December 27, 2012
By Edward Ingold – I have collaborated with Edward Ingold on several article in the past. This is a solo article by Ingold that merited posting. Ed Ingold is a chemical engineer by profession, a gun enthusiast, a conservative Republican, and a fellow musician who plays oboe and English Horn.
The automobile and aerospace industries use so-called 3-D printers to make prototypes of complex parts. In simple terms, the “printer” is a pot of liquid polymer which uses two converging beams from a laser to harden the plastic where the beams intersect. The polymer is transparent to the laser, but enough heat is generated where the beams cross to trigger the chemical bonding process. The solid part is made from the bottom up, much like an inkjet printer applies dots of ink to make a photograph. The plastic is similar to that used for plexiglass windows.
Some intrepid experimenters used the “printer” to make parts patterned after an the receiver of an AR-15 rifle, which were then assembled and used to fire several rounds before falling apart. The news media picked up on this immediately, and raised an alarm that plastic guns made in this fashion would be undetectable by security magnetometers used in airports and government buildings, without background checks and waiting periods. If that were not scary enough, it was the same type of rifle used by the shooters in Aurora, Colorado and Newtown, Connecticut.
You can file story this along with cold fusion, perpetual motion machines and winning strategies for Tic-Tac-Toe. There is no plastic capable of withstanding the pressure generated by even low power ammunition, much less the 60,000 pounds per square inch or more generated by an AR-15 round. The key working parts, such as the barrel and bolt, must be made from steel, which is easily
There are many firearms which have non-critical parts, like the grip and trigger, made from plastic. A notable example is the Glock pistol, used by more police and civilians than any other single brand. This was described as “undetectable” when it first appeared, by such excitable people as The New York Times and Mayor Daley of Chicago. A Glock pistol, of course, has over a pound of steel in the barrel, slide and working parts, which is easily detected. Enormous pressure was brought to bear against the distribution of Glock pistols in the United States, much of which was fomented by domestic manufacturers whose products would be overshadowed by the inexpensive and extremely reliable Austrian imports. Needless to say, the sky didn’t fall, and all domestic firearm manufacturers followed suit.
Media people are so gullible when it comes to technology, as are politicians eager to step up in order to protect humanity from evil scientists, with all the publicity that would generate.
Published initially at Illinois Review on Wednesday, December 27.
December 23, 2012
Instead of making guns the villains, and by implications punishing gun owners by wanting to crack down on their right to own guns as granted by the 2nd amendment, we would be better off debating two taboo subjects — the laws that make it difficult to control people with mental illness and the growing body of evidence that “gun-free” zones banning the carrying of firearms by law-abiding individuals don’t work.
Although gun-free zones are a wonderful idea, they only work if they are coupled with metal detectors backed up by armed guards. The Sandy Hook Elementary school became a magnet for evildoing because Adam Lanza knew he would be able to murder at will with little threat of being fired upon.
There is also the psychology of mass shooters that demands control of the victims and the situation. A common denominator in most of the mass shooting has been mental illness. As with Adam Lanza he committed suicide when confronted by the police, rather than to be stopped against his will in his senseless killing spree. With the Colorado movie shooter, James Holms, he calmly waited outside for the police to arrest him, possibly in order to maintain some degree of control short of suicide to end the incident on his own terms.
In the mid 1960’s, many of the killing would have been prevented because the severely mentally ill would have been confined and cared for in a state institution. Now they are out on the streets; many of them are homeless.
Question for consideration:
1. Does the president have armed guards to protect his family?
2. Are other officials protected by armed guards?
3. Do armed US Marshals provide protection to passengers who are children on airplanes?
4. Isn’t school safety as important for children as airplane safety?
5. What about liberal politicians who have dismantled the laws that keep violent mental cases on the street and in their homes instead of where they can get help?
For consideration by those who advocate the ban of assault weapons: “Laws do not curb the lawless and neither do gun control laws.” After all, that’s why we call them lawless! http://quotes.liberty-tree.ca/quote_blog/Joel.Miller.Quote.34B6
This is not to make light of the senseless Newtown killings, but why is there not a peep from the media how 446 school age children were actually killed by craze nuts in Chicago so far this year with almost two weeks to go? How could this be? Might it embarrass the strident anti-second amendment individuals who like to brag about Chicago’s tough gun laws? Might it also be that the kids shot and killed were minorities? And what about Chicagoland’s corrupt liberal media that doesn’t want to show Chicago in a bad light, now run by Rahm Emanuel, as the town that produced Barack Obama, Jesse Jackson, Louis Farrakhan, and David Axelrod? http://clashdaily.com/2012/12/chicago-446-school-age-children-shot-so-far-this-year-with-strongest-gun-laws-in-country-media-silent/#ixzz2FbHdfpDh
Considers Great Britain: Despite a ban on guns. it’s violent crime record is worse than any other country in the European union. Official crime figures show the UK also has a worse rate for all types of violence than the U.S., even South Africa, widely considered one of the world’s most dangerous countries. There are 2,034 violent crimes per 100,000 residents in the UK. The U.S. has a violent crime rate of 466 crimes per 100,000 resident. Canada ranks above the U.S. with 935 crimes per 100,000 residents. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1196941/The-violent-country-Europe-Britain-worse-South-Africa-U-S.html
Announced by President on December 19 is that Joe Biden will spearhead an inter-agency panel to develop policies in the wake of the Newtown elementary shooting. The rush is on to reach a conclusion in January of 2013. Being of Pennsylvania Deutch ancestry, Thorner grew up in a household which emphasized this brief and simple proverb: “Haste makes waste.”
As with the gun issue, rushing to legislate gun legislation will result in errors that require correction or in the creation of solutions that are not practical and will instead lead to more harm than good. minutemennews.com/2012/12/biden-to-head-post-newtown-shooting-review-of-u-s-policy
So it will be if liberal lawmakers continue to use Newtown as the impetus for encroaching upon 2nd amendment rights as a means to enact their political agenda. May saner heads prevail.
