Some questions for Illinois THRers.


March 26, 2003, 08:00 PM
I am in the process of applying to graduate school. There are many criteria I'm using in choosing:
-quality of the school
-cost of the school and cost of living in the area (I already have a ton of student loans so unfortunately this has become the number one criteria)
-can I get in?
-there must be an Orthodox Jewish synagogue w/in an hour from the school (I am Orthodox) and some kosher food available nearby

Last, is how good/bad the area is for guns. I am a gun owner and gun rights are important to me but for school the most important thing is the school, next would be my ability to properly follow my religion in the area, and then would be guns. Partly, this is because I already live in a bad gun state so I'm already used to bad gun laws.

Well, I am strongly considering Governor's State University for my MA. It is has a good masters program in psychology. It is cheap (if I don't get financial aid) and it seems that I have a good chance at an assistantship making it even cheaper. It isn't far from Chicago which has a great Orthodox population (and while Chicago isn't cheap it certainly can't be worse than the DC area).

However, Illinois is supposed to be really bad on gun laws. One of the few states that can rival MD for the title of "worst gun state". Also, you hear buzz that handguns may be outright illegal in Chicago.

So, how bad is it really? Is there any way to own handguns in Chicago?

I don't really know Illinois at all. Where is Skokie (I do know that there is a good sized Orthodox community there)? Is it near Chicago? Is it north or south of Chicago (i.e. is it even further from Governor's State University in University Park)? Is it a neighborhood or suburb of Chicago with the same gun restrictions as the rest of Chicago or are the restrictions the same as the rest of the state?

If Chacago is my only option religiously (I need to be able to live within walking distance from an Orthodox synagogue since driving isn't allowed on the sabbath) and handguns aren't allowed in Chicago then Illinois schools aren't an option.

Even if I don't go to GSU a few of the Ph.D. and Psy.D. programs I'm considering going on to after my masters are in or near Chicago so I really need to know if it is a viable option.

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El Tejon
March 26, 2003, 08:10 PM
chaim, former inmate of Chicago here--3 years with good behavior. Illinois is very bad, Chicago is worse.

There has been a handgun "freeze" in Chicago since '83. In order to own any firearm you must have a Firearms Owner Identification Card (FOID). Regulation, after law, after ordinance, to a native Hoosier, it was unbearable.

As a gun owner, the media and government let you know that you are the enemy and must be destroyed. Outside of driving to the 'burbs or Indiana (I lived in the Loop) there is no place to shoot.

I had to hide my guns. When I left to visit America, I had to hide my guns in guitar cases or bookbags. Any talk of firearms, left you marked as a "nut". I had a hard time accepting how sheep-like the people are there. It was alien.

But, hey, did my time and now look at me!:D Being my own boss, owning the firearms I choose, carrying them about without concern, walking the earf seeking wisdom and yacking on the Errornet. Life is good.:)

March 26, 2003, 08:30 PM
chaim , skokie is north of the city and about 50 miles north of university park ( which I am 20 miles west of ) the only other towns you might have a problem with are morton grove (on the north side of the city and like El Tejon said the city itself . the south side does have a diverse cultur in relegion aspects the main jewish comunities are Homewood and flossmoor , which are several miles from GSU . also I would double check your couses as some of the courses in the PSHyc fields several years ago offered by GSU where not accredited and was part of a big conterversy here . ( former girlfriend found out the hard way) as the availability of Kosher Items : there abundant almost all the major supermarket chains have an row of Item available, but for some kosher meats you still have to go to the city . the two towns listed ealier have sites on the web you might want to check them out , but as el Tejon said you have to get the FOID card in order to posess and shoot weapons here even to purchase ammo . did you also look into Nw indiana ? GSu is only 20 miles from the INdiana state line. I wish you luck and if you come this way give me a jingle . if I haven't jumped the fence to the Hoosier yet .

