On Tuesday, we discussed a rumor that virulently anti-gun senlators in Illinois, at the urging of virulently anti-gun Governor Pat Quinn, would attempt this week to ram draconian gun legislation through the legislature during the lame duck session. Boy, was that rumor spot-on. If anything, it understated the threat.
The attacks began yesterday afternoon. With time so limited (Tuesday, January 8 is the final day of this session), the standard procedure for introducing and passing bills would take much too long. What the Senate (the House does not meet until the weekend) is doing instead is taking House bills that have already passed, gutting them, and replacing the text of the bill with the forcible citizen disarmament language. If/when the Senate approves the amendment (and they will probably try to do so this afternoon), and passes the amended (and now utterly transformed) bill, it is sent back to the House for a concurrence vote.
The first bill to get this treatment is Illinois House Bill 0815, which passed easily in the House back in May, by a 70-45-1 margin. What did HB 815 do, before Senator Dan Kotowski got hold of it yesterday? It dealt with nuclear power plant safety, requiring among other things that plant owners set aside money for improved monitoring and control gear. After Fukushima, that sounds like a pretty decent idea, does it not?
Not, apparently, to Sen. Kotowski. He believes that public safety in Illinois can better be served by banning 11-round and larger magazines, and imposing such a burdensome regulatory regime on shooting ranges as to make it economically unfeasible to operate them, so he introduced amendments to remove the nuclear safety language, and ban magazines and gun ranges. This is familiar territory for Kotowski. Back in 2007, he hijacked another bill for his 11-round magazine ban agenda--this bill having originally been intended to protect children from sexual exploitation.
Kotowki's partner in oath-breaking is Senator Antonio Muñoz, and speaking of hijacking legislation designed to protect children from sexual predators, the bill Muñoz wants to gut and replace had originally been intended to do just that. As amended by Muñoz, the bill would now be such a sweeping ban of so-called "assault weapons" (and, just for kicks, .50 caliber firearms and ammunition) that very few firearms would be left unbanned.
Muñoz also hijacked HB 1237, which had been about more effectively informing crime victims of their rights. What does Muñoz think is more important than that? Apparently, making it easier for police officers who have been deemed too dangerous to be allowed to possess firearms to get their gun rights reinstated.
After the Virginia Tech massacre in 2007, Illinois passed legislation to streamline the process of disarming people whose mental illness might make them a threat to themselves and/or others. Muñoz, though, evidently believes that the process has gotten too streamlined when it comes to "Only Ones," because, naturally, only non-"Only Ones" are dangerous when armed and mentally ill (oh--but guess what demographic has a higher rate of suicide and alcoholism/chemical dependency than the general population).
The forcible citizen disarmament fanatics in the Illinois legislature have declared war on Illinois gun owners.
So be it.
Update 2: Good news: "Ill. Senate drops controversial gun control measures." These abominations and more will without a doubt be back shortly after the new legislative session starts, but for the moment, the barbarians have been thrown back from the gates.
- Illinois State Senator Dan Kotowski supports the sexual exploitation of children
- Illinois lawmakers pondering gun ban in defiance of voters' will
- The Sh!t is Thrown Against the Wall in Illinois
- The Floor Amendments In Illinois (Updated)
- Full Court Press in Illinois (must-see video included)
- Illinois Dems vote to penalize gun owners
- Illinois wants to ban firearms and magazines; Muhlbauer wants Iowa to be next