It is human conceit that man can prevent the unpreventable. Not one law now being proposed would have stopped the Newtown massacre, known as a safe community.
Once our 2nd Amendment rights are gone, what else can the government decide what we can or cannot do?
Posted initially at Illinois Review on December 22, 2013.
December 23, 2012
By Edward Ingold and Nancy Thorner –
President Obama promised to make tackling gun violence a top priority of his second-term agenda, despite strong opposition to gun control. A group led by Vice President Joe Biden was asked to come up with specific proposals in January.
The strategy of President Obama and the Democrats is to hurry, hurry, hurry to make a decision, whether on gun control or the economy. We don’t have time for debate. Let’s take action while emotions are running high. Hurry! Hurry! Hurry!
It’s like trying to have a conversation while someone is beating drums in the same room. Sometime those drums are real, as we see in the news clips of the debates in Wisconsin, Indiana and Michigan over right-to-work legislation, or in the “Occupy Wall Street” demonstrations.
Part of this strategy is to gather apparently diverse groups to make it appear as though you have a consensus. We see Joe Biden meeting with police organizations for photo ops in which he told several law enforcement leaders, “The President is absolutely committed to keeping his promise that we will act. And we will act in a way that…if we can only save one life, we have to take action.” That statement implies than the ends justify the means, no matter how draconian.
Don’t be fooled by the collection of badges and blue surrounding the Vice President. The Fraternal Order of Police is a union with a liberal agenda not shared by the majority of officers. Police chiefs work at the pleasure of the mayor of their city, and are unlikely to publicly disagree with their boss in any fashion. The underlying strategy is to push something through Congress before cooler heads can prevail.
Politicians on the fence about gun control are interviewed under conditions which any comment against a rush to judgment will make them seem insensitive. Senator Joe Manchin is a particular example, a Democrat from West Virginia who has otherwise consistently voted in favor of responsible gun owners. Pro-gun-rights Joe Manchin drew attention in 2010 after running a commercial that showed him firing a rifle at an environmental bill harmful to his state. Now he is saying that “everything should be on the table” when gun control comes up for debate in the coming weeks and months.
The other strategy is to pass on misinformation, often unwittingly, by talking heads and pundits on cable news (yes, even Fox News). “We have to clamp down on internet sales,” is one theme, even though internet sales are subject to the same rules and procedures as sales in a gun shop.
Another is: “These guns are used to kill and maim humans, not for hunting.” In fact, any firearm or ammunition will kill and maim humans, as will a knife or pointed stick. When you hunt with a firearm, animals are killed by trauma, not from fear at the sight of an hunter or rifle. Most important, self-defense is a Constitutionally protected right, but hunting is a privilege granted by the state.
Scare words are likewise used. Semi-automatic rifles and pistols are called “Assault Weapons,” although only a vanishingly small number are ever used to assault someone. Revolvers become “Saturday Night Specials” in the lexicon of gun-haters. “Semi-automatic” (one trigger pull, one shot) becomes synonymous with “automatic” (one trigger pull, many shots).
The strategy also seeks to dismiss any views to the contrary as being politically motivated, partisan or biased. The favorite bugaboo is the National Rifle Association (NRA) , a “powerful lobbying organization.” The NRA is powerful only to the extent that it has 4.3 million members (growing by leaps and bounds), and a much wider association of sympathizers, who care deeply and write their legislators. As a lobbying organization, it is not in the top ten, nor even in the top 100 of those groups attempting to influence Congress. It is powerful due to the commitment of its members, not the depth of its pockets, for the ideas which it represents, not for financial gain or special treatment. Since the tragic Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, the NRA has registered an average of 8,000 new members a day.
At the top of President Obama’s wish list is the revival of the 1994 “Assault Weapon Ban,” only more inclusive this time. Among the proposals under consideration is to include all semi-automatic rifles and handguns in the ban, not just those with resemble military weapons. This would affect the types of weapons preferred for self-defense by police and civilians alike, which brings them under the Heller decision of the Supreme Court, yet do nothing to actually reduce crime nor the availability of these weapons to criminals. According to most estimate, there are over 200 million such firearms in private hands, including over 30 million semi-automatic “black” rifles, only a tiny fraction of which are ever used in the commission of a crime. The ban didn’t work in the past, and it won’t work in the future either. It’s just low-hanging fruit for those who wish to disarm all civilians.
On the other hand, there are issues to be addressed that would help without punishing legitimate gun owners. Among them is the inclusion of adjudicated (not merely opinions) issues regarding the mental health of applicants. Privacy laws laws tend to keep this information out of the NICS data base, if not official ineptitude. Another would be to require background checks at gun shows or face-to-face (FTF), along with a mechanism which would aid in this process. The so-called “Terror Watch List,” is not a suitable criteria in a background check, since it is a secret process akin to star chamber proceedings of the 16th century, without any mechanism of appeal. Safeguards should always include a means to challenge and correct any errors in the data base, sadly lacking at present.
Another concern is “Straw buyers,” where a qualified individual buys a weapon on behalf of an unqualified person. Detractors would seek to limit sales to an individual to one firearm per month (year, or ever). In practice, only legitimate enthusiasts are affected. Drug cartels have an endless supply of willing buyers who have never before purchased a firearm. Street gangs use new recruits without a criminal record to do the same, often as a rite of initiation. If a permit is needed prior to the purchase, these recruits can easily obtain one.
Let’s have a little quiet here! People are thinking.
Initially posted at Illinois Review on Sunday, December 23, 2012.
December 21, 2012
The following is a “truism” if there ever were one. Bad things do happen, they have in the past, and they always will.
Too often, as in the hideous situation that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT., emotions rule over facts and demand that a feel good solution must quickly follow to counter the uneasiness and the impact of an evil deed imposed upon society as a whole. As such, the Newtown elementary school mass murder has predictably brought to the fore the ignorance of gun control advocates who perceive the situation as a crisis that must not go to waste.
