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“41 Firearms, 40 Stun Guns, 4 Grenades, 1 Rocket Launcher”

Tuesday, Dec 11, 2012

* The Transportation Safety Administration reports that it intercepted 41 guns at airport security just last week alone - the same week that Sen. Donne Trotter got busted for attempting to bring an unloaded handgun through an O’Hare Airport security checkpoint.

The TSA categorizes Trotter’s gun as “loaded” because the clip, packed separately, was full. All but five of the guns seized last week were classified as loaded. From the TSA blog

Unfortunately these sorts of occurrences are all too frequent which is why we talk about these finds. Sure, it’s great to share the things that our officers are finding, but at the same time, each time we find a dangerous item, the throughput is slowed down and a passenger that likely had no ill intent ends up with a citation or in some cases is even arrested.

This is a friendly reminder to please leave these items at home. Just because we find a prohibited item on an individual does not mean they had bad intentions, that’s for the law enforcement officer to decide. In many cases, people simply forgot they had these items.

* Meanwhile, if you want to see the prosecutorial mentality that Trotter is up against, check out this 2008 interview excerpt of Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez, where she says that nobody should ever be allowed to own a gun

I hope she doesn’t think that she can ever run statewide with that sort of stance.

* In other news, state Sen. Toi Hutchinson became the first 2nd Congressional District Democratic candidate to take a swing at Trotter

Hutchinson drew a line back from Jackson Jr. through previous representatives Mel Reynolds, also a current candidate, and Gus Savage, both of whom, like Jackson, left office in disgrace.

“I believe it was an accident. I do,” Hutchinson said of Trotter’s gun charges. “But at the same time we’ve had three congressmen in a row leave with scandals and legal issues. And I think people are ready to turn the page.

“It’s an unfortunate situation. There’s a process in place where he’s going to have to deal with it,” Hutchinson said in contrasting herself with Trotter. “I am seriously concentrating on the needs of the people in this district. And every minute we talk about these other issues, we’re not talking about jobs, we’re not talking about protecting Medicare and Social Security.”

Hutchinson pulled up short of calling for Trotter’s withdrawal from the race. “That’s a decision he’s going to have to make,” she said. “I can’t make that decision for Sen. Trotter.”

* Hutchinson was also asked about concealed carry yesterday

State Senator Toi Hutchinson says high crime areas should be allowed to be as tough as need be, but not so much for other areas.

“My issue is keeping communities as safe as possible and I think law-abiding citizens are very different than criminals walking around concealing and carrying right now and they don’t care what bill we pass,” Hutchinson said.

When asked by a reporter if she ever had a vote on concealed carry in Springfield, Hutchinson’s press aide said “I’m sorry, that’s all we have time for, thank you very much!”

* She was more open with NBC5

Q: But how would you have voted [on concealed carry]?

A: I think that Illinois should be like New York. New York City has some of the toughest gun regulations in the country, but they have a version of conceal carry that works in their state. It’s county-specific and it takes into consideration regional common sense. If you are handing coffee out your window to your neighbor, that’s different than when the next house is a mile away.

Q: So if Kankakee County wanted to have conceal carry, you would be in favor of allowing that?

A: Yeah. I think the counties need to be able to manage what they can do. Cook County needs to be able to manage very different issues than the other 101 counties.

* And Robin Kelly has a new campaign video

* Related…

* State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez’s once-rising star on the wane

* Toi Hutchinson speaks out against Donne Trotter: Chicago police said Trotter will not be charged with owning an unregistered handgun in the city. Trotter told investigators he kept the pistol in Springfield.

* Will Sandi Jackson Run for Disgraced Husband’s Seat? ‘Never Say Never’

- Posted by Rich Miller        


40 Comments
  1. - Five Percenter - Tuesday, Dec 11, 12 @ 9:54 am:

    On Sandi Jackson: Its ironic that firefighters,police and teachers are required to live in the City that they work in- yet that same requirement is waived for one of the fifty alderman in the Grand old city of Chicago. when interviewed she claims to be working quietely ‘behind the scenes’ on the issues in her ward. Perhaps the city should adjust her compensation to reflect that fact that she isn’t even working ‘part-time’ at her job.
    Her ward hosts one of the worst crime zones in the city- great deliverable Sandy!


  2. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Dec 11, 12 @ 9:57 am:

    Speaking of Anita, the assignment of the Koschman case to Judge Hill yesterday helps explain, yet again, one of the reasons why corruption prosecutions are brought by the U.S. Attorney’s office and not by the AG or the Cook County State’s Attorney. If you bring a state prosecution against a connected defendant, there’s a very good chance the judge assigned is going to be connected. And even if the first judge isn’t connected, defendants get an automatic judge switch — so you get two chances at a connected judge. For Judge Hill not to automatically recuse himself, no matter how fair he feels and really is, was shameful, given his relationship to the defendant’s uncle. The appearance of impropriety is very strong.