March 26, 2003, 09:08 PM
also I would double check your couses as some of the courses in the PSHyc fields several years ago offered by GSU where not accredited and was part of a big conterversy here Both programs I'm considering (mental health/community counseling or school psychology) are accredited by their respective professional organizations (something most masters programs cannot claim) so they should be fine.

did you also look into Nw indiana ? GSu is only 20 miles from the INdiana state line I didn't know it was so close to Indiana. I'd love to live in Indiana. How close is GSU to the closest big (well, medium big) city in Indiana? Which cities are within about an hour drive? That brings up another, much better, possibility.

March 26, 2003, 09:31 PM
Chaim, I strongly advise that you look elsewhere fore a place to continue your education. The state now is entirely in the hands of democrats who, as I write this, are tuning an even more oppressive bundle of laws. Handguns have been banned in Chicago since the mid-1970s and long guns must be registered with the city. You face a miserable decision: something will have to give, either your interest in guns or your religion. Forget Illinois.

Miss Demeanors
March 26, 2003, 09:48 PM
Once you enter IL, you may never escape MWAAHHAAA :evil:

IL gun laws are horrible as mentioned above, Chicago is the worst. My sister went to Roosevelt ( for her Masters in Psychology (2 years at DePaul). She went to the campus in Shaumburg which is defintely better than Chicago campus, but either way you are still in Illannoy. :D

March 26, 2003, 09:57 PM
The bottom line is this:

Illinois does not allow CCW.

Chicago and a few other Cook county communities have restrictions on the ownership of handguns.

Illinois has some excellent learning centers. World class, depending on your venue of study.

Illinois is a very diverse and tolerant vis-a-vis social environment.

Future Illinois gun laws may restrict certain kinds of "assault type rifles."

You can still defend you home with the appropriate firearm.

You can get an excellent education.

There is religous and ethnic diversity.

I don't agree with Illinois gun laws, but to decide on your ethnic and educational options based upon said laws will short sight your future.

Don Gwinn
March 27, 2003, 09:00 AM
Illinois is a very pleasant place in some ways, but it's not a free land. Chicago has neat museums and Wrigley Field and that's about it.

If you can live in Indiana and commute I'd advise it. You should probably go to and check it over.

I was born here and have a family here, but you don't have that handicap. I'd say if the best school for you is here, then come on out, put in your time, and get out. It's still better here than in Maryland, though not by a lot.

With all that said, I'm beginning to think seriously about staying. I had decided to move within the next two years, but now I don't know. It just burns me that "they" can chase me out of the house I'm practically building with my own two hands, away from my children's grandparents, away from my HOME! And let's face it, the fight is not in Texas or Indiana or Tennessee. The real fight is here.

March 27, 2003, 09:41 AM
If you value the right to carry a loaded handgun on your person, then to use your own words... 'Illinois schools aren't an option.'

Many folks to live in Indiana and commute to Ill for employment but if you live in ...ishudder... Gary, IN, then Skokie will be an hour + commute each way. Might work out pretty well for folks that live further south but for a graduate student not wanting to drive on Sunday, that'd be a long walk.

March 27, 2003, 11:01 AM
chiam , the suburbs Of Nw Indiana have some Jewish Faith and alot of orthadox religions ( its been a while since I lived over there and noticed the religons ) but the towns of schererville , Merrillville , Crown point ( My old stomping grounds)hammond , highland , have reletively cheap housing (compaired to the sw subs) and decent modes of public transportation (except crown point ) definately stay away from gary .. east chicago and whiting , university park is 6 miles south of interstate 80 and 3 miles south of us 30 on I 57 , but there are plenty of ways to get back and forth that are faster if you don't mind going thru the woods and fields , If I where you I would look in to merrillville/Schereville area it's the most diverse and only 25 miles from GSU (i know because my ex fiance from there and drove quite regularly) merrilleville (US 30 and I65 ) and schererville (us 30 and US 41 ) good luck .. as for the local paper over in those parts its the Post tribune and they are on-line .

