On Tuesday, Illinois became the last state in the country to allow its citizens to carry concealed firearms. This move came after an appeals court ruled that Illinois' concealed-carry ban was unconstitutional and gave a July 9 deadline to implement the necessary changes in law.
Gov. Pat Quinn tried to stage an 11th-hour coup against the bill, issuing an amendatory veto that banned concealed carry in restaurants that serve alcohol, limited permit holders to carry one firearm at a time and maxed out the size of acceptable ammunition magazines at 10 rounds.
The Illinois House and Senate overrode the veto, arguing that the rule changes were too little, too late, with some suggesting that it was nothing more than political posturing on Quinn's part.
So what happens now? Illinois is expected to have its concealed carry permit program in place by March 2014 — the application process will require a 16-hour training course, the longest in the nation — and after that, it's anybody's guess.
Opponents of gun control will reference studies that have shown violent crime decreases after concealed carry goes into effect. And to be sure, it seems unimaginable that the level of gun violence in Chicago could possibly increase any further than it already has. Even Champaign has been busy earning its "micro-urban" status with a slew of recent shootings.
However things turn out, it is fitting that this change in law would occur so close to Independence Day, as there is nothing more American than guns. Well, except for Walmart.
And so I thought it would be appropriate to commemorate this historic shift in law by updating a popular chain letter that has been circling the Internet since the Internet wore training pants.
25 FUN THINGS TO DO IN WALMART ... WITH YOUR GUN
1. Take shopping carts for the express purpose of filling them and stranding them at strategic locations ... with your gun.
2. Ride those little electronic cars at the front of the store, while "raising the roof" ... with your gun.
3. Set all the alarm clocks to go off at 10-minute intervals throughout the day ... using only your gun.
4. Contaminate the entire auto department by sampling all the spray air fresheners ... with your gun.
5. Challenge other customers to duels with tubes of gift wrap, a hard stare ... and your gun.
6. Leave cryptic messages on the typewriters ... about your gun. (EDIT: What the instagram is a typewriter?)
7. Redress the mannequins as you see fit ... and then pose them with your gun.
8. When there are people behind you in an aisle, walk really slowly ...while twirling your gun.
9. Walk up to an employee with your gun drawn and tell him in an official tone, "I think we've got a Code 3 in Housewares." See what happens.
10. Tune all the radios to a polka station; then turn the volumes up to "10" ... while intensely polishing your gun.
11. Ride a display bicycle through the store; claim that you're taking it for a "test drive" ... and dry fire your gun into the air like Yosemite Sam.
12. Follow people through the aisles, always staying about 5 feet away ... while kissing the barrel of your gun. Continue until they leave the department.
13. Play soccer with a group of friends, using the entire store as your playing field. Shirts vs. Guns.
14. As the cashier runs your purchases over the scanner, look mesmerized and say: "Wow. Magic!" Then nonchalantly comb your hair ... with your gun.
15. Put M&M's on layaway. But not your gun. The only place your gun should layaway is in your pocket, your waistband, your bra cup or a trusted and easily accessible glove compartment.
16. Set up a tent in the camping department; tell others you'll only invite them in if they bring pillows from the bed and bath department ... and bullets for your gun.
17. Ask other customers if they have any Grey Poupon ... for your gun.
18. Randomly throw your gun over into neighboring aisles. When an employee picks it up, pop out and ask to see their permit.
19. When someone asks if you need help, begin to cry and ask, "Why won't you people just leave me alone?" ... while tightly hugging your gun.
20. Nonchalantly "test" the brushes and combs in Cosmetics ... while strip cleaning your gun.
21. Hold indoor shopping cart races. Try to shoot out the other cart's tires ... with your gun.
22. Dart around suspiciously while humming the theme from "Mission: Impossible" ... and brandishing your gun.
23. When someone steps away from a shopping cart to look at something, quickly make off with it without saying a word. Check first to make sure the previous cart pusher isn't concealing a gun.
24. Relax in the patio furniture until you get kicked out. Belligerently wave your gun in the air and insist that they're violating your right to bear arms on patio furniture.
25. Look right into the security camera, use it as a mirror ... and pick your nose with your gun.
Ryan Jackson would like to welcome everybody to the wild, wild West, and he can be reached at email@example.com with your gun.