Thursday, May 5, 2011

Urban versus rural – Who will prevail?

I will be the first to admit that I write from an urban perspective. The little exposure I have received to the more rural parts of this country just seems too isolated from reality for me to ever want to live there.
PHELPS: Chicago owes concealed carry?

Which is why it can seem as such a “shock” to our sensibilities when political people from rural areas try to come up with public policies meant for all of us – they just come across as too radically different to make much sense.

THIS IS TRUE no matter what part of the United States one is in. This isn’t just an attack on those people from the rural parts of Illinois – the ones who always complain that Chicago prevails over their lives because two-thirds of the state’s population lives in the Chicago metro area.

I also comprehend the idea of compromise, and that everybody ought to be getting something. Yet I can’t help but wonder just how far compromise is expected to go before it starts causing negative impacts upon us all.

I started thinking about this again after reading an Associated Press dispatch about the fact that the Illinois House of Representatives is expected to take up the issue of people carrying concealed firearms on their person when they meet on Thursday.

It has been reported that part of the reason the Democratic leadership isn’t just squashing this issue as vehemently as they have in past years is because of a thought process that says urban Illinois residents this year got to see the abolishment of the death penalty and the recognition of “civil unions” for gay couples.

SO WE OWE rural people one of their ideas as law, and they’re choosing “concealed carry.”

In that wire service report, the bill’s sponsor, state Rep. Brandon Phelps, D-Harrisburg, is taking the attitude that this idea is owed to rural Illinois, saying, “Agree or not, abolishment of the death penalty – lot of downstaters would disagree with that. Civil unions – lot of downstaters disagree with that. We haven’t got anything. This is one thing we ask.”

But do we really owe rural Illinois the “right” to wear a shoulder holster in public with a loaded pistol? Or letting a person keep the weapon in their purse or gym bag or whatever they happen to be using to carry their belongings?

Admittedly, the bill recommended earlier this week by a rural-motivated Illinois House committee includes exemptions that the gun-rights advocates are upset with – no firearms on college campuses or in government buildings, and businesses would have the right to declare their officers off-limits to such weapons.

BUT I CAN’T help but think that any legislator who decides to vote for this, just because they want to buy into the logic that we “owe” rural Illinois something is being ridiculous. They’re probably the type who, as parents, give a child anything they want just to keep them quiet.

There comes a time to say “No,” particularly when it involves firearms, since only the absolute biggest fool believes that a pistol is something that a person is entitled to. It strikes me as being something similar to an automobile – which just about every public official I have ever encountered agrees is a privilege. There is no “right” to drive!

Sadly enough, this kind of logic isn’t limited to just firearms. Or Illinois. I kind of wish this were just a problem for our state. It would make me feel less concerned if it were just something in the soil of central Illinois that causes local people to think like this? Instead, it’s more widespread.

Take our neighboring state of Indiana, where their state Legislature this spring (their session is complete, while we still have a month to go) approved a bill that says the state has the right to withhold federal funds that it is supposed to distribute to the Planned Parenthood group of women’s clinics.

OF COURSE, TO some people, the very name “Planned Parenthood” means nothing more than “Abortion Clinic!!!!!!!!” That is what is motivating this action.

State officials who supported this measure want to kill off Planned Parenthood in Indiana, even though reports indicate that only four of the group’s 16 clinics in the Hoosier State even offer abortion among their services. But those people who come from isolated communities where a woman has trouble getting an abortion just because the service isn’t readily available now want to make the whole state as isolated as their rural home towns.
DANIELS: Giving the ideologues something

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels often gets the ideological label of “moderate.” Sure enough, he was influential in keeping that state from giving in to base instincts and trying to follow the lead of Arizona with regards to getting local officials involved in federal immigration enforcement.

But let’s keep in mind that Daniels has indicated he will sign this Planned Parenthood measure into law when it gets to him. Daniels has his own aspirations to run for president, and perhaps he thinks he can get the GOP nomination in 2012 and turn the general election into an “Illinois versus Indiana” campaign.

SO MUCH FOR being moderate. Then again, he doesn't want to get tagged as the "liberal Republican" by people like Sarah Palin!

I’m sure both of these matters will wind up in the courthouse, no matter how they are resolved politically. What a way for this to end.


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