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Quinn wants assault weapons ban passed in January

Tuesday, Dec 18, 2012 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Well, you knew this would be coming

Gov. Pat Quinn says the time for an assault weapons ban in Illinois is now.

The Chicago Democrat says the shooting in Connecticut, particularly the loss of so many children, should appeal to people’s consciences. A gunman left 20 children and six adults dead at an elementary school.

He said Monday at an unrelated event in Chicago that he has reached out to top lawmakers and sponsors of a proposed assault weapons ban. The governor says lawmakers should consider the ban when they reconvene for the lame duck session in January.

* Listen to the governor speak about what he believes is the urgency of a ban on assault weapons and on high capacity ammunition clips…

* Gov. Quinn will, of course, have opposition from within his own party

“What happened in Connecticut was not a concealed-carry issue, it was an evil person,” said Rep. Brandon Phelps, a Harrisburg Democrat who is the General Assembly’s chief sponsor of conceal-and-carry legislation. “How do you stop that?” […]

Democratic Rep. Frank Mautino, D-Spring Valley, contended that when Quinn used amendatory veto powers to rewrite a somewhat innocuous ammunition bill to ban assault weapons, lawmakers voted overwhelmingly against him in a tally that was “predominantly a vote on the issue” of assault weapons.

I disagree with Mautino. I think a lot of people voted to override because they wanted to send a message to Quinn about rewriting bills the way he did. However, it’s been clear for some time now that a majority does not exist - without a whole lot of luck and work - on an assault weapons ban. If it did, it would’ve probably passed a while ago.

* The Illinois State Rifle Association issued a press release on Sunday anticipating this move by Quinn

In this case, it may be said that gun control “worked.” Denied legal access to firearms, the deranged killer murdered a legal firearm owner, stole several of the victim’s guns, and exacted his idea of revenge against nearly 30 innocent people. The pieces of the equation that did not work were the social institutions that are supposed to prevent mentally ill individuals from becoming a menace to themselves and others.

Of course, the gun control movement is trying to sell the notion that the Newtown crimes somehow share a direct link to the free exercise of 2nd Amendment rights. The gun controllers would have the public believe that the killer was just a typical “gun guy” and that every gun owner represents a spree killing just waiting to happen.

Such is the logic that will fuel the gun control movement’s latest onslaught against your gun rights. As you read this message, gun-grabbers like Pat Quinn, Rahm Emanuel, and Michael Bloomberg are formulating legislation that would result in the banning and confiscation of nearly every firearm you own.

In the days and weeks ahead, you will hear a lot of talk about the need for a dialog on so called “gun violence” as well as a need for compromise to seek common ground on gun ownership. Don’t be confused. Such talk is just meant to soften you up for a serious curtailment of your right to keep and bear arms.

You, the law-abiding Illinois firearm owner, may rest assured that the Illinois State Rifle Association will be standing firm to preserve and protect your gun rights. We absolutely will not allow you to be lumped in with psychopathic murderers. The ISRA will not allow you to take it on the chin because liberal social engineers have created a climate where we are expected to learn to live with sociopaths rather than forcing the sociopaths to live by our rules.

Likewise, the ISRA will not engage in any “dialog” in which lawful firearm owners are expected to accept blame for what happened last week in Connecticut. We will not be party to any sort of “compromise” that limits free exercise of your 2nd Amendment rights nor limits the types or numbers of firearms that you may own. At this time, the only thing we’re really interested in discussing is the immediate passage of concealed carry in Illinois as per the recent court order.

Discuss, but try to take a deep breath before you comment today. Like yesterday, I don’t have a lot of time to monitor comments today because I’m giving a speech to the City Club. But I will check in and I will only have time to delete you and ban you if you get out of line.


  1. - Sir Reel - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 8:53 am:

    A semi automatic rifle with a 30 round mag can mean a much higher mortality than a bolt action rifle with a 5 round mag. When will IRA respond to this fact instead of jumping directly to gun ownership?

  2. - LINK - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 8:55 am:

    Put aside the pro versus anti gun dialogue, the primary issue that continues to be passed over since the late 70’s is captured in this sentence, ” The pieces of the equation that did not work were the social institutions that are supposed to prevent mentally ill individuals from becoming a menace to themselves and others.”