Thomas Sowell had this to say in his commentary, Invincible Ignorance, on December 18: http://www.gopusa.com/commentary/2012/12/18/sowell-invincible-ignorance/?subscriber=1
The key fallacy of so-called gun control laws is that such laws do not in fact control guns. They simply disarm law-abiding citizens, while people bent on violence find firearms readily available. If gun control zealots had any respect for facts, they would have discovered this long ago, because there have been too many factual studies over the years to leave any serious doubt about gun control laws being not merely futile but counterproductive.
Places and times with the strongest gun control laws have often been places and times with high murder rates. Washington, D.C., is a classic example, but just one among many. When it comes to the rate of gun ownership, that is higher in rural areas than in urban areas, but the murder rate is higher in urban areas. The rate of gun ownership is higher among whites than among blacks, but the murder rate is higher among blacks. For the country as a whole, hand gun ownership doubled in the late 20th century, while the murder rate went down.
In the wake of the Newtown shooting, Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), a leading gun control advocate in Congress, is planning to introduce a bill re-instating the federal ban on “assault weapons” on the first day of the new Congress in January. An assault ban was enacted under President Bill Clinton in 1994, but it was allowed to lapse a decade later when determined ineffective. http://visiontoamerica.com/13310/feinstein-to-introduce-assault-weapons-ban-at-start-of-next-congress/
As it turns out Harry Reid (D-NV), Diane Feinstein (D-CA), and Chuck Schumer (D-NY) — hypocrites all! — have carried guns for their protection. This is amazing as Feinstein is leading the charge on tougher gun laws, while Harry Reid will bring up her bill for a vote at some point. Feinstein justified her need to carry a gun for protection to take out a target before it could take her out! Not only does Schumer carry a handgun, the NYC Police Department provides armed escorts for him. http://www.federalobserver.com/archive.php?aid=1010, http://www.therightscoop.com/turns-out-that-both-harry-reid-and-diane-feinstein-have-carried-guns-for-their-protection/
Many individuals believe that fast legislative action is called for to prevent another Newtown horrific shooting spree, not understanding that firearms are the safest, most effective way to protect oneself against criminal activity, which is why American police officers carry guns rather than going unarmed or merely carrying knives. While mass shooting rose between the 19960’s and the 1990’s, they actually dropped in the 2000’s. Mass killings actually reached their peak in 1929. http://www.theblaze.com/stories/associated-press-story-believe-it-or-not-mass-killings-are-not-on-the-rise-they-are-on-the-decline/
Accordingly, many individual likewise believe the media spin that assault weapon must be banned because they are well suited and purchased for mass killing, although none of the guns used by the Adam Lanza under Connecticut law was an assault weapon. (If truth be told, an assault weapons can be any object that is used to cause harm, even a spoon).
Assault weapons bans are useless because they concentrate on the cosmetics of a gun (how it looks). What many call an “assault weapon” functions like every other normal firearm — they fire only one bullet each time the trigger is pressed. Today most hand guns are semi-automatic, as are many long guns, including the best-selling rifle today, the AR-15, the model used in the Newtown shooting.
The witch hunt against law-abiding and peaceful gun owners is neither noble or effective. It’s insane! Famed author Joyce Carol Oates, took to Twitter to blame the entire membership of the NRA for one evil-doer’s massacre. She then accused any politician who supported the NRA of “felony homicide.” michellemalkin.com/2012/11/19/the-post-newtown-witch-hunt/
December 21, 2012
By Edward Ingold and Nancy Thorner –
A few days ago on MSNBC Chris Matthews cited statistics that 40% of gun sales were made via the internet without any background checks. I can’t confirm or deny the 40% figure, but the internet is the main way to trade used firearms via an auction site like Gunbroker.com). Many retailers also sell firearms via the internet. Matthews’ statement regarding the lack of safeguards is completely false however.
All shipments and sales of firearms via the Internet must go through intermediaries who hold a Federal Firearms License (FFL). Individuals cannot legally ship firearms to anyone other than an FFL holder, and in most cases, an FFL will only accept shipments from another FFL. If you buy a firearm over the Internet, it is shipped to an FFL, and you are required to pick it up in person. At that time the FFL will have you fill out a Federal form called a 4473, in which you answer a list of questions, and swear under oath that you are qualified to receive the firearm.
The FFL checks this information against your personal identification, and calls NICS (National Instant Background Check System), which approves or disapproves the sale. NICS is a national database which lists any convictions or other information which would disqualify you. The FFL also checks for any state or local requirements, like a FOID card (Firearms Owner Identification) in Illinois, and holds the firearm for the mandated waiting period, if any. In Illinois, you must wait 3 days (72 hours) for a handgun or 1 day (24 hours) for a rifle or shotgun.
People use the Internet to buy and sell firearms because it is a much larger market than available locally. The seller usually gets more than he would selling or consigning the firearm to a local dealer. The buyer usually pays less than he would at a dealer, and has a much wider variety to choose from.
The Internet also minimizes security concerns. In a face-to-face (FTF) sale, the buyer must trust the seller to turn over the weapon after receiving payment, particularly if there is a waiting period. The seller must trust that the prospective buyer is not coming to rob him (and vice versa).
Sales between non-licensed individuals can be made face-to-face (FTF) between residents of that state, consistent with state law. Illinois requires both parties to have an FOID card, and the seller must keep a record of the transaction for 10 years. Other states vary.
The so-called “Gun Show Loophole” is really a sub-set of FTF sales. At present, it is not necessary to complete a 4473 form (unless the seller holds an FFL, even selling a private firearm), nor is there a reasonable way to do this at present. One possible solution would be to require all transactions to proceed through an FFL, complete with all the paperwork. A gun show could have a booth with one or more FFLs and a telephone for this service. The typical fee for this service is $25 to $35, including the background check, so it wouldn’t be hard to find FFLs willing to participate. A private individual can easily find a local FFL by searching the Internet for a directory.
Most of the complaints about internet and gun show sales come from cities and organizations that object to private citizens from owning firearms of any sort.