    (The other three reasons the AG and the State’s Attorney don’t bring corruption prosecutions in state court
    – they ususally don’t have an investigative agency that has the time and resources that federal agencies due to develop the prosecution;
    – sentences are lighter in state court for such cases, even if the judge isn’t connected;
    – they don’t really want to bring those cases anyway.


  3. - Horace - Tuesday, Dec 11, 12 @ 10:07 am:

    “State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez’s once-rising star on the wane”

    Would have been nice to know this BEFORE she got re-elected in a landslide.


  4. - OneMan - Tuesday, Dec 11, 12 @ 10:09 am:

    The ‘connected judge’ issue brings up a point, would it make sense for the Cook County Democrats to slate one non-connected judge?

    The poor schlub who would get cases like the Koschman case?


  5. - dupage dan - Tuesday, Dec 11, 12 @ 10:12 am:

    “Nobody should be allowed to own guns”. Any law abiding citizen of Cook County who owns a firearm who also voted for Alvarez should engage in some introspection. Elections have consequences.


  6. - Quinn T. Sential - Tuesday, Dec 11, 12 @ 10:13 am:

    Not even a hat-tip? I toil in obscurity for the benefit of the masses. Overworked and under appreciated.


  7. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Dec 11, 12 @ 10:15 am:

    Oops!!! Sorry. I’ll make it up to you, QTS.


  8. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Dec 11, 12 @ 10:15 am:

    “41 Firearms, 40 Stun Guns, 4 Grenades, 1 Rocket Launcher”

    Oh, that Crazy Illinois Senate!


  9. - VaniilaMan - Tuesday, Dec 11, 12 @ 10:16 am:

    It doesn’t matter how many weapons TSA finds. What matters was finding a weapon on an individual famous for his anti-gun stances. It doesn’t matter who the Cook County State’s Attorney is, Trotter gave her a reason to prosecute.

    What matters is a voting base that holds elected officials accountable with the same degree of fairness that elected officials hold their constituents accountable.

    We will not get better government when we create excuses for public officials.


  10. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Dec 11, 12 @ 10:19 am:

    “41 Firearms, 40 Stun Guns, 4 Grenades, 1 Rocket Launcher” ….

    IL SENATE SGT AT ARMS CARRIES LESS FIREPOWER THEN MEMBERS, REPORT SHOWS


  11. - not applicable - Tuesday, Dec 11, 12 @ 10:19 am:

    That guy is one of the most annoying “reporters” I have ever come across.


  12. - Huh? - Tuesday, Dec 11, 12 @ 10:23 am:

    Toi’s comments remind me of that Proverb, People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.


  13. - Team Sleep - Tuesday, Dec 11, 12 @ 10:27 am:

    As a downstate Republican who is generally a gun supporter, I always kept an open mind about Chicagoans and their stances on firearms when I attended school with kids from Chicago and when I’ve worked with or been professionally associated with professionals from Chicago. I’ve always tried to keep my arguments and disagreements civil and rational. But it’s a bit much for the Cook County State’s Attorney to think no one should ever own a firearm. At that point you are essentially wanting to regulate people’s private, in-home property and outdoorsmen’s activities. You are also telling veterans and law enforcement officials that they cannot possess personal firearms, which is a very slippery slope. Rich, I do disagree with you in your assertion that she could not win statewide. If she were to run for AG in a big statewide Dem year like 2006, 2008 or 2012, I think she could win statewide.


  14. - Team Sleep - Tuesday, Dec 11, 12 @ 10:31 am:

    Sorry - let me clarify the last part of my comment. I think Ms. Alvarez could win statewide even with her seemingly extreme anti-gun sentiments.


  15. - MrJM - Tuesday, Dec 11, 12 @ 10:37 am:

    “41 Firearms, 40 Stun Guns, 4 Grenades, 1 Rocket Launcher”

    But enough about my letter to Santa…

    – MrJM


  16. - state worker - Tuesday, Dec 11, 12 @ 10:49 am:

    Did they prosecute the other gun finds?


  17. - Pot calling kettle - Tuesday, Dec 11, 12 @ 10:53 am:

    “41 Firearms, 40 Stun Guns, 4 Grenades, 1 Rocket Launcher”

    …and a handgun in a shoulder holster!

    It’s like Todd rewrote the 12 days of Christmas!


  18. - shore - Tuesday, Dec 11, 12 @ 10:56 am:

    When TSA gets hit, which is usually everyday by people on my side they should show pictures of all that stuff their people find that they keep off of flights. Especially this time a year when every person has every parcel known to man, some wrapped, I’m sure they had to work extremely hard to find all that stuff and we appreciate the work.