    Whether this individual was in fact struggling with “issues”, we need to do a better job when it comes to dealing with mental illness and health. How we accomplish this should be a national dialogue….IMHO.

  3. - ZC - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 8:57 am:

    “the social institutions that are supposed to prevent mentally ill individuals from becoming a menace to themselves and others.” Possibly created by the machinations of “liberal social engineers [who] have created a climate where we are expected to live with sociopaths rather than forcing the sociopaths to live by our rules.”

    Anyone want to take a stab at what the heck the NRA is insinuating here? I think it’s vague enough to run the range from partially defensible to wildly offensive - and empty of substance enough for rank and file members to pick and choose whatever they want it to mean.

  4. - Smitty Irving - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 8:58 am:

    ISRA is wrong on two counts. First, we can have the best mental health system, but as long as there are people like Derek Potts, an adult schizophrenic who legally refused medications, stole a gun from a business, and killed a State Capitol Security Guard, mentally ill people will get their hands on weapons.

    Second, I would like ISRA to explain in a policy statement, or, better yet, Brandon Phelps to explain as “legislative intent” on the floor of the House why a private citizen needs a weapon with far greater lethality than the weapons our Infantry Soldiers and Marines used to defeat the Nazis and Imperial Japan.

  5. - TooManyJens - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 9:00 am:

    “Denied legal access to firearms, the deranged killer murdered a legal firearm owner, stole several of the victim’s guns, and exacted his idea of revenge against nearly 30 innocent people.”

    He murdered her with a firearm, so he obviously had access to at least one. There are a lot of failures here, but I would think one is that she was not required to store her firearms in a sufficiently secure manner.

  6. - Loop Lady - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 9:02 am:

    Let’s do it…this is not a knee jerk reaction…
    like I saw online yesterday, one shoe bomber at an airport is the reason everyone takes their shoes off before boarding a plane…banning these weapons and ammo will go along way to preventing this type of massacre that took place in 3 minutes…it will not eliminate gun violence, but this just makes sense after the events of last week…I agree that mental health services and access are lacking but banning these weapons is not going to greatly infringe upon the right to bear arms…

  7. - Ray del Camino - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 9:05 am:

    Pretty quick and mostly thoughtless lashing-out by the gun manufacturers’ lobby. How they can believe in their heads that an AR-15 is no different from my duck gun is beyond me. No way that kid, or his mom, ought to have access to a modified assault weapon like that. Period. I hope they lose this time.

  8. - Michael B - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 9:11 am:

    CT had an “assault weapons” ban. There already is a federal ban on guns in schools. This evil doer in CT broke 10’s of laws - laws do not help. All of the commenters and legislators that think a gun ban will save us from these evil doers are just pandering to their donors. Solving the mental health issue (like NOT closing state hospitals for those that should be kept out of society) should be the focus of this conversation.

  9. - western illinois - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 9:11 am:

    Actually the gun manufacturer -mostly owned by state pension funds-is bailing….

  10. - Give Me A Break - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 9:12 am:

    Keep in mind, the individual in Connecticut is said to have been treated for Augsburg Syndrome, a form of Autism. This is not a mental illness but developmental disability. The media for some reason can’t understand that at least in the case of Augsburg, this is not a mental health issue. Any legislation crafted that only impacts the MH Code, would not address this issue.

    I’m not sure why the media can’t seem to get this correct, but to continue talk about this person’s mental illness is like saying someone has cancer when they really have blood pressure.

  11. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 9:13 am:

    The ISRA is just making stuff up.

    Can they point out how and when the Connecticut shooter was “denied legal access to firearms?” He went shooting at ranges with his mother.

    And how were “social institutions” to prevent him from taking the AR 15 and hundreds of rounds that his mother had in their shared home? Did the gun owner have no responsibility in securing the weapons from her “deranged” son?

    And please share with us where anyone has called Lanza a “typical gun guy.”

    Finally, what does the phrase “so-called gun violence” mean?

    The ISRA should take the lead in this debate, as far as I’m concerned.

