* Big Jim is back in the limelight…
Former Gov. Jim Thompson will represent the Illinois State Police in a lawsuit challenging whether the state of Illinois can release the names of 1.3 million Illinoisans who hold state firearm owner’s identification cards.
Thompson and Matthew Carter of the Chicago law firm Winston & Strawn LLC were appointed by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan. Motions naming the two men were filed Tuesday in Peoria County Circuit Court; however, they probably wouldn’t appear in town until a May 18 status hearing.
Last month, Chief Peoria County Circuit Judge Michael Brandt allowed a temporary restraining order blocking the names’ release. The Illinois State Rifle Association and the Illinois State Police are expected to argue that any release of information will have a “chilling effect on the Second Amendment.”
“It’s not infringing on their right to bear arms. It has a chilling effect to reveal the names of FOID card owners,” Thompson said. “It will make people more hesitant to exercise their Second Amendment rights if they knew their identities would be revealed.”
* AG Madigan appointed Thompson at the request of the Illinois State Police. The move was praised by pro-gunners and analysts alike…
Richard Pearson of the Illinois State Rifle Association said the choice of Thompson is a smart one for Madigan. Noting how controversial the issue is among gun owners, he argued that if Thompson prevails nobody can accuse her of not giving opponents every chance to win.
“She has an issue that is a real political problem for her and now she’s got the best attorney to get her out of it,” he said.
Chris Mooney, a political science professor at the University of Illinois Springfield, said he didn’t believe that Madigan was looking for a political out, but agreed it was a smart move.
“She has proven time and again that she’s very savvy … and she didn’t just stumble into this,” he said.
Thompson will have an even keel who won’t go out of his way to bash the AG. Smart move.
* In related news, the SJ-R editorial board weighed in on that Guns Save Life guy who created a stir by using a Holocaust symbol to slam AG Madigan’s FOIA decision and then going off the rails when relatively mild criticism was proffered. The SJ-R noted that it sharply criticized the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals when they put up a display near the Statehouse for its national “Holocaust on Your Plate” push, and applied the same standard to this situation…
“Given the opinions of those on the political left in our society, frankly, I think a lot of people in our society would like to see gun owners either imprisoned or exterminated,” Guns Save Life president John Boch told Schoenburg.
This kind of language and symbolism is beyond inappropriate. Co-opting the Holocaust for any cause other than genocide conveys a basic lack of understanding of its true horrors, not to mention its fundamental cause. […]
Or as ADL President Abraham Foxman said regarding PETA’s infamous 2003 effort, “Rather than deepen our revulsion against what the Nazis did to the Jews, the project will undermine the struggle to understand the Holocaust and to find ways to make sure such catastrophes never happen again.”
That struggle may continue forever. So should our prohibition on using the Holocaust as a marketing tool.