March 10, 2005

500 lb NRA gorilla stomps into Illinois statehouse

The Illinois House Agriculture & Conservation committee has passed a bill which would allow anyone in Illinois to apply for a permit to carry a concealed weapon. Yep, now any yahoo that passes a gun safety course can bring their concealed steel pacifiers and security blankets with them into local bars, nightclubs, stores, churches, supermarkets, or anywhere else for that matter. Though one wonders what appeal carrying a concealed weapon would have to some gun lovers, since it kind of takes away from that macho feeling of having a gun displayed on your hip.

There are many provisions in the measure, among them a clause which provides that the act would supercede any home rule authority, in other words, it trumps any municipal or local government's laws to the contrary. This is the NRA's big F.U. to Mayor Daley and Chicago's gun control rules designed to curb the flood of deadly handguns which contribute so largely to the city's murders, robberies, and other crimes. The measure would effectively render Chicago's gun laws invalid.

The bill now moves on to full debate on the House floor.

The NRA. Making us all safer by ensuring the most heavily armed nation on earth gets more guns into more people's hands. Doesn't it just make you feel warm, secure, and fuzzy all over?

The Trib has the further details. (also note in a small item at the bottom of the story the happy news that Rep. Mike Boland and other's efforts on behalf of predatory lenders has apparently failed. The bill restricting their astronomical interest rates has passed the House Financial Institutions Committee.


At 3/10/2005 6:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dope- I must agree to disagree with you on this topic. The states that have passed concealed gun laws see a consistent and steady drop in all major and minor categories of crime- murders, rapes, robbery, and nuisnace crimes. The fact that the demographics and the social ills of Chicago does not on surface lend itself to this type of legislation, should not hamper the remaining God fearing, tax paying, felony free citizens of our state to carry a weapon. A law abiding, registered gun owner, who has gone through proper training and certification to carry a gun, is much preferred over a criminal carrying a gun. JMHO

At 3/10/2005 5:00 PM, Anonymous Peter Frampton said...

I must agree with you DOPE, the NRA has gotten out of control. There is absolutely no reason for average citizens to be allowed to drive around the QCs with guns in their cars. Think about the horrible possibilities. We should not let the NRA turn us into the Wild, Wild West.

I am a hunter and I stand 100% behind the Second Amendment. I think we should have every right to own guns for hunting.

But I draw the line there, and I wish more legislators had the spine to stand with the NRA on some things and not stand with them on others.

At 3/10/2005 5:04 PM, Anonymous King of Beers said...

I agree with Peter Frampton -- let's just say NO to the NRA on this one. We have to agree to disagree, and not let their rough and tough lobbying tactics carry the day on 'conceal and carry.'

And I sure hope Reps. Verschoore and Boland and Sen. Jacobs have enough backbone to say no to the NRA on this one.

At 3/10/2005 5:38 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

I'm with The Dope..
First of all, "anonymous" (-sigh-, how long until people learn to click "other" and pick a name)you end your comment with a straw man argument. No one is arguing whether they'd prefer a law-abiding, fine, upright, all-American, blah, blah gunowner to be carrying guns over criminals.

That is just a false argument. What we're talking about here is letting all these law-abiding citizens who might happen to get roaring drunk, have undiagnosed mental problems, or be a member of some whacko fringe group or other, who may be involved in a domestic dispute, be pissed at his boss, or at the world in general. We're talking about people like THAT being able to wander around at malls, schools, wherever, CARRYING A CONCEALED DEADLY WEAPON!!!!

It might take a while to beat someone to death, but it only takes a fraction of a second to kills someone with a gun.

Society shouldn't go out of their way to INVITE needless gun violence, maiming, and death.

And don't delude yourself that won't be plenty of "criminals" that will easily be able to qualify to pack heat.

Perhaps you think that people that live in Chicago are just screwed anyway and somehow deserve to live in a shooting gallery, but The Dope feels that they deserve to be secure to go about their business without fighting through a hail of bullets.