    Nice of you to run the Berkowitz show clips, he’s been a great treasure on the North Shore for 15 years.

    Robin Kelly is a “struggling single mom” who was Alexi’s chief of staff-does making 6 figures in that neck of the woods make you a “struggling single mom”. And Ms. Kelly the “tea party” controls 1/2 of 1/3 of the us government, not “the congress”, you’re a candidate for congress not a 9th grader.

    Dear Media promoting Sandi Jackson for anything other than permanent retirement from public office, according to ward room she doesn’t live in the city of chicago, has missed 5/6 council meetings and has retained counsel related to a federal investigation of her husband. I know it’s chicago and the bar is low, but not low enough for her “to be viable”.


  19. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Dec 11, 12 @ 10:59 am:

    The New York law that Sen. Hutchinson referred to would make a lot of sense for Illinois. It would probably fly through the GA, maybe even at veto-proof majorities.

    At some point, you have to ask why conceal-carry proponents won’t take more than half a loaf now, and try for the rest later.

    At the same time, you can still pursue the whole loaf in the courts.

    Partial victory might hurt fundraising, but it would still be a victory for many.


  20. - walkinfool - Tuesday, Dec 11, 12 @ 11:14 am:

    So, that means 50-85 people were arrested, held, and due to be charged with felonies, for weapons at O’Hare, just last week?

    Sure.

    (BTW I had a voter once explain to me that a rocket launcher is protected under the 2d Am. because he could carry it himself. He lived near O’Hare.)


  21. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Dec 11, 12 @ 11:38 am:

    === When asked by a reporter if she ever had a vote on concealed carry in Springfield, Hutchinson’s press aide said “I’m sorry, that’s all we have time for, thank you very much!” ===

    Ay, there’s the rub!

    Every interview, candidate questionnaire, speech and vote she’s every taken or given will likely be scrutinized seeking a chance to make her look like an opportunist or flip-flopper, etc.

    Starting….. now.


  22. - Doug - Tuesday, Dec 11, 12 @ 11:52 am:

    walkinfool - Read the article, that was nationwide, not at OHare


  23. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Dec 11, 12 @ 11:57 am:

    No doubt, tough week for Alvarez.

    But we could use a little perspective here. Her stances on the Kotchman grand jury and the various wrongful conviction cases have received plenty of media attention for a long time. Despite that, she didn’t have a primary challenge this Spring and got re-elected by a huge landslide just five weeks ago. She’s got four years before she faces the voters again. And a lot of the sting from the Kotchman controversy will go away if Vanecko gets a not guilty, which might happen given the age of the case and when you consider almost every witness to the incident was blind drunk when “the punch” happened. Vanecko’s high-priced defense team might be able to impeach a lot of the witness statements in court.

    I never sensed Alvarez had much ambitions for statewide office, so I don’t think the gun stuff matters all that much. There was talk she wanted a federal judgeship, that’s probably out the window.

    Bottom line, let’s slow down a little on writing her obit. She ain’t going anywhere anytime soon.


  24. - John - Tuesday, Dec 11, 12 @ 11:59 am:

    “41 Firearms, 40 Stun Guns, 4 Grenades, 1 Rocket Launcher” at airports last week and the only one prosecuted was Trotter. How is that equal under the law?


  25. - titan - Tuesday, Dec 11, 12 @ 11:59 am:

    “41 Firearms, 40 Stun Guns, 4 Grenades, 1 Rocket Launcher”

    We call that a modest collection in some places.


  26. - TheGoodLieutenant - Tuesday, Dec 11, 12 @ 12:04 pm:

    @Formerly you mean like the correspondence I received from her recently? (prior to her jumping into the race in the 2nd)

    Dear ——,
    Thank you for contacting my office regarding your support of concealed carry legislation. I appreciate you taking the time out of your busy schedule to let me know your thoughts on this important matter.
    Legislation allowing for the issuance of concealed firearm licenses was introduced in the Illinois Senate in February under Senate Bill 3772. Unfortunately, this legislation was not called for a vote.
    Like you, I support concealed carry legislation, as I have no concern with law abiding residents, after submitting to a background check and all other necessary safety check requirements, from obtaining a concealed carry permit. Hopefully, this legislation will soon be called for a vote.
    Again, thank you for your correspondence. If I can ever be of any assistance in the future, please do not hesitate to contact my office.
    Sincerely,

    Senator Toi Hutchinson


  27. - Pot calling kettle - Tuesday, Dec 11, 12 @ 12:20 pm:

    ==So, that means 50-85 people were arrested, held, and due to be charged with felonies, for weapons at O’Hare, just last week?==

    The numbers reported are nation-wide, not just O’Hare.


