FROM THE HIP: RED STATE REPORT
by Dominic Visione
You probably know by now that my lovely bride and I left Illinois for Missouri. We didn’t do this on a whim. We were born and raised in the Land of Lincoln, as are most of our family. We even bought burial plots there.
But something went very wrong.
Logic and common sense left the statehouse building. The solution to any problem was to throw money at it. Then when that fails, watch as state government throws even more money at it with seemingly no accountability for government officials. Even worse, the joke of “woke” became the law of the land. And woe unto those who do not consume the mantra.
In our world, when the Democrat solution to Chicago/Cook County gun violence was low or no bail for criminals while at the same time mandating fingerprints for law-abiding gun owners three to four hours driving time from the Windy City, something had to give.
I don’t know how many years the good Lord will allow me to wander this planet, but I want to go out with a smile, a happy face and good memories of good times. Life is seriously too short for Chicago drama.
I don’t feel that the State of Missouri is the end all, but it is arguably in the top five in the nation. Given our experiences so far from our little corner of Missouri, it has to be. Your mileage may vary elsewhere in the state.
License plate stigma
Do Illinois license plates carry a stigma with them?
Yes, they do. I always thought that was one of those urban myths, but we have now experienced it first hand.
When you meet people elsewhere in the country and tell them you are FROM Illinois, you get pity from them. “Oh, I am so sorry.” As if you told them you were in town for a funeral.
The best example for us came from the family living next door to our new home.
The husband wandered over to ask for a ride back to his motorcycle, as it threw a chain just down the road. He had a new master link in hand, so away we went.
As I drove, he admitted that his family was a bit afraid to come over after we moved in to welcome us.
“It was your license plates,” he candidly admitted. “We thought, ‘Oh Lord, progressives from Illinois moved in right next door!’”
He went on to explain that after the weather warmed, his family heard gunshots from behind our barn and they smelled black powder.
“At that point, we know you folks can’t be that bad,” he told me with a laugh.
We now know the family and have a good, neighborly relationship.
But they did not come over until they heard gun fire. The sound of new neighbors exercising their Second Amendment rights was a welcoming and comforting sound.
I’m sure that happens in some places in Illinois, but this was a first for us.
Concealed or Open?
Missouri is a constitutional carry state. While folks can open carry, we haven’t seen much of it. Most folks (like us) keep it under a jacket or shirt. Older residents told us when it first started, some folks tried it, but after the novelty wore off, folks went back to carrying concealed.
The other surprise about seeing a gun in public?
After having lived in Illinois all these years, it took us a while to not drop our jaws when we caught a glimpse of guns in the wild.
One Saturday I went to a rental store that rents just about anything from skid steers to saws. As it was a nice sunny Saturday, customers filled the store picking up tools for spring projects.
A nice young fellow working there served me as his final customer before leaving for the day. As he left, he grabbed his lunch cooler and an AR-15 – with a mag inserted – from behind the counter to walk out to his car. Yes, you read that right.
After a double-take at the sight of an uncased, loaded AR-15, I asked the young man why not just carry a pistol, and pointed to my Glock under my shirt.
“I have that too,” he said lifting his shirt to reveal a 1911 .45 in his front pants pocket.
He explained that he brought the rifle after he installed a new optic because he wanted to sight it in at a buddy’s farm on the way home. He just didn’t want to leave it in his car outside in the parking lot.
After our conversation, as the young man left the store, I scanned the room. Sure enough…. nobody cared.
Yeah, it was mostly a male crowd, but nobody offered any surprised or stunned looks other than me. It was as if he pulled out a sandwich instead of an AR-15.
Sure, there was one other comment before he made it to the door: another customer had a question about his optic sight. Try that at Home Depot in Peoria.
No Tug of Shame
Or rather, the Illinois Tug of Shame. In Illinois, when you reach for something and your shirt/blouse moves to reveal your weapon, you often will dislocate any and all joints to re-conceal your legally carried Roscoe. You have to before any Bloomberg types see cold steel and then has a hysterical breakdown, calling 911 while sobbing and cowering under tables clutching at their pearls.
Not in Missouri. That gun under your shirt looks no more out of place than a belt.
A better of place to live
Yes there is crime here. If you don’t lock your stuff, somebody will eventually take it. But as for nightly shootings (of people) or armed robberies? Not seeing those in the local paper.
Unlike Chicago (or Peoria), we don’t get Shot Spotter alerts here and there’s nary a drop of blood in the streets.
Our county jail is usually full or close to it, but seat belt tickets are only $10.00. There is a lesson in there somewhere, but it won’t make it across the river back east.
Defund the police?
So how do people feel about law enforcement in these parts? Well I have a story straight from a law enforcement official about an incident that happened recently. A traffic stop revealed the driver had a warrant for his arrest.
The driver, not keen on being inconvenienced and returned to jail, started fighting with the officer.
As they rolled around on the ground, not one, not two, but three citizens stopped their respective cars and held the driver down so he could be handcuffed.
Nobody pulled out their phone to become the next YouTube or World Star Hiphop video star.
They stopped to help the cop. Period.
We haven’t lived here all that long, but I already feel like I know how the people that got over the Berlin Wall must have felt.