The Chicago Sun-Times--affiliated Glenview Announcements reported Wednesday that a planned public discussion the previous week on Illinois' new concealed carry law, to be led by state Representative Laura Fine (D-17th District), and held at the Glenview Police Department community room, had been canceled. The stated reason was that the Illinois State Rifle Association had alerted its members, and attendance was therefore expected to exceed the room's capacity.
Hmm--not 20 miles from Chicago--arguably the "anti-gun capital" of the U.S., and the state gun rights group could, on short notice, mobilize enough people to shut the entire event down. That doesn't fit very well with the narrative that support for gun rights--and opposition to oppressive gun laws--is a fringe position, largely limited to the rural south.
Rep. Fine was reported to have been unhappy with ISRA's, alert, claiming that it misrepresented the purpose of the event. From Glenview Announcements:
“The meeting was a question-and-answer session, not a debate on the concealed carry bill,” Fine said.
Fine, by the way, was rabidly opposed to Illinois' new concealed carry law, but claims that doesn't matter now, according to the Chicago Tribune:
Fine, who was against the legislation, said her personal stance is no longer relevant, as the measure was put into law.
As gun rights blogger Thirdpower says, that's an understatement.
Besides, if one looks at some of the other planned attendees and presenters, including Mark Walsh, of the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence, and Lee Goodman, who led the Stop Concealed Carry Coalition in its ignominious failure to, well . . . stop concealed carry, one can easily imagine just what kinds of "answers" were likely to be offered.
But that didn't stop Fine, Walsh and friends from criticizing ISRA's "confrontational" stance. Apparently, when defending our Constitutionally guaranteed, fundamental human right of the individual to keep and bear arms, we are expected to be polite. As far as I'm concerned, any oath-breaking politician who escapes Muammar Gaddafi's fate has been treated with politeness that is at the very least adequate.
Walsh accused ISRA President Richard Pearson of deceiving members, and playing on their fears to motivate them to attend:
Mr. Pearson and gun manufacturers are trying to rile people up into thinking their rights are being taken away, which is not true.
Walsh, by the way, does not seem to have specified which "gun manufacturers" were involved in alerting gun rights advocates about the event.
The best part, though, is that just as Walsh says there is no effort to attack gun rights, his ideological pal from the defunct Stop Concealed Carry Coalition apparently missed the memo that the idea was to be sneaky about attacking private gun ownership:
Goodman also said he was making efforts to repeal the Second Amendment on the right to bear arms.
“These pro-gun guys say they have rights that can’t be interfered with, but I think we should get rid of the Second Amendment [even if we offered to murder the Koch brothers?] so we can talk about reasonable regulations on guns.”
Actually Goodman, even with the Second Amendment, you can talk about "reasonable regulations on guns" all you want (heck--I'd be interested in hearing of such a regulation--doesn't seem possible in reference to a right that shall not be infringed). Just expect to be shouted down, or simply laughed out of the room.
If ISRA was planning to be confrontational and rude, good for them. King George III probably thought those pesky American colonists were rude, too.