El Tejon
March 27, 2003, 11:05 AM
chaim, I have several buddies from grad skul that live in [accent activate] "Da Ree-gin", which is northwest Indiana, Lake County, and commute to downtown Chicago or Hammond (the federal courthouses for the ND Indiana are there). These cities include Munster, Highland and Schereville. If you're looking on your map, look south of Hammond (of "Christmas Story" fame), the "L" shaped city, on Lake Mitchigun. Even though I went to a "Jewish" school (or one founded by Jews), I do not know their religious affiliations, nor the availability of temples. (Pssst, cratz, it's not Sunday that he's worried about). Sorry.

If you come out here, we are going to have to work on your accent. Repeat after El Tejon, "hey, yuz guyz, take a louie up dare." "How youuu doooin'?" "hey, did ya see dat girl on Oak Steet beetch, over dare?" You also have to start chewing gum and put gel in your hair.:D

Like Don said, nothing beats Chicago on a warm spring weekend with a new suit, spending money in your pocket and thoughts of the young & nubile in your heart!;)

El Tejon
March 27, 2003, 11:08 AM
coonan, hey, what's wrong with East Chicago? Maybe chaim likes abandoned steel mills?

Make for great tactical exercises. Wharf rats are cheap targets!:D

March 27, 2003, 11:18 AM
I like to see my fellow Thr's alive not post mortum !!! and the mills aren't abandoned they still are working , but I am afraid that ammoco refinery is gonna go up again ! and El Tej I thought you went to northwestern?? thats a university founded by the methodists ..

El Tejon
March 27, 2003, 11:26 AM
J.D., Chicago-Kent College of Law, '95.

chaim, you'll be fine, don't let us scare you.:p

March 27, 2003, 11:55 AM
it can't be any worse than baltimore :rolleyes:, el Tej , you went to J.d.chicago Kmart what kind of law scho..... opps KENT! Never mind ... :D better than my alda matter Moraine Valley community college " Moron Valley ." nothing more than a High school with ashtrays

El Tejon
March 27, 2003, 01:14 PM
Oy vey, how I suffer!:D

March 27, 2003, 01:21 PM
suffered from what the Oak street beach on a 90 degree day??
eyeball against the glasses ?:D

March 27, 2003, 07:57 PM
Just south of I-80 you are in Will County and out of reach of Daley's day to day rules. GSU is a short drive from a lot of nicer places to live and outside of Cook County's corrupt rules.

CCW is still outlawed here, no "legal" handguns in Chicago, no class 3 and they are trying to ban "assault rilfes" like my Marlin 60! But, just 11 miles away is the Indiana border and lots of good stuff is OK there.

As mentioned above there are a few traditional Orthodox synagogues down here and even a hard core Lubavitcher or two to be seen here and there.

Even with Daley in power, it's hard to beat a top down cruise down Lake Shore Drive on a summer evening for sheer enjoyment with all your clothes on. Keep us posted onwhat you do and we can clue you in on ranges to try out.

Don P.

March 27, 2003, 11:03 PM
Yep CCW and lots of fun stuff can be owned here in Indiana :-D Someday I will have the money to buy that nice ar-15 - from my mom - hee hee. I cant add more info about NW Indiana except to say that the big problem with Hammond (to me) is the number of train tracks that cross intersections. I sleep lightly and sometimes those train whistles are quite irritating. I used to travel to Illinois for work but now work in Hammond :-) So I can eventually move to one of the other suburbs already mentioned. Hammond, Munster and Highland are closest to Illinois and the highway if you are going to commute to Chicago and Chicago Suburbs. Munster is a bit more expensive than Highland I believe. Good luck with your decision.


March 27, 2003, 11:16 PM
(Pssst, cratz, it's not Sunday that he's worried about). Sorry.

Just typed the wrong word... my mom would slap me silly if she read that. :uhoh:

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