Saturday, December 28, 2013

A DAY IN THE LIFE (of Chicago): We have to watch where we are

A week from Monday is when the new process kicks in that theoretically allows people to start carrying pistols on their person for self-protection

And as is to be expected, everybody seems confused.

I STUMBLED ACROSS a pair of news reports (the Chicago Tribune and the Bloomington Pantagraph) that makes it seem as though nobody knows what to expect from the new law.
All the exemptions for the Chicago area create conditions where someone can ride his bike through a public park or forest preserve property while carrying a pistol. But the instant that person gets off the bike, that person becomes an offender who could face jail time.

But the confusion in the rest of the state seems to stem from the fact that the Illinois State Police (who will issue the “concealed carry” permits) will have 90 days to act on applications (120 days if someone chooses not to submit fingerprints with their application).

Why would it take so long? And why bother to submit fingerprints – as though they’re some sort of criminal? Although the fingerprints are part of the background check to ensure that people with criminal records don’t get the permits.

WHICH IS SOMETHING that nobody of any sense ought to have an objection from.

Although I thought the Chicago Tribune came up with the perfect example of the chaos that will be created by the new law. Someone walking along Western Avenue during the South Side Irish parade who is trying to get to his car is not violating the law. But he is if he stops to try to enjoy the parade festivities.

How many drunken parade-goers will now try to claim they were trying to walk home, and just happened to wander into the parade?

What else is of note along the southwestern shores of Lake Michigan on this final weekend of 2013?

DOUBLE LAWSUITS, WHO’S RIGHT?:  Ninth Ward Alderman Anthony Beale filed a lawsuit this week against a former school principal whom he claims is trying to defame his public reputation.

BEALE: Victim? Or oppressor?
Of course, that principal, Dushon Brown of Gwendolyn Brooks College Preparatory school in Beale’s Far South Side ward, claims the alderman tried several years ago to get her fired after she refused to give him sex.

Beale says his retaliatory lawsuit is in response to Brown’s attorneys sending him letters asking for $1 million in order to settle her claims against the alderman. Who’s to say who is actually at fault in this case!

The Chicago Sun-Times reported that Beale tried ignoring the former principal’s claims for as long as he could, while the newspaper was not able to contact Brown or her attorneys.

TAINTED MONEY? EXCUSES, EXCUSES:  Nobody seems to want to take a $3,000 charitable donation because the money was raised by a suburban Morton Grove man who is an atheist.

The Chicago Tribune has written about how he tried donating the money to his local park district. Then, to the local public library. Both of them turned it down – the first said it could create a “First Amendment issue” they didn’t want to deal with, while the latter had a board member who called the atheist and his web site “a hate group.”

Now, he says he wants to give it to a food pantry that benefits people in the northwest suburbs of Niles Township. Which would be of significant benefit to area communities. You’d think all would be willing to accept such a donation.

How often do people claim that “tainted” money winds up being cleansed, so to speak, by putting it to charitable use. Even if you really find atheism to be so abhorrent, you’d think somebody would want to use this as a way of benefitting the public good!


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