Any Illinois resident with a FOID card can buy a firearm from any legal seller in the state, even if the buyer is from Chicago. The courts have found these sales to be legal, and that cities can’t control sales outside of their boundaries. Chicago can only regulate sale and possession of firearms in the city itself.
The organization, “Mayors Against Illegal Guns,” headed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg of NYC, take particular umbrage with this situation. The conundrum is that their efforts to control illegal guns consist largely of making legal sales and possession difficult or impossible. That, of course, is Bloomberg’s real goal – to make all guns illegal (except his). Some of the barriers erected by anti-gun politicians can be very frustrating to law-abiding citizens (but apparently not to criminals).
When forced to allow handgun possession by the Heller decision, Washington DC required all sales be conducted through an FFL in the city. At that time, there was only one FFL, and he left town when the city required he move operations from his residence to a store front (but refused to issue a zoning permit for that business).
Chicago has a proficiency requirement for firearm possession, but does not have any facilities for that purpose in the City. Under HR 218, the so-called Law Enforcement Officers’ Safety Act ( LEOSA), retired police officers are allowed to carry concealed weapons anywhere in the United States. Chicago requires these officers to undergo annual proficiency qualification, but no such qualification is available. New York City simply ignores the existence of LEOSA altogether.
The conversation is going to get much more heated in the ensuing months.The 7th US Circuit Court of Appeals struck down Illinois’ ban on carrying concealed weapons, and gives the state six months to come up with an acceptable (to the court) statute. It comes at a time when Americans on both sides of the gun control issues are debating how best to prevent another mass shooting from taking place again.
Chicago has one of the most violent crime rates in the U.S, yet remains firmly opposed to citizens arming themselves in self defense. The usual argument is that shootings will become commonplace, like the “OK Corral,” or some other wild west scenario. This ignores the fact that crime has actually decreased in these states. The violent crime rate in the most permissive states, like Utah and Arizona, is half that of New York City, where virtually nobody can legally own a gun, and one-third that of Chicago. The rates of aggravated assault (i.e., weapons involved) and armed robbery have decreased 50% faster in Florida than in the country as a whole since concealed carry was instituted Florida.
Facts cannot be denied, yet they are conveniently overlooked in Chicago, because the facts do not advance the long-sought political agenda of the ruling Left where a crisis is being used to advance its political agenda to target and ban guns.
First posted at IL Review on Friday, December 21, 2013
December 19, 2012
Every year the Illinois Policy Institute holds a December event to celebrate “Gifts of the Free Market.” This year’s event took place on Thursday, Dec. 13,. in the Library at 190 S. LaSalle St., Chicago, also the Chicago-based headquarters of the Illinois Policy Institute.
Kristina Rasmussen serves as the executive vice president of the Illinois Policy Institute at its Springfield Office, where she directs the Institute’s operations, legislative outreach, and policy research. She develops and advises decision makers on liberty-based public policy solutions, and specializes on budget and tax issues, health care, and economic competitiveness.
It was fitting that the entertainment at the Institute event should be linked to a charter school. School choice is one of many issues taken up and promoted by the Institute.
A 2009 research paper the Institute published on charter schools shows that in Chicago, one out of two public high school students fails to graduate each year. Statistics show that dropouts are more likely to serve time in prison than earn $30,000 a year.
Be sure to check out this documentary produced by the Institute called “Charter Schools: Changing Lives,” which features interviews and testimonials from students and educators at three of Chicago’s inner-city charter schools. It was filed and edited in the spring and summer of 2009 by Heather Wilhelm and Richard Lorenc who visited three Chicago charter schools to interview students and administrators about the challenges and successes of charter schools. The message was unanimous: “Charter schools have done a world of good, often changing the lives of their students.”
It was Pritzker College Prep that provided the entertainment by sending its Pritzker College Prep Choir, directed by Brian Pavloff. Part of the Noble Network of Charter Schools, Pritzker College Prep was one of the three Chicago inner-city charter schools highlighted in the above highlighted Institute charter school documentary.
Rasmussen had these words of introduction for the Pritzker Choir and its director:
The Pritzker choral program was founded in 2009 by Brian Pavloff. Pritzker. Student began choir as freshmen, most of them with no prior singing experience. During their time at Pritzker, however, they progress quickly and are currently singing advanced choral music and are ready to sing in a collegiate choral setting.
Since its inception, the Pritzker choir has competed at both the All-City and IHSA Choral Festivals where they have received Division II and Division I rankings. This year, they will travel to St Louis where they will compete in the Heritage Choral Festival.
Born in South Philadelphia, Brian Pavloff was a member his high school jazz band and mixed choir. He attended Centre College in Danville, KY, where he received a B.A. in Music. After graduating, he worked just about every job the small town of Danville could offer a musician. Mr. Pavloff moved to Chicago after being accepted into the School of Music at DePaul University where he completed courses in music education and earned his teaching certificate. Pavloff has been teaching choir at Pritzker since 2009.
Midway through the “Gifts of the Free Market” event, where friends mingled and greeted one another, Institute CEO John Tillman gave a short pep talk (in light of the Obama victory in November) to the 200 members and friends of the Institute, starting off by emphasizing how the concepts of free markets and liberty are the finest gifts ever given. Being from Michigan, Tillman reflected on how political situations do not remain static. It would have been unheard of — an impossibility — when President Obama took office in 2008 that Michigan would become a Right-to-Work state.
Tillman reminded those assembled how Democrats have gradually strayed from the ideals of their Founding Fathers through policies allocating resources, believing that equality will be the desired end result. Instead, the American people are losing their God-given gift of liberty. With it their human spirit is under assault and the ability to live life as they see fit without unnecessary government interference.
In words meant to inform, Tillman stated how important it was for Republicans to stick to liberty principles. A fatal flaw in the 2012 elections was the inability of Republican candidates to explain or to make the argument — from local to the presidential election — why free enterprise is the best way to help the poor and the disadvantaged.
