As Seattle Gun Rights Examiner Dave Workman reported yesterday, rumor has it that the NRA is in negotiations with anti-gun fanatic Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel on new legislation to turn non-violent "gun crimes" into felonies, requiring long prison times for mere possession of an "illegal gun":
Two more people were murdered and 14 other wounded in weekend shootings in Chicago, according to today’s Chicago Sun-Times, but according to today’s Capitol Fax blog, Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s lobbyists “are engaged in serious talks with the NRA” about how to crack down on criminals and lower the body count.
Presumably, the legislation under discussion is Illinois House Bill 2265, discussed here earlier this month (which also seems to have the behind-the-scenes support of rabidly anti-gun NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg), and/or the identical language, introduced by HB 2265's sponsor, Rep. Mike Zalewski (D-Chicago), as an amendment to SB 1342, which has already passed (as an entirely different and unrelated bill) in the Senate. If Zalewski's amendment is approved, and SB 1342 passes in the House, the amended bill would have to return to the Senate for that chamber's concurrence.
As this column observed previously about HB 2265:
Under HB 2265, carrying a loaded firearm without a permit, or even an unloaded one, with ammunition "immediately accessible," would be a felony, for which the judge must sentence the offender to three to seven years in prison. A second offense would make it five to ten years.
Furthermore, if "caught" carrying a gun before the state's concealed carry law finally goes into effect, you become a felon for exercising a right that the federal court system has already ruled is guaranteed in the Constitution:
Now consider the fact that although the federal court system has ruled that Illinois' lack of any legal mechanism to carry a defensive firearm is a violation of the Second Amendment (as has the Illinois Supreme Court), and thus Constitutionally illegitimate, forcing the state to pass a concealed carry law, the state is not expected to start actually issuing permits for at least another half year, and don't even think about acquittals for those already arrested under the unconstitutional law.
So what is there to "negotiate" here? How much lipstick are we to deem sufficient to make this unconstitutional pig of a law acceptable?
Rich Miller, writing for the Capitol Fax blog, elaborates:
Mayor Emanuel’s Statehouse lobbyists are engaged in serious talks with the NRA and even the more strident Illinois State Rifle Association (something that Daley would never do, and vice versa) [Update: ISRA categorically denies being involved in any such "serious talks" with Emanuel--good news] to try and work out a compromise on legislation to force convicted gun possession violators to remain in prison for a lot longer than they already are. Emanuel himself is said to be actively involved by phone.
Miller then goes on to describe one of the proposed "compromises":
One of the compromises currently on the table would force state’s attorneys to initially charge some first-time offenders with a misdemeanor but allow prosecutors to go through a detailed “felony review” process which could result in much more severe criminal charges.
But the NRA frets that hardline anti-gun Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez would abuse the process to lock too many of the wrong people behind bars.
Anita Alvarez, in keeping with her long-held extremist hatred of private gun ownership (watch her explain that she "would favor a law that no one could ever buy a gun," or read the transcript, here), abusing the process in order to cause maximum pain to gun owners--gee, ya' think?
As Miller points out, one bright spot for gun owners is that the normally very anti-gun black caucus in the Illinois legislature is also (understandably) very opposed to mandatory minimum sentences--without that caucus, any anti-gun bill will face very tough sledding. From the Chicago Tribune:
"That is what we all talk about," state Rep. Ken Dunkin, D-Chicago, said of the political realities behind Emanuel's gun-sentencing effort. The legislature's black caucus is opposed to the mayor's proposal as offered, however.
"But a mandatory minimum sentence across the board would have too many unintended consequences for nonviolent people."
Finally, Miller notes that rabidly anti-gun Illinois Governor Pat Quinn may not be able to resist his apparently uncontrollable temptation to use (abuse) the state's "amendatory veto" process to tack a "high capacity" magazine ban onto the bill, which should effectively kill any "compromise."
There are two possible approaches for gun rights advocates to take in dealing with the "gun control" pushers: unrelenting, uncompromising, all-out resistance, to the last man; or abject, traitorous collaboration--and only one suitable consequence for the latter.
What's it going to be, NRA?
Update: Seattle Gun Rights Examiner Dave Workman has an important update, in "Illinois gun advocate says ISRA ‘not buying Rahm’s bill’"