criminals is much more terrifying to me. I’ve lived in conceal carry states and have never once seen a weapon brandished by a law abiding citizen. Stop making assumptions that hold no water and give your constituents the benefit of the doubt.

    • beezil


      the “old west” argument is old and busted.

      All these anti-gun liberals need to do is access easily obtained fbi stats and law enforcement information to see what happens when each state has adopted conceal carry……violent crimes go down!

      • Denver Deadite

        Violent crimes have gone down even in states without them, so your argument is false.

        But then, when the presumed solution to the gun problems in this country is more guns…

  • Centrist Independent Gunowner

    Why are City Alderman and Cook County Commissioners and State Senators and State Representatives exempt from gun laws? They are all allowed to conceal carry!

    We are treated like simple subjects stripped of our second amendment rights here in chicago.

    • Tory II

      Yep. the City Alderman and Cook County Commissioners and State Senators and State Representatives should avoid bad neighborhoods and call police if they feel threatned.

  • bill

    One of the greatest benefit of conceal carry is what is known as the “moment of pause”. The moment the criminal takes before robbing a store, or carjacking mom, or stealing your wallet, where he realizes that the people he is about to rob might well be carrying a weapon. That moment of pause is a huge deterent to crime, Average Joe might just save your life one day. He’s not intersted in the wild west, he doesnt want to be a cop. He just wants protection in a society where the criminals far outweigh the cops. I have conceal carry permits that are valid in all but 2 states. Illinois and Wisconsin. I pray these last 2 holdouts fall soon.

    • Richard Weed

      To Bill, right on the money. The gang mentality is a predatory one where there are three or four dudes on a single person. If they think for a second you might be packing, they move on. Let us hope we get a new bill out of this one. Your comments were perfect., thank you!

  • Jack peterson

    I have a gun and it been locked in my locker forever…. I would feel lot safer if I can carry a gun while at work in southside….. Seems like only people that dont carry a gun in southside are the good working class people….

  • Tory II

    “But the prospect of a similar law in Illinois sends chills through the leader of the Illinois Council against Handgun Violence. Patrick Thompson says he is worried that an Old West-style environment could be the result.”

    48 other States allow gun carrying in public (and Thompson knows that.) He also knows it is relatively safe in those States.

  • Gregory Lewis


  • Vicky

    Gangs already have concealed carry, so why no the rest of us?

    • Mary mitchell

      but vicky ,
      this is discrimination , our young
      men of color have been
      carrying guns for years !
      this law would possibly
      cause harm to men of color
      and illegal aliens , etc

  • Kelly2

    George, I agree with you but just want to correct the number of officers that Chicago currently has. You are around 10,000 off on the amount of officers. CPD is closer to 13,500 officers and that is at least 500 or more short of what the city actually needs.

  • Mr. Justice

    Good morning everyone! Good to see there are other “like minded law-abiding citizens” here in Illinois. Good comments from everyone. Please don’t forget to contact your state representatives and state senators and let them know you desire conceal carry here in Illinois. Be respectful, speak clearly, and not with an edge. Do not say negative comments about Daley or other liberals. Be sure to point out that 48 other states have Conceal Carry and we, as law abiding citizens should also have our 2nd Amendment rights.

  • justin

    Sometimes you never know when your going to be in a bad neighborhood. Maybe you have to take a short cut through there or there is an accident and you have to go through there or whatever. And nobody knows when there car could break down. But that Criminal might think twice about hurting you if he thinks your carry a weapon. I know i would feel alot safer with one. Think about how much money the state can make by just charging a fee for the permit. MIGHT HELP THE STATE GET OUT OF DEBT! The old wild west is dead let it go! Look at the stats from the other states and you anti gun people will understand. NOTHING HAPPENS!

  • Dan-o

    I would love the ability to CCW in IL. hopefully today’s IGOLD meeting helps sway some people towards this future. If you want to see this happen make sure you call your reps and tell them, join a group that is fighting for your rights (ISRA, SAF, ect…) becuase this fight isnt free.

    I wanted to note it is very funny that one of the most vocal gun control advocates in S Carolina shot an intruder recently (RC Soles).