Tillman promised that the Institute will never give up; fighting for free enterprise and liberty will continue into 2013.
To assist the Institute in its important work, Rasmussen announced a membership program that, for the Institute, is the first of its kind.
The brochure relates how becoming a member at different levels of giving “is an investment in freedom.” Further stated: Your generous investment enables the Illinois Policy Institute to continue our mission to make Illinois No. 1 in economic growth. (The Illinois Policy Institute is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and your gift is tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law. Support can also be given through estate planning, a transfer of stock, or an employee-matched tax-deductible gift.)
Membership options range from a member donation at $25 all the way up to $1,000,000+! Each level of membership comes with special perks. Still in its infancy, contact email@example.com for further information.
December 17, 2012
By Nancy Thorner and Ed Ingold –
The headlines in newspapers on Tuesday, December 11th, both outside of Illinois and in the state, carried a similar message citing that a federal appeals court had struck down a ban on carrying concealed weapons in Illinois. Excluding Washington, D.C., Illinois is the only state where carrying concealed weapons is entirely illegal. Lawmakers were given 180 days to write a a law legalizing it.
Without delay Chicago aldermen urged state officials to appeal the appellate court’s decision tossing Illinois’ ban on concealed weapons. Some aldermen even suggested launching their own legal battle. Mayor Rahm Emanuel angrily denounced Tuesday’s ruling as a decision by judges who are out of touch with the dangers many residents face. The mayor receives 24/7 armed protection, so he should know about dangers on the street.
The only workable solution in Illinois might be to establish a state-wide licensing system which preempts local law. Otherwise every home rule community would have a different set of rules, making it impossible to travel freely without violating some law or another. Any city with 25,000 or more residents is automatically granted home rule at the request of the mayor or city council. Cities with fewer residents can apply for home-rule base through a referendum. Lake Forest, Illinois, with 16,000 or so residents, is an example of the latter.
In most states, local laws are preempted by statute, but large, “blue” cities often ignore the law. Pennsylvania grants state-wide concealed carry permits. Philadelphia has nonetheless arrests or detains legally armed citizens regularly, and has lost several lawsuits as a result. Washington state preempts local law, and allows carry in government buildings unless posted or prohibited by federal law. Seattle designates corner bus stops as posted “government” buildings. It’s hard enough to get a carry permit in New York State, but nearly impossible in NYC, unless you are a politician, movie star or millionaire.
Progressive-liberals, including most big city mayors, have a mind set that all guns are bad, and that concealed weapons permits will lead to a rise in crime. The exact opposite is true, but explaining this to a closed mind is like administering medicine to a corpse. Concealed weapons have very little effect on homicides, except that a few are moved into the “justifiable” column (about 200 a year in the US). There is a dramatic reduction in violent assaults, however, as much as 50% since 1994 in Florida, compared a nation wide decrease of about 30% in the same time period. Carjackers and muggers never know when their victim (or witness) might be armed.
Now let’s move the hands of the clock ahead a few days to the hideous elementary school shooting on Friday, December 14th, in New Haven, Connecticut, where eighteen children and eight adults were killed and the 20 year-old shooter committed suicide. The Sandy Hook Elementary School principal who lost her life lunging at the gunman in an attempt to overpower him might have been able to stop Adam Lanza in his tracks had she been armed.
We grieve for the parents and relatives. It is as though they were our own children or grandchildren. I can’t fathom what kind of monster would do such a thing.
Sunday, the Connecticut State Police confirmed that Lanza used a Bushmaster to commit the killings. He had on himself two other handguns, one of which he used to commit suicide. A fourth rifle – also a .223 caliber – was found in his car.
As expected, gun-control advocates quickly used Twitter and the media to blame firearms for the senseless murders. Gun-haters will be out in full force, because no crisis should go to waste.
CNN’s Piers Morgan tweeted: “Another day, another horrific shooting. America’s gun culture has to change. When will America deal with its gun madness?
In a statement to the nation on the day of the kindergarten massacre, President Obama told the nation, “We’re going to have to come together and take a meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this regardless of the politics.” New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg response demanded that President Obama take immediate action. “Calling for ‘meaningful action’ is not enough. We need immediate action. We have heard this rhetoric before. What we have not seen is leadership — not from the White House and not from Congress. That must end today. This is a national tragedy and it demands a national response.”
The sad fact is that Connecticut has very strict gun control, and the shooter would not be legally entitled to own a firearm, much less a concealed weapons permit. These things happen because there are deranged people in this world who will find a way to go out with a lot of publicity, whether with a rifle, box cutter or gasoline can. Sometimes they could have been stopped, as in Aurora CO, if a qualified psychiatrist had not kicked the can down the road, along with the college’s administration. Most of the time, however, there isn’t much warning.
Mark Furman, former LA Police Detective, summed it up pretty well. The shooter, Adam Lanza, left home and entered the school with no intention of leaving again. Rather than leave a quiet suicide note, he lets the news media flash his face and history across the world. He lived with his mother, Nancy, who taught at Sandy Hook Elementary School who he shot dead before leaving for his shooting spree.
Much has improved in terms of emergency response. The police arrived within a minute of the Sandy Hook, cold-blooded shooting massacre and entered the school immediately, without waiting for a SWAT team. They did the same at the Mall in Portland, OR. At Virginia Tech, the police had 2-3 hours notice that there was a shooting on campus, and waited outside the final scene for 20 minutes while people were still being shot. At Northern Illinois University, the campus police waited outside for 15 minutes, until backup arrived. In Aurora CO, campus police dropped their investigation of threats James Walker made to teachers, after he quit or was expelled from school. (One wonders why we need armed campus police to write parking tickets in Illinois and Colorado.)