    How about a press release tomorrow explaining the virtues of 30-round clips?

  12. - amalia - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 9:17 am:

    Newtown is America’s Dunblane. after the mass murder of tiny children in a school in Scotland, gun laws changed dramatically in Britain. I don’t feel safer because I can purchase a gun and a clip so I can deliver dozens of bullets in seconds. I also don’t feel it serves my freedom as a citizen of the U.S.A. it threatens my freedom. ban them.

  13. - RNUG - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 9:26 am:


    I don’t know if they have established it as fact, but the media reported the CT shooter attempted to buy a rifle in the days before and was deterred by the 2 week waiting period (for people who do not have a CT pistol permit which is limited to age 21 minimum).

    From there the stories went on to theorize (since the only people that would know are dead) that is why he stole the guns he used.

    I assume that story is the basis for the “legal denial” claim.

  14. - elginkevin - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 9:28 am:

    Can we please stop calling magazines clips? Clips are for loading magazines.

    An effective AWD needs to specify which firearms are not allowed based on what they can do (rate of fire, etc) not what they look like (black and scary).

  15. - Erik - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 9:30 am:

    Those who scream 2nd amendment rights as a standalone defense to the right to own firearms, in my opinion, need to take a breath and realize the evolution of guns and society. Having said that, should an individual meet the modern day requirements for firearm ownership, said individual should have the right to purchase and own whatever the law permits. Period. I respect the feelings of those outraged with the damage done last week, as well as in the past. Senseless death to adults and children occur daily. Deaths by drunk drivers, cancer, poverty…the list can go on. All senseless deaths which it would seem as a society we could find ways to combat. While respecting those who scream for reform on the guns, I cannot wrap my mind around their arguments. I don’t disagree with those who say, “there would be less death if he didn’t have such a powerful weapon.” That is most likely. But the single act of violence, of terror, still exists. The gun didn’t initiate that act of violence. An individual set that day in motion. I agree with the first post: The owner of the firearms failed, in an epic manner, by having those guns available and not properly stored (locked). Ladies and gentlemen, I subscribe to a notion I believe applies for most everything in life. I believe an individual, solely, is responsible for his or her actions. In this case, the mother failed to store the weapons properly. She allowed the opportunity to surface. And her son, as an individual, committed this act of violence. Reform is needed, possibly, with how we license weapons to individuals. But last I checked, bullets shot one at a time or in rapid succession have the same impact. And the bullet doesn’t have a finger, the person holding the weapon does. A pundit said it best: Guns aren’t going anywhere. They’ve been around for a long time and will continue to be around. They aren’t the problem.

  16. - 1776 - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 9:45 am:

    The shooter tried to buy a weapon three days before the shooting and was denied because if CT’s waiting period. Therefore he was legally denied a weapon.

    As noted earlier, Connecticut already has an assault weapons ban and some of the strictest laws in the nation. They didn’t work.

    The debate really needs to be on mental health, waiting period for all purchases including gun shows, and potentially a limit on clip size. The gun owners cannot say you are “taking their guns” away - only limiting amount of ammo in a clip. Doesn’t impede on sportsmen, hunters , etc.

  17. - Lester Holt's Mustache - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 9:50 am:

    I have no problem with re-instituting bans for high capacity clips, “assault weapons” such as the Bushmaster AR-15 that was used in this instance, and so on….but what do we do about the millions of these guns and clips that are already here in America that people legally own? How exactly are we going to “ban them”?

    I could be wrong, but it seems to me that the type of folks who would own this style of weapon wouldn’t be interested in a government “buy-back” program.

  18. - zatoichi - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 9:53 am:

    “That’s a Smith & Wesson, and you’ve had your six.” James Bond in ‘Dr. No’. Nice sound bite in a movie, but make that an AR-15 with a 30 round clip and it hits ludicrious proportions.

    This entire episode will be finger pointing. It’s guns. It’s mental health services and funding. It’s parental control. It’s constitutional rights. It’s protection from something that may never happen. It’ll be politicians with carefully worded statements. It’ll be the tinfoil crowd convinced the UN is taking over the world. It’ll be school security systems that allow someone to slip in the door. To me, (outside of the military/police) what value does a 30 round clip have to anyone? Hunters? Target shooters? None I know of. The clips only purpose is to hold enough bullets to kill people. I have no idea how you control guns from people who really want them. Laws have not stopped criminals and black markets.

  19. - anon sequitor - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 9:58 am:

    Can you support the 2nd Amendment and take a stand against illegal guns? I believe you can. I wish the ISRA believed that too.

    I grew up with guns, was an NRA member, enjoyed hunting, and still enjoy an occasional trip to the firing range. But I am also appalled by the gun violence in America. How can we stop it, if not with the help of the ISRA and other gun advocates?

    Stand up and help us get illegal guns off the street and out of the hands of criminals or other dangerous persons. Help us close down the gun dealers who skirt the law. Help us write a rational gun policy in America.

    Protect your 2nd Amendment rights by helping to get the bad guys off the street. Find a way to self-police the industry and eliminate the bad apples. Turning a blind eye to this violence is not protecting your 2nd Amendment Rights.

  20. - langhorne - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 10:02 am:

    the GA “-ducks” will be in session for only a few days. how many issues can be the top priority? i expect the speaker will dutifully ask committees to meet and consider the urgent bills and latest amendments, and only the chosen will make it to the floor.

  21. - Bemused - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 10:03 am:

    I give PQ an E for effort. This will be a hot debate topic in the short term but I see little chance of change.

    As has been said by others about the only real way to turn some of this stuff around is to change the High Court.

    Something else that could shake things up is for some clever lawyer to get a large judgement against the Gun Manufacturers and or Gun Owners. If the Insurance rates to have this type of weapon and ammo in your possession goes thru the roof it will change things. If you do not secure your weapon and it is used in a crime you pay. Oh and the way Insurance works everyone else pays so the Insurance company can protect itself against a big loss.

    Yes I know we are now getting into gun registration and let’s hear the howls on that one.

  22. - Confused - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 10:03 am:

    “How about a press release tomorrow explaining the virtues of 30-round clips”

    How about a press release tomorrow explaining the virtues of Mein Kampf and Mao’s Little Red Book. (Both easily purchased across state lines over the Internet without waiting periods or quantity limits).

  23. - Cheryl44 - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 10:10 am:

    Asperger’s not Ausberg’s Syndrome. Which has nothing to do with anything, since there were other things going on with this kid. People with autism aren’t (generally) angry and violent.

    The guys who wrote and voted on what would be in the Constitution and Bill of Rights would have been hanged as traitors had the Revolution gone the other way. So yes, I can see their point about having citizens armed and ready to take on the government. That was over 200 years ago. I don’t think we need to worry about the government turning on the people anymore. Besides, it if did, your semi-automatic isn’t going to be much help against the tanks and the helicopters.

  24. - JoeVerdeal - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 10:16 am:

    Unfortunately, the only way to actually cure this problem is to deter the shooter. The only way to do this is to allow schools to actually defend their students and staff members.

    It is not possible to eliminate every weapon that can be used to do harm. It is not possible to detect and lock up every psychopath that has potential to attack others. We cannot know who these people are with any real certainty.

    The only thing that will actually work is to allow everyone in our society the opportunity to defend themselves. We also must allow schools, churches and other institutions that are currently exposed and vulnerable to become less so.

    It might give our politicians an appearance that suggests that they are trying to change things for the better by eliminating various classes of weaponry…….but even the most radical “anti-gun” advocate must surely know that what he is advocating will actually change nothing.

    We must trust our educators with the tools to actually STOP this sort of threat. They will either be armed…..or nothing will change.

  25. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 10:34 am:

    –How about a press release tomorrow explaining the virtues of Mein Kampf and Mao’s Little Red Book. (Both easily purchased across state lines over the Internet without waiting periods or quantity limits).–

    Confused (good handle, by the way), I’d recommend that everyone read “Mein Kampf,” “The Little Red Book,” and ISRA press releases.

    All are very revealing, informative and helpful in making choices.

  26. - Sideliner - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 10:39 am:

    The high cap magazines, and the ability to buy ammo on-line, should be addressed. When did it become okay to ship live ammo, essentially unsupervised, to unknowns?

