Thursday, July 11, 2013

A DAY IN THE LIFE (of Chicago): 10 days to decide on firearms limits

The new law allowing people in Illinois to have permits letting them carry pistols on their person creates an option in which local governments can pass their own laws imposing tougher restrictions on firearms – but only if they act within the next 10 days.

Meaning, we might see a rush of local officials deciding to take up the issue.

ACTUALLY, “RUSH” MIGHT be the wrong word. A “drizzle,” perhaps?

There will be some. The City Council already has said it will take up the issue at a special meeting Wednesday, while several suburbs (Homewood, Highland Park and Elmwood Park, to name a few) are taking on the matter – even though some have considered it and decided to hold off on acting.

The one defining characteristic of this issue is that it is entirely a Chicago-area issue. If there is a municipality in the rural part of Illinois that is considering the issue, their officials are keeping quiet about it.

This actually was one of the issues that Gov. Pat Quinn tried to alter with his amendatory veto. He hated the idea of a 10-day limit on local governments being able to decide this for themselves.

BUT HIS REMOVAL of that time limit was one of the changes that legislators snubbed when they overrode his veto on Tuesday, and set the clock in motion.

Not that there’s going to be any rush of people legally carrying their pistols in public. Cook County Sheriff’s Police officials have said they expect it will take them until early in 2014 to set up the process by which “concealed carry” permits could be issued.

Which also is why I found it amusing that a woman from Whiting, Ind., was arrested last week at the Daley Center courthouse. She tried entering the building with a loaded 9 mm pistol in her purse – and thought her Indiana-issued permit covered it

At least we know now those metal detectors at the courthouse actually work! What else is notable about this glorious metropolis on the shores of Lake Michigan?

WHO GETS THE TOWER?:  Tribune Co. officials said Wednesday they are officially splitting into two divisions. Tribune Co. will now be a company that owns more television stations than any other entity in the United States, while Tribune Publishing Co. will operate newspapers.

Tribune Co. will continue to try to expand and be Chicago-based. While Tribune Publishing is the entity that Tribune Co. will try to sell off.

Nothing really new here. Although it got me to thinking about what happens when the sale takes place. Should we start calling the corporate headquarters on Michigan Avenue the “WGN Tower?”

Because the day will come when Chicago Tribune and WGN (both television and radio) will be separate entities. How long until we get tacky divorce-type jokes about who gets to keep the “house?”

RAMADAN NOW UNDERWAY FOR ALL:  We’re now in that month-long period of Ramadan – the holiest of all times of the year for Muslims. Some 400,000 Chicago-area residents are now in that period by which they fast from sunrise to sunset.

Although it seems there was some dispute as to when Ramadan began this year. Some persisted in beginning Tuesday, while many went along with the ruling of the Chicago Hilal Committee that said Ramadan this year actually began the following day.

Ramadan is set by a lunar calendar, and the Chicago committee was determined to have an actual physical observation of a new moon before declaring the holiday to begin. Although the Fiqh Council of North America said calculations are sufficient, and they calculated a new moon for Tuesday.

Although some Muslims told the Chicago Tribune they think the holiday should not devolve into mathematical calculations and ought to focus on spiritual and mental purification.

SETTING STANDARDS:  Mayor Rahm Emanuel says he’s not disqualifying state Rep. Deborah Mell, D-Chicago, for a vacancy in the City Council – just because the opening is for her father’s seat.

But if she gets that post, it will be interesting to see if Mell’s own views about replacing her in the Legislature are respected. Mell, who went to Iowa to marry her partner, says she’d like to see another lesbian chosen to replace her. She doesn’t want the General Assembly to be left without anyone who openly identifies with the gay community.

Will political officials really be willing to enforce that guideline in picking a new legislator?

Although it should be noted that if a new legislator has to be chosen, it is the committeemen (and not Emanuel) who makes the pick. And it would be Mell’s father, Richard, who would be the committeeman with the most say in the matter.


No comments: