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Things that make you go “Hmm…”

Monday, Jan 27, 2014

* The Sun-Times profiled some concealed carry applicants

Peter Besenhofer, 47, worries that the gasoline tanker truck he drives to construction sites across the city and suburbs, sometimes carrying loads worth nearly $30,000, could make him a target.

“I don’t want to have to shoot anybody. Just showing a firearm can defuse so many situations. That’s one thing the statistics can never show you, because those instances never get reported,” said Besenhofer, who lives in Naperville.

He recalled one instance in the mid-1980s when he wished he had been carrying a gun.

“I was on my motorcycle and got turned around a bit and ended up at a stoplight right near Cabrini-Green. And people began looking at me and coming out of the woodwork like they were gonna jump me,” said Besenhofer, who sped away.

So, is he saying he would’ve preferred to flash a gun rather than just leave?

- Posted by Rich Miller        


59 Comments
  1. - Third Reading - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 10:09 am:

    Help me understand this.

    Wouldn’t it be best to keep guns out of this particular equasion?

    Like……just let the perps drive off with the darn tanker, if it came to that? (Like the cops would have a hard time finding a fleeing tanker truck?)

    Rather than, uh, provoking a Shootout at the Tanker Corral? And having a stay bullet do something unexpected like, oh, pierce the tank?

    Stoopid is as stoopid does.

    I’m outta here.


  2. - Yossarian Lives - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 10:09 am:

    This is exactly my worry about concealed carry. For every instance in which having a gun saves a life, how many times does someone “flash” a gun (or fire it) unnecessarily rather than taking the smart way out of a situation? Do we really want people thinking it’s a good idea to swagger around high crime areas because they’re armed and can show it? That sounds like a recipe for harm to innocent bystanders.


  3. - The Doc - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 10:16 am:

    In summary, a trucker claims he needs to carry a firearm because 30 years ago, in Cabrini Green, while not on the job, someone looked at him funny?

    Huh?


  4. - DuPage Dave - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 10:19 am:

    This anecdote perfectly captures the urge for concealed carry. A group of people “began looking at me”, which made him wish he had a gun to display.

    Of course the reference to Cabrini-Green is the giveaway. Those “people” were black people, and I’m guessing that by his expressed discomfort in having them look at him, Besenhofer is white.

    So this guy feels he needs to carry a gun to protect himself from being looked at by black people? Of course, he doesn’t “want to have to shoot” anyone. But given his outlook on life things don’t look very positive for anyone who looks at this guy.


  5. - Archiesmom - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 10:20 am:

    I wonder how many gangs are out there looking for a tanker truck to jack? Because they’re so easy to hide. And selling a tanker full of gas just has to be able to be done off the radar. Slap a GPS on that puppy, let them have it and call the police.


  6. - Formerly Known As... - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 10:22 am:

    === Wouldn’t it be best to keep guns out of this particular equasion? ===

    Possibly. Maybe even probably.

    It is hard to know for certain if his mentality is one of “I must shoot before they shoot me”, or one of “At least I’ll have a fighting chance if my life ever depended on it”.


  7. - Formerly Known As... - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 10:24 am:

    === And people began looking at me and coming out of the woodwork like they were gonna jump me ===

    ^ though this really makes me wonder.


  8. - Peoria Pete - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 10:25 am:

    Don’t recall hearing anything recently about tanker trucks being waylaid by highwaymen in Chicago and the surrounding environs. Now, if he was driving in Afghanistan or Syria instead, Mr. Besenhofer might have some cause for concern.


  9. - circularfiringsquad - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 10:28 am:

    Makes perfect sense to us
    Could someone tell the trucker Cabrini is gone?


  10. - mcb - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 10:28 am:

    A year from now, when hundreds of thousands of residents have concealed carry licenses, and the sky hasn’t fallen, what is the anti-gun crowd going to have to rail against and complain about?
    And dupage dave, you’re knocking the guy for stereotyping, and you stereotype him as white and the people who were looking at him as being black. Seriously? I’m guessing the guy is saying the situation worried him in Cabrini Green, and he worries it could have gone worse than it did, and he would like to be able to defend himself if the situation arose again and did get worse. That was an extremely high crime area, it’s not out of the realm of possibility for him to assume it could’ve headed South and he could’ve ended up in danger. I think the vast majority of people would flee first if possible. They want the gun in case that isn’t an option.


  11. - Rudykzooti - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 10:28 am:

    I think that tanker driver has seen Mad Max a few too many times…


  12. - Nonplussed - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 10:29 am:

    Don’t criticize the guy for the poor reporting job the Sun-Times did.


  13. - VTTK17A1 - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 10:33 am:

    When you take a class for concealed carry, the first thing you are told is to be prepared to spend $20,000 dollars and spend 10 years in jail even if you shoot someone with justification.

    Without justification expect to go to prison for murder. Dirty Harry types need not apply.

    Many people who legitimately have a reason to obtain a concealed carry permit would rather do ANYTHING else than shoot. They don’t even want a potential “bad guy” know that they have a gun. They are supposed to do their best not to get in that situation in the first place.

    The gun is for use ONLY in a “kill or be killed” situation.

    The individuals who “need” a gun because they subjectively “feel” threatened by someone or something, are in many cases the exact people who should never have a gun (let alone a concealed carry permit).


  14. - wordslinger - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 10:35 am:

    They were all probably wearing hoodies.

    You know, like Mark Zuckerberg.


  15. - fed up - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 10:43 am:

    ok. He felt threatened in one of the most dangerous areas of the city, no make that the united States silly him. I mean its not like anyone was ever murdered in the area of Cabrini- Green in the 80’s. Is driving away the best option yes, trying to dismiss his legitimate concern in a dangerous part of the city is showing your own biasis


  16. - Cook County Commoner - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 10:48 am:

    This should be interesting. An increasingly unemployed, under-employed, uneducated, under-educated and over-stressed populace running around with guns.


  17. - Chicago Cynic - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 10:49 am:

    “Just showing a firearm can defuse so many situations.” I always find that all the emotional energy in a heated argument goes away once someone pulls out a firearm.

    Umm, right.


  18. - Bemused - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 10:50 am:

    How about if flashing your gun makes the other guy pull his out and fire it? Or maybe the other guy will take it from you and pistol whip you. I was once told If you pull it out you best be meaning to use it. I think showing a gun in the motorcycle story could have ended badly for the rider.


  19. - G.I.Joe - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 10:54 am:

    Give me a break! 9 times out of 10 or even 99 times out of 100 you can leave a situation without needing a gun. It’s the one time that you need it. Maybe the guys taking his tanker don’t want someone calling the police. Maybe his bike stalls and they want it for parts. I suppose you don’t want the tanker driver to carry a fire extinguisher - call the fire department. Too many people are of the mind set - somebody else will do it for me. Do you put warm clothes/blankets in your car, buy extra food or fill your gas tank when a winter storm is coming?


  20. - Aldyth - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 10:59 am:

    All it takes is one person flashing a gun to get everyone who’s carrying to flash a gun. Somehow, I don’t think hilarity ensues.


  21. - fed up - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 11:02 am:

    Cook county commoner,

    “This should be interesting. An increasingly unemployed, under-employed, uneducated, under-educated and over-stressed populace running around with guns. ”
    Hold it Quinn and Obama keep saying unemployment is down, and Rahm keeps saying test scores are up you must be mistaken


  22. - Tequila Mockingbird - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 11:03 am:

    Truck drivers are actually in a high risk group for being victims of crime, and they know that. He feels safer with a firearm. I have no problem with that as long as he is responsible with it. I think the motorcycle in caprini green part of the story would have been better left out.