Although a so-called “assault” weapon, a semi-automatic AR style rifle, was found in Lanza’s car, it was not used in the shootings. Nonetheless, availability of “assault weapons” to civilians are being singled out as the cause for violence. There are more than 30 million of these rifles in private hands, three of which were involved in mass shootings this year. Semi-automatic rifles account for less than 1% of all violent crimes, according to FBI statistics. Opponents claim that the don’t have a role in self-defense. This too is false and misleading. In a perfect world, guns wouldn’t be used in crime if there were no guns, but that’s hardly a practical solution. Criminals will always find weapons, even if they steal them from police or the military (Clyde Barrow got his machine guns from national guard armories). Before guns there were spears and arrows. Before that, there were pointed sticks and clubs.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, teams of looters went from house to house, breaking in even if they were occupied. The same thing happens in lesser natural disasters, such as earthquakes, tornadoes, brush fires or even extended power outages. Business owners in “Korea Town” Los Angeles, used AR rifles to turn away mobs bent on looting and destruction following the 1992 acquittals of officers in the Rodney King incident. The businesses were largely destroyed during the Watts riots in 1965. A handgun is not much use against multiple aggressors. A rifle is effective even if they are armed and active, and a dozen rifles can stand off a mob. Looters had little to fear in New York in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, where honest citizens find it nearly impossible to own a firearm.
Most likely, as with shooters of the past, there will be revelations about Adam Lanza’s state of mind that triggered his erratic action that to most individuals is beyond their comprehension, which only seem important in retrospect. The real key to preventing these random acts of violence is early detection of these symptoms, so that the person can be treated or confined.
On the day of the shooting, Charles Krauthammer, a regular panel member on 5:00 p.m. Fox News TV program and a trained psychiatrist, analyzed the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting in terms of 1) The psychology of the shooter, 2) the weapons themselves, and 3) today’s culture and environment.
Krauthammer concluded that Evil does lurk within the minds of those who do such heinous acts, which is most often impossible to determine before the individuals acts out his fury on others. If not guns, those with evil intentions will use other methods to kill or injure others.
Most importantly, society has changed for the worse where young people are de-sensitized to violence by entertainment media and video games. Businesses allow slot machines in the malls where teens play shooting and killing.
Sick minds are fascinated by the publicity generated by these insane acts on the news. We can’t blame the messengers, but the 24/7 news cycle must contribute to copycat crimes. At what price comes Andy Warhole’s phrase, “fifteen minutes of fame.” What better target than activities people feel safe doing, like malls and sporting events? What could bring more publicity than attacking what we cherish the most – our children?
Killers choose schools because they are gun-free zones and thus pose no risk to the person wanting to kill for reasons known only to them. But does it make sense to have gun-control cities in which gang-bangers thrive and where they make up the only armed residents at locations where the most murders take place? The City of Chicago is prime example!
First published at Illinois Review on Monday, December 17.
December 15, 2012
As a conservative Republican, being labeled a racist is in the cards if I dare express negative thoughts against illegal immigrants and those who support giving benefits to them. I therefore cringed when it was announced that Illinois may soon become the fifth and most populous state to grant driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants. States permitting illegal immigrants to drive are Washington state and New Mexico; Utah allows driving permits.
Respect was lost for former Republican governor, Jim Edgar, and Republican controller, Judy Baar Topinka, when they joined Gov. Pat Quinn and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel in support of giving driver licenses to illegals. All stood in solidarity at a press conference with the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) on November 20th in Chicago. The plan would allow illegal immigrants to get tested for licenses and buy insurance without facing deportation. Stated was that these licenses could not be used for other purposes, such as boarding a plane or voter identification.
According to Governor Edgar, GOP endorsement “bodes well for not only this piece of legislation, which is so important. It also bodes well for the whole system that that we see on an important issue like this, that Republicans and Democrats are coming together and trying to find common ground.”
The sheriff of Lake County, a renegade Republican who as a devout Catholic “wears his religion on his sleeve” and is a believer in social justice for all, not only supports issuing illegal immigrants driver’s licenses, but also favors total amnesty despite his charge to uphold the rule of law in Lake County.
Sheriff Curran, in backing the proposed legislation, estimates that 28% of the inmates in the Lake County jail are illegal immigrants charged with not having valid licenses. Curran further believes that “since immigrants would be required to take written, vision, and in-car tests to quality, it would make the roads substantially safer for motorists. They would also be forced to purchase car insurance like other drivers.”
Concerning Sheriff Curran’s background: When Curran was first elected in Lake County as a Democrat in 2006 and then re-elected as a Republican in 2010, he had a fairly hard-line view on illegals residing in Lake County. He was the first sheriff in Illinois to request jail officers be given formal deportation powers, and he backed a program that helped to identify illegal immigrants arrested in the county. It was a biblical passage from the “Gospel of Matthew” that brought about Curran’s change in position — “I was a stranger and you welcomed me.” — prompted by discussions with Catholic leaders.
Recently Mark Curran’s name became prominent beyond Lake County, when he announced his intentions to gather support through an exploratory committee in consideration of a serious bid for the position of state attorney general, now held by Lisa Madigan. Although admitting that while he is definitely at home within the Republican party, Sheriff Curran doesn’t agree with the GOP on all issues.
Lake County conservative Republicans welcomed Curran as a Republican back in 2010 and reelected him based largely on his pro-life stance. It is highly questionable whether Lake County conservatives will greet with any enthusiasm Curran’s potential announcement for state attorney general, nor will conservative Republicans throughout the state of Illinois. It is a given, however, that the Illinois Republican Establishment will back Curran all the way, as supporting Democratic-light candidates is why the Republican Party is now relegated to its back seat position here in Illinois.
And what about the claims made by Jim Edgar, Judy Barr Topinka, Mark Curran, and many others on both sides of the political spectrum, that the law would be good for public safety by allowing the quarter million of undocumented drivers on the road to get tested on their skills and buy insurance. It is estimated that unlicensed immigrant drivers cost $64 million in damage claims alone.
The idea of issuing undocumented immigrants temporary visitor driver’s licenses sounds innocent enough enough to those supporting the measure. The measure has already passed in the Senate 41- 14 and will soon be headed to the House.