Ask a police chief if they think having MORE guns on the street is going to make their jobs easier.

If there's a robbery at a restaurant The Dope is at, I just want to lay low and have no trouble. I don't want some wanna-be Rambo deciding he should whip out his pistol and start a fire-fight that will likely cause even more mayhem.

There's far more regulation and control of automobiles than there are for guns, and that's just illogical.

It's insanity of the first order, in The Dope's opinion.

At 3/10/2005 7:31 PM, Anonymous It's Miller Time said...


I may agree with you, but you would have a hard time holding onto those views and ideals if you were in Springfield. The Illinois NRA runs a tough ship -- they lobby hard, they push hard, they play very rough and tough in campaigns. Dope, if you were the incumbent State Senator in this district and you said all those things you just said the NRA would come after you!

Maybe you better stay anonymous -- ha, ha.

At 3/10/2005 10:10 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

I think you're a bit confused. I'm not running for anything, nor do I have any desire to. I'm aware that the NRA plays tough and dirty and that they've got more money than any other lobby.

That is certainly not a reason for anyone to amend their views, and it would be a crappy reason for anyone to run from them with their tail between their legs.

As long as your views prevail, the NRA will continue to run roughshod over the country.

That said, I do appreciate what legislators and others face when trying to oppose them. But unless more of them are willing to stand up and take the consequences, then the NRA will continue to change this country against the wishes of the majority.

The majority of people in this country, if left to their common sense, do not favor at all the many reckless measures pushed by the NRA. Unfortunately, the NRA has been very sucessful at turning politicians into scared bunnies, and also in implanting in more and more people's minds that their views and philosophy is shared by a majority. This is simply not true.

There are many gun owners who realize just how radical and over the top the NRA is. It's long since been perverted from the honorable organization they began as.

But as long as politicians and their advisors continue to act like the NRA is God, the will of the people will continue to be ignored.

I would suggest that it's a myth that politicians who incur the wrath of the NRA are defeated due to popular sentiment. Far from it. They're defeated by a small core of misguided and misinformed gun-owners, many of which truly believe that someone's going to come take away their precious firearms unless they do everything the NRA wants. They have a very strong appeal to the Daryl Gribble, black-helicopter crowd, and those people get out and vote. And they also work in more subterranean ways by throwing huge sums of money into smear campaigns and running massive campaigns which have convinced a lot of otherwise reasonable people that any common sense gun control measures is somehow anti-American and are a sure sign the country is turning communist or something equally ridiculous.

While the NRA has a track record of defeating those opposed to their radical gun agenda, it's rarely simply because the majority of voters favor the NRA efforts, or are even aware of them.

I feel that if these NRA measures were put forward as referendums, they'd be soundly defeated.

I'm sorry, but it makes me a bit upset when I contnually see politicians and those around them quivering before the NRA, firmly coming down on the side of saving their hides over standing up for public safety and security.

Responsible governing is not about always taking the path of least resistance. The right had gained their current status by holding firm to their views no matter what and refusing to bend or divert from their course. While the Dems quiver before these right wing lobbies and others, voters fell for the idea of Bush as the firm, resolute leader. They didn't care what he was saying or even that he was dead wrong most of the time, they were just sick of Dems being squishy and weak-willed.

There is nothing more disgusting than a politician who is willing to do anything to continue in office, and who at their core, don't hold any beliefs or philosophy to be important enough to be worth holding onto, even in the face of possible defeat. The Dems have compromised their way into near insignificance, and I suggest that they stop.

At 3/10/2005 11:36 PM, Anonymous Blue State said...

But, Dope, how do we win in the Red states if we don't at least try to understand `where the NRA is coming from'. Can't we try to find middle ground? There are extremes on this issue, just like the choice issue, and it would be to our party's benefit if we could find that middle ground.

At 3/12/2005 8:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where does Boland, Jacobs and Verschoore stand on conceal and carry??

Does anyone know??


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