  23. - Mike Weisman - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 11:06 am:

    And of course there is no honor among robbers, they don’t live by any code that protects you from harm if you just give up the goods.

    We need CCW.

    Recent:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/17/kevin-baker-shot-chicago_n_4617867.html
    Kevin Baker, Chicago College Student, Shot In The Head After Giving Cell Phone To Robber


  24. - Anyone Remember - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 11:09 am:

    What if Mr. Besenhofer had run across this gentleman on his motorcycle adventure?

    http://www.suntimes.com/news/25162259-418/latin-king-leader-wants-to-conceal-and-carry.html


  25. - 47th Ward - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 11:11 am:

    ===A year from now, when hundreds of thousands of residents have concealed carry licenses, and the sky hasn’t fallen, what is the anti-gun crowd going to have to rail against and complain about?===

    Negligent discharges.


  26. - AFSCME Steward - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 11:22 am:

    If he had flashed a gun, they would have shiown him their even bigger guns.

    “So, is he saying he would’ve preferred to flash a gun rather than just leave?”


  27. - leonard - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 11:25 am:

    There are few full time truckers who aren’t already packing.Trucks get jacked frequently. With that said,Eli Wallach[The Ugly]said after shooting a guy from a bathtub:”if you’re going to shoot,shoot-don’t talk” Flashing a gun is not a smart thing to do,unless you’re expecting to use it.


  28. - Weltschmerz - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 11:36 am:

    Once again a topic that creates “facts” from the prejudices and biases of the commenters. I suggest a couple of Sherlock Holmes stories to re-set your logic meters. Eh, Rich?


  29. - Say It Ain't So! - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 11:39 am:

    Isn’t flashing a gun a threatening move? If someone flashed a gun at me, I would feel threatened and I would have the individual arrested for threatening me with a gun.


  30. - Some guy - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 11:56 am:

    As someone who works in East St. Louis, alone and at odd hours, a firearm provides a certain amount of security. There are bad people out there, even though some of you may not believe it.


  31. - Rich Miller - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 11:58 am:

    ===even though some of you may not believe it. ===

    That’s a classic, childish straw man argument.

    Stick to the topic at hand, please.


  32. - Ken_in_Aurora - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 12:16 pm:

    This will be an interesting social experiment - allowing everyday citizens that have no criminal or psychiatric record to carry firearms in defense of their lives. I wonder what will happen?

    Oh, wait… it’s been done before, in every other state to one extent or another? And there weren’t daily shootouts over parking spaces?

    Never mind.


  33. - Cheswick - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 12:20 pm:

    “Cabrini-Green. And people began looking at me and coming out of the woodwork…”

    He must have bumped into Jay when he and Jane lived there. (Sorry.)

    Seriously, this guy has serious problems that leave me just shaking my head.


  34. - Cheswick - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 12:34 pm:

    Do you think Mr. Besenhofer saw Thelma and Louise?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RW8djpetnjg

    (Tanker trucker scene; language NSFW, but turn the sound off you get the same effect.)


  35. - Precinct Captain - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 12:34 pm:

    ==Just showing a firearm can defuse so many situations.==

    Ask Jordan Davis if Michael Dunn having a gun helped defuse a situation. Or ask Chad Oulson if Curtis Reeves having a gun helped defuse a situation. Oh wait, you can’t because they were murdered.

    ==So, is he saying he would’ve preferred to flash a gun rather than just leave?==

    The mindset of someone who should not have a gun.

    ==you stereotype him as white and the people who were looking at him as being black==

    If you knew anything about the population at Cabrini Green, it’s not a “stereotype” to say the people there were black. You aren’t even using the word “stereotype” correctly.

    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/stereotype


  36. - RonOglesby - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 12:38 pm:

    I love all of those waiting for negligent discharges and other bad things to happen… If there were only other states with large metropolitan areas that have had concealed carry that we could study for actual facts and years if not decades of statics about such bad things happening…

    Oh, thats right. there are. And every study shows that those that are willing to go through the background checks and training are more law abiding in general than the overall population and have less shoots deemed bad than even police officers…

    But lets just keep hoping for bad things huh.