Reported on Thursday, December 13, is that the bill to permit 250,000 illegal immigrants to receive driver’s licenses could be in big trouble. Greg Sullivan, Executive Director of the Illinois Sheriff Association, originally approached by representatives from the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights to support the bill, claims that in the original draft the bill required applicants to submit fingerprints and tax identification number. These provisions were dropped from the current bill. Sullivan further noted that because of the bill’s lack of safeguards, there are only a few Illinois sheriffs who have come out in support of SB 057. Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran was specifically mentioned as was Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart. The Illinois Sheriff Association represents 102 Illinois sheriff from across the state.
Another fly in the ointment is how will the insurance part be enforced on the estimated 250,000 illegal immigrant drivers? SB947 doesn’t really require proof of insurance upfront in order to obtain the state-issued license. Under the program, if a driver is caught without insurance during a routine traffic stop, the drive is guilty of only a “petty offense.”
Despite laws in many states requiring drivers to maintain insurance, about one in seven motorists remain uninsured. Illinois has a mandatory insurance law, but that doesn’t mean all drivers are insured. Insurance policies can lapse or drivers enter Illinois from other states resulting in uninsured drivers. An estimated 15% of Illinois drivers are uninsured and are involved each year in almost 80,000 accidents causing $660 million in damage.
New Mexico’s experience with a similar law reveals that there is no guarantee drivers will obtain insurance.
Why is it that Illinois legislators, on both sides of the aisle, are dead set on giving illegal aliens driver licenses, when there are thousands of uninsured drivers on the roads who are legal residents of Illinois? This smells of politics through and through.
Key state Republican leaders who support the legislation include Senator Bill Brady (R-Bloomington), Senate GOP Leader Christine Radogno (R-Lemont), House GOP Leader Tom Cross (R-Oswego), and Illinois comptroller Judy Barr Topinka.
Are Republican leaders and legislators really so naive as to believe that they can win the votes of Hispanics in Illinois by playing nicey nice to illegal immigrants?
December 13, 2012
According to an online biography, Bill Kurtis (born William Horton Kuretich; September 21, 1940) is an American television journalist, producer, narrator, and news anchor. He is also the current host of A&E crime and news documentary shows, including Investigative Reports, American Justice, and Cold Case Files. Previously, he anchored CBS Morning News, and was the longtime anchor at WBBM-TV, the CBS owned-and-operated TV station in Chicago (a role to which he has recently returned).
Given Bill Kurtis’ long TV career in and around the Chicago area, and his far reaching public role as a narrator and producer of documentaries, the name of Bill Kurtis has a aura of familiarity about it, especially here in Chicagoland.
Has Bill Kurtis gone too far afield in attempting to be an expert on subject matter of which he has no background to report or to comment about? This is not an uncommon happening among “celebrities” who feel that what they have to say is all important and worth listening to. Also at fault is a gullible, believing and trusting public audience who likewise lacks the knowledge to decipher truth from just a bunch of hooey.
As coincidence would have it, on Wednesday, December 5th, the day after I heard a presentation titled “Climate Change and Renewable Energy — the Rest of the Story” by Steve Goreham, Executive Director of the Climate Science Coalition, to the Barrington Kiwanis Club at The Garlands Performing Arts Center in Barrington, a commentary appeared in the Lake County News-Sun by Bill Kurtis on global warming. http://www.suntimes.com/llifestyles/splash/16784676-418/bill-kurtis-on-global-warming.html
It was evident that Bill Kurtis didn’t attempt to do any research to write his article that rates an F in scientific accuracy, but instead used information that he had been spoon fed under the guise of consensus by politicians over the years and ardent believers of man-made global warming, most famous among them Al Gore.
Kurtis had the audacity to say that “a small number of skeptics have managed to take the adrenaline out of the global warming movement; and by creating the impression that there are actually two sides to the issue, they have stalled efforts to do something about it.”
There are thousands of skeptics world-wide whose viewpoints do not reach the general public, trampled down by a news media that chooses to promote global warming alarmism through selective reporting. 900,000 years of ice core records show continuous 1,500-year warming cycles, while carbon dioxide is to plants what oxygen is to man; it is not a pollutant.
Veterans of American’s space program are among the 49 retired NASA employees who in May of this year asked NASA to halt what they consider its unscientific advocacy of climate alarmism. Among them are Apollo astronauts Phillip K. Chapman, Walter Cunningham, Charles Duke, Richard Gordon (also a Gemini veteran), Harrison Schmitt and Al Worden.
Buzz Aldrin, the second man on the moon, told London’s Daily Telegraph: “if it’s warming now, it may cool off later. I’m not in favor of just taking short-term isolated situations and depleting our resources to keep our climate just the way it is today.” Aldrin believes the climate has been changing for billions of years. http://www.newsmax.com/Murdock/NASA-astronauts-global-warming/2012/05/16/id/439252
I was struck at how Bill Kurtis latched on to the idea from James Hansen that a CO2 level above 350 parts per million isn’t safe. According to Kurtis we are now all living in an “unsafe” world when last month the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced a 2012 level of 391.01 parts per million at their Hawaiian observatory. It is demonstrably not true that we live in an unsafe world, but it doesn’t shake Kurtis’ faith in ATG (man-made global warming).
Assumptions made by Bill Kurtis in his pseudo article on global warming cannot be allowed to stand uncorrected. Clarifications are found in Steve Goreham’s new book — The Mad, Mad, Mad, World of Climatism; Mankind and Climate Change Mania — which will make you laugh at the absurdity of man-made global warming — that is, until it makes you cry. The foreword is by Harrison Schmitt, Senator and Apollo Astronaut: http://www.climatism.net
1. Carbon dioxide is a trace gas and only a very small part of Earth’s climate. (Chapter 5)
2. Earth’s most abundant greenhouse gas is water vapor, not CO2. While the CO2 increase appears alarming, mankind contribute only about 1% of Earth’s greenhouse effect. (Chapter 5)
3. Hurricanes and storms are not more extreme. (Chapter 7)
4. Earth has been warmer in the recent past (2000 years ago in the Medieval Warm Period) with no effects from man-made emissions. (Chapter 4)
It is time to reject journalists like Bill Kurtis who lack scientific training, and other who propagate their failed eco-predictions, false green hypocrisies, and outright fraud that is currently masquerading under the guise of modern environmentalism and ‘climate science.’
