We still can't carry concealed weapons, we have to wait till January 1st for that. But what is and has been legal is you can have a weapon in your home. Legalities aside, not everyone believes this means they are necessarily safer with a gun. Both sides got a chance to discuss it at a formal debate held at the University of Illinois Rockford Saturday evening.
The only question up for debate: Are you safer with a gun in your home?
The room was clearly divided, with Pro and Anti gun views sitting on opposite ends of the auditorium. Their viewpoints were nearly just as polar.
William Lee was one of two representatives for the pro gun argument. "There's too much misinformation where people believe they're not as safe if they have a gun in the home, whereas gun ownership, it shows that people defend themselves at least a half million times a year up to over 3 million times," he says.
He was countered by Elliot Fineman, who says he wants to see gun laws changed, and guns themselves made safer. "A big part of it would be that every gun owner would have to be license, like a driver, every gun would have to be registered, like a car, every gun would have to carry insurance to pay for the potential damage it does, it costs us 5 billion a year for tax dollars just for gun homicides," says Fineman.
But wedged in the middle are those who have not yet chosen a side.
"I haven't had any bad experiences that would sway us towards one opinion or another," says Rick Freiman.
After the debate, Rick's thoughts had changed.
"I would agree with the people that say if your home is safer with a gun in the home, just in general. its kind of an unfair question because really it depends on the circumstances," he says.
Even more people changed their viewpoints after the debate, almost equally in either direction. An anonymous vote showed that the number of people that said homes are safer with a gun went up by 27 percent. Those who say homes are not safer went up 29 percent. Although these numbers were slightly affected by a few latecomers to the debate who missed the initial poll.
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