  37. - 47th Ward - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 12:50 pm:

    Thanks Ron, I love you too man.

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/01/22/1268968/-Shot-in-the-face-by-my-own-pants-Respect-the-culture-GunFAIL-LIII


  38. - Arnold Ziffle - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 12:51 pm:

    A year from now, when hundreds of thousands of residents have concealed carry licenses, and the violent crime rate hasn’t fallen, what is the Pro-CC crowd going to say to support their view that does any good except makes them “feel” safer?


  39. - countyline - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 1:06 pm:

    47th, I didn’t read all of those, but I did read several, and none had anything to do with CCW, only idiots that don’t know how to handle a gun safely.


  40. - Chicago Cynic - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 1:12 pm:

    Ron,

    Every day there are stories of young kids shooting other kids or their parents because of sloppy gun safety practices at home. Can’t imagine why that won’t (and has) happen outside of the home as well.


  41. - RonOglesby - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 1:17 pm:

    @chicago Cynic and 47th.

    anecdotes do not set policy (or should not). a yound child shooting another, or themselves because of a sloppy gun safety practice has nothing to do with millions (yes millions) of state licensed CCW permit holders.

    Specifically for Chicago Cynic. Please refere to Florida or Texas or any of the other states that decades ago wrote into their laws that they HAD TO TRACK ANY CRIME or negligence by ANY CCW holder… After decades the rate of those incidents were slow the states spent millions and millions to track such a small % of issues they both stopped tracking them.

    I am not saying tragedies do not occur. By to wait for and HOPE FOR the sky to fall while ignoring any statistical evidence is simply sad.

    We can deal with sloppy/unsafe gun handling and try to deal with crime (and factors that lead to crime) but to hope and wait for something that is so statistically unlike just to prove a political position is sad.


  42. - Vote Quimby! - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 1:22 pm:

    ==As someone who works in East St. Louis==
    OK, so we’ve touched on Cabrini-Green and ESL where firearms are needed…. any other extreme-edge-of-Bell-curve places we can name?


  43. - Hit or Miss - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 1:52 pm:

    A shootout around a tanker truck filled with several hundred gallons of gasoline sounds like an incendiary mix to me. It could have explosive consequence not only for the participants but also for anyone, or anything, in the area.


  44. - Mike Weisman - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 2:02 pm:

    >>>> A shootout around a tanker truck filled with several hundred gallons of gasoline sounds like an incendiary mix to me.

    Especially in Hollywood.


  45. - DuPage Dave - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 2:11 pm:

    Arnold Ziffle brings up a great idea for a wager. As of January 1 2015, how many concealed carry permits will have been issued in Illinois? Or perhaps we could have an over/under wager?

    Lots of people with very strong pro-gun viewpoints were quick to submit applications. But I doubt anyone has good data to estimate the demand for permits once the initial demand tapers off.

    My guess is that the demand for permits will drop significantly by April, and I predict a figure of 95,000 permits issued by 1-1-2015.


  46. - downstate commissioner - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 2:26 pm:

    DuPage Dave: have seen some reports that 12% of the ELIGIBLE population actually obtain cc permits. I have been a “gun nut” all my life, and always wanted the right to carry a loaded gun, at least in a vehicle. But now, in my mid-60’s, I don’t know if I want to spend the money for something I will probably never use…


  47. - Ghost - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 2:51 pm:

    Not to deflate this exciting debate; but flashing your gun will put you on the run:; as display of a gun is unlawful my son even with a conceal carry permit.

    If it’s not concealed, and your not shooting it, it’s illegal. Imprinting is also probably a big no no (gun print visible through clothes).


  48. - Lobo Y Olla - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 3:02 pm:

    “And every study shows that those that are willing to go through the background checks and training are more law abiding in general than the overall population and have less shoots deemed bad than even police officers…”

    You got a link for that?


