Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Quinn wants ban on assault weapons, willing to play nasty like opponents

It’s actually one of the oldest dirty tricks in the Illinois Statehouse playbook.
QUINN: How badly does gov want ban?

Take some concept that you want but that others despise, and amend it onto an already-existing bill whose sponsor is someone who particularly hates your idea.

TECHNICALLY, YOU’VE TURNED him into the sponsor for your idea, and if your opponent wants to get what he wants, he has to be willing to allow your idea to go through as well.

Either that, or else be prepared to watch as everything gets shot down big time!

That is what Gov. Pat Quinn will be doing in coming weeks with the General Assembly as he tries to get them to approve the concept of a ban on the sale of assault weapons all across Illinois.

That is an idea that many people in the rural parts of the state will vehemently oppose because they will view it as a “Chicago idea” being imposed, and they have been conned into thinking that such a restriction on high-powered weapons designed for combat are somehow essential to the hunter out looking for game either for food, or for sport.

SPECIFICALLY, QUINN ON Tuesday held an event at Fulton’s, 315 N. LaSalle St., with suburban Orland Park police Chief Tim McCarthy (who himself once tried running for Illinois secretary of state, but seems to now be content to be known as the police chief who was once the Secret Service agent who took a bullet for then-President Ronald Reagan).

Quinn and McCarthy talked about how it makes so much sense to reduce the level of violence to get the high-powered weapons off the street, particularly when they carry the magazines that let them fire off so many rounds of ammunition at once.

But Quinn knows any bill that deals with this issue straight-forward will get (bad pun intended) shot down.
LEUCHTEFELD: How angered is he?

It will become one of those issues in which suburban Republicans will band together with rural legislators of both parties to create a “drop dead” stance toward Chicago. It happens once or twice every legislative session – usually when firearms are the issue.

THAT IS WHAT caused Quinn to rely on the old trick.

Because rather than come up with his own bill, he gave an amendatory veto to a bill by state Sen. Dave Leuchtefeld, R-Okawville, that relates to restrictions on ammunition sales for people who make their purchases from out-of-state companies.

The change that Quinn wants to make to the bill is to add on the ban – making it a much larger-scale measure than Leuchtefeld ever intended. It also makes Leuchtefeld the sponsor of a bill that would effectively ban assault weapons – a concept he has long been an outspoken critic of.

Personally, I expect that Leuchtefeld will now actively work against his own bill. He will want to ensure its defeat when it is considered again by the General Assembly during the veto session in November.

SOME WILL SAY that Quinn is being short-sighted because this tactic will create enemies among Leuchtefeld and his allies for putting them in the middle of such a stunt.

Although that really isn’t true, because those Leuchtefeld allies already are some of Quinn’s biggest critics. They were going to find reasons to bash the governor no matter what.

The fact that Quinn seems to realize that some people just cannot be worked with in the governmental process is encouraging. In fact, it is a lesson that Barack Obama seems to be slow to learn at the federal level.

Perhaps Quinn needs to school Obama on the ways of government?

SO YES, IT is true that the actions of Quinn on Tuesday weren’t done with the intent of building support for an assault weapons ban. I suspect Quinn knows he’s going into a headlong fight on this issue.

It allows him to feed off the amount of national attention being paid to firearms for at least a few more days (until the nation gets bored with the story) because of the movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colo.

For every person who despises Quinn because he’s a Chicago-oriented guy (and can’t get over the fact that the rural-oriented guy they preferred lost the last election), this may enable him to gain a few more supporters from the rest of the electorate.

If anything, it is meant to remind the people who should be Quinn’s allies but are largely apathetic about him just who will really come down on their side. It sure isn’t the Quinn critics!


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