  28. - dave - Tuesday, Dec 11, 12 @ 12:23 pm:

    **“41 Firearms, 40 Stun Guns, 4 Grenades, 1 Rocket Launcher” at airports last week and the only one prosecuted was Trotter.**

    First…as someone else pointed out, those numbers are nationwide, not just at Ohare.

    Second…where does it say that no one else was prosecuted?


  29. - here, again - Tuesday, Dec 11, 12 @ 12:59 pm:

    How many of those 41, 40, 4 and 1 supported and voted on laws that nobody else (but themselves when they own a bogus security firm) could carry those weapon and anyone else caught should get a felony? Glad to see the carry news from the Courts. Too bad Trotter won’t get to carry anymore (fingers crossed).


  30. - Lay Person - Tuesday, Dec 11, 12 @ 1:21 pm:

    It should not be by County only. How in the world could it be regulated for persons traveling from one county to the next. A whole new set of regulations and policing. Not Cheap!!!,but I guesss everyone will pay an additional tax. Just make it legal state wide and be done with the issue.


  31. - Arthur Andersen - Tuesday, Dec 11, 12 @ 1:28 pm:

    The comments on the TSA blog post, some of which are creepy in re: passenger screening-be warned-also make the point that discovery of weapon does not equal arrest.


  32. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Dec 11, 12 @ 2:17 pm:

    @TheGoodLieutenant, Not quite. I didn’t have anything specific in mind until your post.

    It was more an observation that stood out after her handler abruptly cut off the media and ended the session.

    After a brief interwebs search, however, it seems inquiring minds may find Sen. Hutchinson’s older comments concerning what sort of concealed carry “regulation” she supports to be more interesting than a recent constituent email.

    It doesn’t make a difference to me.


  33. - shore - Tuesday, Dec 11, 12 @ 2:46 pm:

    Titan that was well played. You can stay.


  34. - gdubya - Tuesday, Dec 11, 12 @ 3:17 pm:

    Not sure if anyone else has commented on this or not, but I would like to know why Rich Miller is using the term “disgraced” Jesse Jackson Jr. Does a serious mental illness make someone “disgraced” or are you using that term because you know something else and can’t say? Just wondering.


  35. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Dec 11, 12 @ 3:31 pm:

    ===I would like to know why Rich Miller is using the term “disgraced” Jesse Jackson Jr. ===

    He’s not? Coulda fooled me.


  36. - State Worker - Tuesday, Dec 11, 12 @ 3:32 pm:

    Trotter had a .25 cal handgun. News article states he claimed it was for his position in a security company. My question: Is a .25 cal handgun the usual choice for a duty weapon? Think about it.


  37. - amalia - Tuesday, Dec 11, 12 @ 3:44 pm:

    no, the .25 cal handgun is not the usual choice for a duty weapon.


  38. - Quinn T. Sential - Tuesday, Dec 11, 12 @ 4:14 pm:

    One thing that the TSA Blog identifies; when you examine the whole universe of data outside of their confiscation rate; including the total voume of departures airports nationwide, is that the incidence rate of confiscation is actually very low, and the crime very rare.

    Based on the most recent publicly reported information; Senator Trotter is being treated the same as any other citizen (see flight attendant two weeks prior).

    Senator Trotter also has a number of holes in his story that create for much more difficult defense; including the fact that he owned the gun, and admitted packing it in his own bag himself. Its hard to say he did not know it was there. Simply saying you forgot where you put your gun when trying to board an airplane, is not quite the same as forgetting where you left your car keys.

    There is trouble on the horizon, and Monique Davis even teed him up already as well, and she is not yet even an announced cnadidate.

    http://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20121211/chicago/state-rep-monique-davis-rips-sen-donne-trotter-after-gun-charge


  39. - Quinn T. Sential - Wednesday, Dec 12, 12 @ 4:39 am:

    Donne Trotter a “patronage stooge” of the late John Stroger- OUCH!

    http://www.suntimes.com/news/otherviews/16955135-452/donne-trotters-machine-history.html


  40. - gdubya - Wednesday, Dec 12, 12 @ 8:45 am:

    Soooo, Senator Kirk must be a “total disgrace” for “sitting out” this whole past year for having a stroke. Good thing he doesn’t have to run for reelection every cycle.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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        * DOI Calls for Health Insurers to Bar Discrimination Based on Transgender Status or Gender Identity - Insurers Are Instructed to Remove Exclusions of Coverage Based on Gender Identity in Plans Offered Under ACA
        * Hoy Op-Ed on Immigration
        * Governor Quinn Reminds Drivers to Take Caution in Work Zones, Directs State Agencies to Redouble Efforts to Protect Public and Workers - Encourages Public to Increase Vigilance Following I-55 Tragedy




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