  49. - walker - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 3:31 pm:

    When I hear someone, especially in my neighborhood, telling me “why I need a gun,” I wonder what he sees or fears, that I don’t. I don’t live my life fearing the one-in-a-million chance scenarios that are often imagined.

    It’s not a “need” but a “want”. I have known guns intimately, and don’t want one anywhere near me.


  50. - Mr. Wonderful - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 4:31 pm:

    I seem to recall reading a news item a number of years ago about a suburban county health department conducting a survey of “risky behaviors” in which county residents engage. If I recall correctly, about 5% of those surveyed admitted to carrying a concealed firearm within the past 30 days. I found that remarkable since, at that time, about 5% of Florida residents had CCW permits.

    That survey may or may not have been a good proxy for Illinois as a whole, but it does indicate that murder and mayhem on the part of people carrying guns for defensive purposes will not rule the day. People who carry guns for offensive purposes is undoubtedly a different story.

    I’m still betting that Illinois’ concealed carry experience will be the same as the 49 other states’…totally transparent.


  51. - Logic not emotion - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 10:10 pm:

    Walker: Illinois isn’t Mayberry. Violent crimes do happen.


  52. - wordslinger - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 10:50 pm:

    –Walker: Illinois isn’t Mayberry. Violent crimes do happen. –

    Yes, they do Logical Guy. In a lot places. In a lot places, at higher rates, where conceal carry has been the law for a long time.

    As far as Mayberry goes, you know it was a fictional place, right?

    Sheriffs were not necessarily that cool back in Dixie in the 60s.

    The great Howie Morris — Ernest T Bass — directed a lot of the “Andy Griffith Show.” When he tried to introduce black characters into the show, he was fired.

    Greg Morris made it on, once.

    Shazamm.

    http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-07-26/opinion/ct-oped-0726-zorn-20130726_1_toddlin-town-chicago-arthur-lurigio


  53. - countyline - Tuesday, Jan 28, 14 @ 8:13 am:

    Walker - Irrational fear of an inanimate object.


  54. - Mike Weisman - Tuesday, Jan 28, 14 @ 8:38 am:

    >>>>> Violent crimes do happen. –

    >>>>> Yes, they do Logical Guy. In a lot places. In a lot places, at higher rates, where conceal carry has been the law for a long time.

    And reasonable people try to avoid such places, if they can, whether they are armed or not.


  55. - RonOglesby - Tuesday, Jan 28, 14 @ 8:43 am:

    Some of the key findings in the texas study:
    Licensees were 5.7 times less likely to be arrested for violent offenses than the general public - 127 per 100,000 population versus 730 per 100,000.
    Licensees were 14 times less likely to be arrested for nonviolent offenses than the general public - 386 per 100,000 population versus 5,212 per 100,000.
    Further, the general public is 1.4 times more likely to be arrested for murder than licensees [ see Figure I ], and no licensee had been arrested for negligent manslaughter.


  56. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Jan 28, 14 @ 9:31 am:

    Ron, you’re one of those “law-abiding citizens,” right?

    You’ve never carried a concealed weapon in public in violation of the law? Like, say, on a train ride into Chicago on Metra?

    Is that correct?


  57. - Catrike - Tuesday, Jan 28, 14 @ 11:37 am:

    “You’ve never carried a concealed weapon in public in violation of the law? Like, say, on a train ride into Chicago on Metra?”

    As long as the weapon is cased and unloaded (the loaded magazine can be in the case) it is legal to carry it on Metra. The new CCW law did not change that. It cannot be loaded.


  58. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Jan 28, 14 @ 12:24 pm:

    === worries that the gasoline tanker truck he drives to construction sites across the city and suburbs, sometimes carrying loads worth nearly $30,000, could make him a target. ===

    Perhaps he has more cause for concern than some first realized. From today’s news: http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2014/01/27/police-masked-men-targeting-oil-delivery-truck-drivers-on-long-island/


  59. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jan 28, 14 @ 5:24 pm:

    “That’s a classic, childish straw man argument.

