BELLEVUE, WA – A report this week that Illinois homicides are on the rise came as no surprise to the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA), which blames the state’s anti-self defense laws for the increasing bloodshed.

“Illinois lawmakers have stubbornly refused, time and again, to reform the state’s law on concealed carry of firearms for self defense,” noted CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb. “Because they have failed their responsibility to provide adequate law enforcement, while consistently preventing law-abiding citizens the means to defend themselves, the blood of every one of those crime victims is on the hands of Illinois legislators.”

The Illinois State Police reported June 30 that homicides in some areas rose over 28 percent in 2001 over the number killed in 2000. Various experts have blamed the slumping economy and the dismantling of the Chicago Housing Authority, and a DePaul University sociologist suggested that handgun availability may be partly responsible.

“If there is a handgun problem in Illinois,” said Gottlieb, “it is that the state’s anti-gun political machine, largely run by Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, has been working overtime to prevent law-abiding citizens from not only carrying guns for their personal security, but even owning them. Illinois anti-gunners, anxious to keep citizens disarmed and vulnerable, should be ashamed at the murder rate increase.

“While subscribers to the elitist Daley philosophy have continued to fight against the right of each citizen to be safe by denying them the right to defend themselves,” Gottlieb observed, “the murder rate statewide in Illinois, with a few exceptions, climbed 9.8 percent last year. That is a disgrace Illinois voters should remember in November.”

Gottlieb said positive evidence from other states, where concealed carry for self defense is legal, has shown the anti-gun formula to be “a placebo, pandered to the public by gun control snake oil salesmen as the panacea to crime.”

“Gun control as a homicide prevention measure is a fraud,” Gottlieb stated, “and the Illinois data proves it. How many more Illinois citizens must die before state lawmakers allow them to fight back?”