    • Mr. Justice

      Good comments

  • Ruben Dalys

    hey Patrick Thompson lets see the stats of all the carry states with “wild west” shootouts by private law abiding citizens!

  • law abiding citezens

    @ franklin888! tell me what nieghborhood that are safe.guys that are criminals,thugs,or gangbagger don’t care.why all criminals carry guns.they use it against to the good law abiding citizens.i believe,if a carry my own gun.i’ve got a chance to for calling for help from the police,by the time they arive you be your local NRA.

  • John Q.

    Logic Requires Having the Facts Correct

    Well, this story got one pretty important fact WRONG. Illinois is not 1 of 2 states that doesn’t allow carry, it is the only one. Wisconsin has no law against open carry. Illinois is the ONLY state that does not allow defensive carry in any form. Illinois is 1 of the 2 states that doesn’t allow “concealed” carry.

    Illinois is, however, alone in it’s complete disregard for the right of law abiding citizens to carry a defensive firearm in case of confrontation, a right that is supposed to be protected by the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution. As for needing a permit to carry a firearm for self defense, let’s see who is willing to buy a permit from the state before being allowed to attend church, or pay for a training class before being able to speak publicly or write a letter to the editor. “Shall not be infringed” means what it says. The right protected by the Second Amendment is the one that protects all the others.

  • Mr. Justice

    >>>>>>>>>> John Q.
    Great comments. We need to continue to educate the public about the truth and also encourage people to call their State Representatives and State Senators and let them know we need CCW here in Illinois.

  • Smokey

    As a former Illinois Police officer and current California police officer (were we have concealed carry for civilians) we rarely if ever have any issues of folks legally carrying a firearm commiting a crime of any sort. The idea that folks will be shooting others at random becuse they can carry a concealed gun legally is laughable. Ive been at the cop business for 39 years and know one thing….the criminals carry guns and laugh at ALL gun laws. We have a term for folks who don’t carry guns….VICTIM. Good folks don’t randomly shoot people and bad people are already carrying guns illegally anyway. Sure call 911 if you feel threatened, but in the time it takes you to make the call, have it answered, the information obtained and typed into the dispatch system, dispatched, acknowledged and response to the scene by me or my brother (a Chicago cop) , you have already been shot by the bad guy and are bleeding out. Best case scenario..your daughteris beingraped, someone calls 911, the beat cop is 1 mile from the crime scene…..3 -4 minutes. Your daughter is armed..rapist shows up—rapist is bleeding out, daughter safe…15 seconds.

  • Dave

    Not surprising many people are fearful of our neighbor shooting them up — you know – just like TV has been showing for decades. Whatever happen to faith in our fellow neighbor? Perhaps it is time to limit the violance shown in the media (i.e. eliminate the planting of such seeds in our minds), and re establish religion back into public places. Yes religion — remember that org that teaches right from wrong, good from bad. Perhaps many of our fears would be greatly deminished and we will once again see (as our Founding Fathers saw) the obvious value of the “right to bear arms”.

  • Diersen’s News Clips and Upcoming Events; March 10, 2011 « Cao2's Weblog

    […] Former Chicagoan: Concealed Guns Make Me Feel Safer […]

  • Harley

    I suppose those who are apposed to the right to carry firearms and use the excuse that is what the police is for. Also, do not equip their homes with fire extinguishers because that is what the fire dept is for.

    Just like it’s our duty to protect our familys from fire by installing smoke alarms and fire extinguishers It should be a duty for all law abiding citizens to carry a weapon to protect themselves and their communities from criminals. Anyone who shirks this duty to help protect their families and communities is no greater than those who try to harm them

  • Al Dewey

    Well said, Smokey! In every state that has allowed concealed carry over the past 30 years, gun-control advocates have always said there would be shoot-outs in the streets, which has never happened. Yet they continue to persist in their attempts to scare the ignorant. Evidence shows that concealed-carry holders are much less prone to violence than the general population. The risk is low, the benefit is greater freedom and safety, and no one is forcing anyone to carry a gun if they choose not to do so.

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