    I watched an AEI guy talk about how shooters and gun-free zones tend to line up and there might be a connection there, that the killers intentionally go where there are lots of people that probably will not be shooting back.

    I use a trigger lock on my Freedom Arms 97 (a spectacular weapon BTW)and keep it in a locked safe. A friend suggested, and I would probably buy, a fingerprint lock, if one existed. I am not a member of the NRA or ISRA, but do range and match shoot, as well as hunt, and get all their mailers. All. The. Time.

  27. - Plutocrat03 - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 10:45 am:

    “modified assault weapon like that”

    What modifications are you talking about? All I am aware of is the use of expanded capacity magazines. Looking at the old, expired Federal ban, it was largely based on cosmetics as opposed to performance. Any new ban should be based on what the weapon can do, rather than whether it has a bayonet mount or a flash suppressor.

  28. - siriusly - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 10:46 am:

    I give Quinn credit here for pushing this right now. His political timing is normally awful and his political intuition is normally not good either.

    This time, he’s pushing an issue that he’s already on the record with and has credibility and he’s doing it at the proper moment.

  29. - Cheswick - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 10:54 am:

    The gun lobby and gun people are saying a lot of things like “schools and teachers must do this and that,” and “mental health must be this and that.” What we don’t hear from the gun lobby and gun people is what the gun lobby and gun people must do, except dig in and resist any changes that would be imposed on them.

  30. - Pot calling kettle - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 11:01 am:

    ==In this case, it may be said that gun control “worked.” Denied legal access to firearms, the deranged killer murdered a legal firearm owner, stole several of the victim’s guns, and exacted his idea of revenge against nearly 30 innocent people.==

    What is the take away from this statement? That if the “deranged killer” had been able to buy his own guns, none of this would have happened? It has always been my understanding that the ISRA and NRA support denying such people legal access to firearms. Even in the perfect ISRA-NRA gun environment, this guy would have had to proceed in the same way.

    Actually, if there were effective gun control, there would have been no firearms to take, and no reason to murder the owner. And the argument that CT’s gun laws clearly don’t work is certainly true, but how can they if the buyer can drive next door and buy a gun?

    But what I find especially ironic about this quote is that the that the ISRA and NRA typically argue that the gun owner is safer because they can protect themselves with their guns. That is clearly not the case here.

  31. - Confused - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 11:15 am:

    “Actually, if there were effective gun control, there would have been no firearms to take, and no reason to murder the owner.”

    You’re comfortable asserting that the only reason Lanza killed his mother was to gain access to her firearms?

  32. - Pot calling kettle - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 11:36 am:

    ==You’re comfortable asserting that the only reason Lanza killed his mother was to gain access to her firearms?==

    No, I was commenting on the ISRA’s absurd statement quoted at the top of my comment.

  33. - The truth teller - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 11:44 am:

    There already is a war on drugs. Its doing so well, lets start a war on guns too. Oh wait, Illinosi has its own little war on guns going on. Working well in Chicago right now isn’t it?

  34. - TooManyJens - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 11:47 am:

    Actually, if we treated both drugs and guns rationally, with proper health and safety regulation, instead of trying to lock up all drug users and let anyone run around with any gun they please with no training or oversight, we’d be a lot better off. No “wars,” just sense.

  35. - Confused - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 11:50 am:

    “let anyone run around with any gun they please with no training or oversight”

    Are you referring to Vermont, Arizona, Wyoming, and Alaska?

  36. - Just Observing - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 12:03 pm:

    === I don’t think we need to worry about the government turning on the people anymore. Besides, it if did, your semi-automatic isn’t going to be much help against the tanks and the helicopters. ===

    Without trying to sound too tin-foil hatish, I disagree. That has been the mindset of society forever, yet history repeatedly proves that “government” routinely turn on their own. Many Jews in Europe refused to believe things could get any worse for them. They too were living in a relatively civil, sophisticated, cultured society — even when word started to spread of the atrocities, many Jews refused to believe it, it was unthinkable. I’m not saying the fall of our society and government is around the corner… it may be 500 years from now… but, if history is our guide, it will happen.