This nation has many problems, but global warming is not one of them. If the present administration insists on following through on what is a hoax, the results will bring far reaching catastrophic financial consequences for this nation and its people. It is folly to think that this nation’s industries can be run on bio-fuels, wind and sunbeams.
Perhaps nobody has ever offered a more succinct indictment of the global warming hoax than H. L. Mencken, who said: “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.” http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/07/the_global_warming_hoax_how_soon_we_forget.html#ixzz2EcbR9gbM
By Nancy Thorner & Elvira Hastings –
It has already been over a month since the General Election on Tuesday, November 6, yet conservatives still find themselves depressed, sad, frustrated, and yes——leaderless!
This state of mind mostly stems from the absence of leadership displayed by the Republican Party and Republican Congressmen. A question Nancy Thorner and Elvira Hasty have considered many times since the election, “What is wrong with these people?”, has led them to further question, “What in the world are they drinking or inhaling?”
Rep. Boehner and the House leadership are still convinced that serious negotiations are possible from our class warfare-oriented president, even trying to imitate the Democrats’ mantra against the wealthy.
Elvira Hasty, an Associate Professor of Chemistry at Mundelein College who lived in Glenview before moving to Florida, describes her state Republican Party, RPOF, as being no better than Republican leadership at the federal level. Elvira describes her Florida’s Chair as weak and having zero leadership skills. Florida actually had a Red State (Republican Governor, Rep. Executive officers, majority Rep. in both State and Federal legislature), and yet Florida was allowed to become “Blue” at Election time. Didn’t anyone in the Republican Party and/or the Romney campaign worry about election fraud? Instead, care about positions and titles usurped care about our nation.
Concerning Illinois, Nancy Thorner is convinced that there was never any possibility of Illinois going red. Illinois is as predictably blue as when day turns into night, and even more so, following the November election, when both houses of the Illinois General Assembly gained veto-proof Democratic majorities through redistricting which eliminated Republican seats won in 2010. Conservative candidates need not apply in Illinois and receive deplorable treatment when they do attempt to run for office, being denied both party and financial support. Will the Illinois Republican Party ever learn that given two parties where there is often little difference between the candidates slated, why should Illinoisans vote for Republican Democrat-lite candidates known as RINOS.
The Tea Party movement that worked out so well in 2010 went MIA in the 2012 election. It could be that many conservatives lacked the enthusiasm for Mitt Romney?
Conservatives need to regroup and reload in anticipation of 2014. We can only do this if we unite as ONE. There are too many Tea Party groups with their own agendas and big ego leaders, too much infighting and too much whining. Conservatives, Tea Party groups, Libertarians, and even Independents need to come together under the umbrella of our Constitution, the principles of the Founding Fathers, and our Judeo/Christian values. Our country and its principles are most important. If we fail to come together, we will all lose in the end.
A new national leader is needed. Perhaps Senator Jim DeMint can now serve as that leader? As newly appointed President of the prestigious conservative organization, The Heritage Foundation, DeMint can now concentrate on message communication. It is our hope that under Jim DeMint’s leadership The Heritage Foundation can become more of an “on hands organization.” Although The Heritage Foundation has always stood up for conservative principles, it has not been a force in educating the public as a whole, only the enlightened. Hopefully DeMint can help with the conservative message using the new media. Elvira believes Florida Tea Party leaders should approach Col. Allen West for help with unity and communication of message.
A CPAC meeting will be held in Alexandria, Virginia, on March 2013. It would be a good idea to attend if at possible and demand to be heard as conservatives who are fed up with our current administration. Conservations need to become more eloquent, outspoken, and bold in their fight for our country. We need to start telling the truth about Obama and his minions.
Why are Republican politicians and the media, including Fox News, still trying to be politically correct when it comes to Obama? Let us say it loud and clear: OBAMA IS A MARXIST AT HEART AND AN ALINSKY DISCIPLE. He and his Democratic minions are very clear on their intentions: Redistribution of wealth; Government Control of Healthcare; Government Control of Finance/Banking; Annulment of the Second Amendment; Restrictions on freedom of speech and freedom of religion; Weakening of our Defense; Supporting our enemies abroad; and punishing our friends. And it goes on and on———–more regulations and more control of our daily lives in order to enslave us and bring power to themselves. Without question, our current administration is pushing for a Marxist-like tyranny where all freedoms and rights will be crushed.
It must also be mentioned how the current administration uses weak people, minorities, and ignorant citizens to serve their purposes. We now have American women selling out to government control in exchange for the right to abortion and some free contraceptive pills. – African Americans exchanging their human dignity for the “honor” of having a Black man as President. – Homosexuals allowing out of control spending in exchange for the promise of a “fake marriage.”
Democrats have demonstrated that they are the most racist and abusive of Americans. It is way past time that, We, as Conservatives, say loud and clear for once and to all: DEMOCRATS ARE RACIST. Democrats have been running our largest cities, like Detroit and Chicago for many years and yet, those cities have the highest crime rates and the worst Black communities.
What exactly did the “Community Organizer” do for Chicago? We need Black conservatives to speak to those African Americans and give them the facts. Why can’t the GOP talk about our wonderful Republican Governors and their successes? African Americans and Hispanic communities need to know about the differences between Democratic and Republican-governed cities and states.
The truth, the facts, and the principles are on our side. Let us not forget that God is on the side of righteousness, and that our Country was founded on Judeo/Christian values. We need to stop fearing and getting intimidated by thugs and begin to act like Christian soldiers.
God is waiting for us to say YES. Put on “all the armor of God” and take it to the enemy with God’s blessing. We must remain brave, steadfast and without fear against those who wish to rip out the hearts and the soul of this nation and its people.