    Stick to the topic at hand, please.”

    Kudos to Rich on only calling out the people with whom his position differs. Gotta love it.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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        * Prison warden retires after link to sex offender
        * Suit: Black donor's sperm sent to white woman
        * 16-year-old boy killed in South Side shooting
        * Lawyers want evidence seized in Sacred Heart raid tossed
        * Man pleads guilty to sex abuse of disabled woman
        * Elgin woman dies in head-on crash
        * Hampshire High School evacuated after fire
        * Man accused in killing of girlfriend, daughter sobs in court as injuries detailed
        * Obama expected to bypass Chicago airports and fly into Gary


        * Meet Bishop Blase Cupich, Chicago's incoming archbishop
        * After the accident: Metra and pedestrian fatalities
        * Cupich to be next Chicago archbishop
        * Chicago moves on taxi reforms to leave more money in cabbies' pockets
        * Court Rules AFSCME Members Are Owed Money
        * Chicago Mayor: Lower Penalties For Drugs
        * Can Politics And Prison Reform Mix?
        * Nursing Program Comes To UIS
        * IDOT Layoffs Halted, But Quinn Wants To Proceed
        * Quinn, Rauner Share Hazy Stance On Decriminalizing Pot


        * Appellate court: State workers owed back wages
        * Quinn leans on top Democratic support — Obamas, Clinton
        * IDOC investigation prompts state prison warden to retire
        * Panel plans to resume anti-violence program probe
        * Lawmaker panel plans to resume anti-violence program investigation
        * Quinn touts first year of Affordable Care Act
        * State-owned airplanes to be sold in online auction
        * Our Opinion: Job creation is a health priority in Sangamon County
        * GOP opposition to school funding bill irks Manar
        * Durbin, Oberweis debate background checks for guns


        * Cellphones sought to assist domestic violence victims
        * County board budget cuts eliminate deficit
        * Updated: Flu shots beset by delays
        * HS Volleyball: Urbana vs. Central
        * St. Thomas More designated a Blue Ribbon school; first in area since 2005
        * Local teen author to preview first novel
        * Will Evans join Illini's Top 100 crowd?
        * HMC sponsoring pink contest for local businesses
        * SI Heart Walk set for Saturday
        * Belleville police believe they have captured gas station armed robber


        * Bears' Bennett just getting started
        * Epstein: Our goal is the NL Central title next year
        * Authorties say blowtorch likely cause of Elk Grove fire
        * Anderson makes it look easy at DuPage Valley tournament
        * Imrem: Nothing like sports at purist level

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        * GCA Special Event with CTU Pres. Karen Lewis
        * Sun-Times: The sitdown Seaway Bank President/CEO
        * GCA community forum with Karen Lewis
        * Lems BBQ on 75th Street celebrating 60 years
        * CBS 2: Probation Officer For Teen Charged With Assaulting CSU Student Suspended
        * DNA Info: A Bloomingdale Trail for Englewood? City Moves To Get Train Tracks for Park
        * Recap of Townhall Meeting on "Park Manor Inn Hotel Development on 76th State
        * Tribune: No bail for teen charged in Roseland sex assault
        * Defender: Chicago Seaway Bank’s New CEO Discusses Personal Journey to Top
        * Bronzeville & Lakeside cut from consideration for a Presidential library


        * Quinn must take lame duck tax vote off the table
        * Governor Quinn Announces Successful First Year of Affordable Care Act Enrollment - More than 685,000 People Now Have Access to Quality Health Coverage Under the Affordable Care Act
        * Liquor Control Commission September Underage Compliance Report
        * Rauner hits Quinn on tax hike timing
        * Taxpayer Red Alert: Quinn Doubles Down on Lame Duck Tax Hike




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