Saturday, April 20, 2013

We’re headed for chaos! A ‘firearm’ situation as messed up as redistricting

The mere mention of firearms these days brings a blackened mood over the Statehouse, such as in this century-old postcard

Our state legislature is really a stubborn lot!

Just one day after the Illinois House of Representatives rejected a bill that would have permitted for a “concealed carry” law that would give great discretion to local police to decide who actually gets a permit to carry a pistol on their persons, the same legislators knocked down a measure that would have ensured just about anyone who wanted such a permit would be able to get it.

SO ONE DAY after the National Rifle Association types were able to crow about how they knocked down their dreaded bill, their fantasy bill got knocked down for the count.

Which means that what we have in Illinois is a situation where everyone is digging in their heels on the issue of gun control measures. They’re using their political powers to ensure that the other side doesn’t get what they want.

“Victory” is being defined as the opposition losing!

And the rest of us are confused about what will wind up happening.

BECAUSE WE’RE IN the situation where a Court of Appeals for the Midwestern U.S. (and based in Chicago) has given Illinois until mid-June to come up with a law that permits some people the ability to carry a pistol in public for their own defense.

If the court winds up having to get involved because the political people weren’t able to pull their heads out of their behinds, then we’re truly going to get a situation that everybody hates.

I suppose it’s possible that the next month-and-a-half could see our government officials come together and reach some sort of negotiated deal that could be approved prior to the state Legislature’s scheduled adjournment at the end of May.
Soon to be a common Illinois sight?

Then again, it’s always possible that the Chicago Cubs could play far above their abilities and actually win a championship of sorts. In short, fat chance!!!

ANYBODY EXPECTING SERIOUS compromise is missing the point of our modern-day government structure with all of its politically partisan leanings.

It’s kind of like the redistricting process, which in most decades winds up being resolved with a random lottery because the two sides can’t even come close to negotiating a serious deal on legislative and congressional boundaries.

The lottery process was written into the Illinois state Constitution on the theory that the randomness of it all (with one side getting absolutely nothing) would be so scary that it would force people to talk.

Instead, the natural greed of political officials makes them like the option of getting everything (with their opposition getting nothing) that they don’t even try to talk.

THAT IS THE same mindset at work here. Everybody is holding out for what they want – which in many cases seems to be ensuring that the opposition gets stuck with something they detest.

Such as the plans being put forth by the firearms advocates who think they’re making significant progress by including a few places (such as government buildings) in which people could not bring a pistol – even if they have a permit.

I can’t help but notice they insist that CTA trains and buses NOT be included on any exempted place. As in they WANT the ability to have a pistol on them if, by chance, they happen to be riding the “el.”

I’m sure they’ll give some jibberish about wanting to protect themselves from potential muggers. Although it strikes me more as the mentality of those people in other states who persist in carrying a holstered pistol while visiting a Starbucks franchise.

THEY JUST WANT to get in the face of people they see as different from themselves. It’s the bully mentality at work.

This may well be less about the firearms themselves and more about payback for the current partisan situation where the two-thirds of Illinoisans who live in the Chicago area predominate over the one-third that lives in the rural parts of the state.

After seeing the NRA-preferred measure go down to defeat Thursday, an NRA spokesman told the Chicago Sun-Times, “Chicago’s not going to get their own permitting system.”
Will we hate it as much as these boundaries?

Is this really about the rural parts of the state asserting themselves on this issue out of some sense of political payback for the election results of 2010 and 2012?

YES, I’LL ADMIT to being wary of the firearms advocates and their interests – mainly because too many of the ones I have met seem to be a little too eager to have a legal justification to shoot someone else!

But I’m also aware of the definition of “compromise” and realize it means getting only a part of what we want – instead of seeing the results of a political stalemate, doing nothing and getting stuck with something we all despise.

Just think! We in Illinois could get stuck with a “concealed carry” practices that causes as much bickering as the redistricting process does.


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