    And, before I get attacked as a quack… let it be known I am not a gun owner and I am not stockpiling for the fall of our government. I’m merely using history as a guide.

  37. - olddog - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 12:09 pm:

    With the recent appellate court decision striking down concealed carry, the General Assembly has fewer than 180 days to revisit Illinois’ gun reglations and enact a reasonable policy that meets the U.S. Supreme Court’s new interpretation of the Constitution. ISRA’s hateful, divisive rhetoric about “psychopaths” and “liberal social engineers” just makes it a little more difficult to do that.

  38. - Nuance - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 12:13 pm:

    I am not against a ban on assault weapons, but do not be deceived and think that solves the problem. It would be easy to construct your own magazine that will hold however many rounds you want with commonly available materials. Plus you can do about the same amount of evil with multiple magazines with a lower number of rounds. He had all the time in the world to change magazines and keep firing. Do you really think there would be fewer killed if the magazine only held 15 rounds? There needs to be more than gun control on the table for sure.

  39. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 12:25 pm:

    –Its doing so well, lets start a war on guns too–

    There are close to 300 million private firearms in the United States, and you see a war on guns?

  40. - Small Town Liberal - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 12:29 pm:

    Nuance - With all due respect, I think you and a lot of others are missing the point. Do we know for sure whether or not smaller magazines would decrease the casualties? No. But do you know for sure that they wouldn’t?

    The point, to me anyway, is that if there’s a chance that this would decrease casualties, and there’s no good reason that law abiding gunowners need larger magazines, why not make them illegal? Where’s the harm?

  41. - grand old partisan - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 12:35 pm:

    I’m a strong supporter of the 2nd Amendment and concealed carry, but by claiming that the Newton massacre somehow demonstrates the success of CT’s gun control regime, the ISRA has completely lost any and all credibility. Which is unfortunate, because they are 100% right in the next sentence, in which they rightfully describe this as – at least partially – a failure of mental health policy. In my mind, the NRA and ACLU are both equally culpable for the policy failures that made it possible for this murdered to act on his twisted impulses.

  42. - Ken_in_Aurora - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 12:46 pm:

    === ISRA’s hateful, divisive rhetoric about “psychopaths” and “liberal social engineers” just makes it a little more difficult to do that. ===

    As opposed to the hateful, divisive rhetoric being spewed here and elsewhere against gun owners?

    I’m no fan of ISRA and feel whoever writes their press releases has a mouth tailor made for a foot to live in. The assumption that ISRA speaks for all shooters in this state is silly.

    And I wish everyone would get over the whole “NRA = industry tool” thing. NRA is a member organization made up of millions of shooters, not a trade group.

  43. - Happy Returns - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 1:01 pm:

    ” Besides, it if did, your semi-automatic isn’t going to be much help against the tanks and the helicopters.”

    If tanks and helicopters were the ultimate hedge against small arms, Afghanistan and Iraq would have gone a lot smoother.

  44. - scream - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 1:27 pm:

    Who is screaming the loudest about the so called assault weapon ban. Pat Quinn, Rahm Emanuel, and Michael Bloomberg!!! All three have a full time ARMED taxpayer paid security force!!! Are they that afraid of law abiding citizens, they feel the need to ban weapons.

  45. - steve schnorf - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 1:51 pm:

    scream, that’s a really helpful insight, and a good example of why many pro-gun types are viewed as rather, uh, different. You aren’t helping your cause, you’re hurting it. Remember, many people think of you as gun NUTS: stop helping them.

  46. - NW Illinois - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 2:07 pm:

    Concealed carry of handguns for upstanding members of the community, that’s ok. But the time has come to ban assault weapons, high-yield magazines and close gun-show loopholes that allow 40 percent of gun sales to elude background checks. Pass those three reforms, but allow conceal carry. The NRA and ISRA would be brilliant to jump on that bandwagon.

  47. - Mexico - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 2:10 pm:

    How many people have died and are dieing daily in Mwxico with Fast and furious guns. Thousands of assault weapons where allowed to be sold illeagaly to the drug cartels nnd sent to Mexico. Who allowed this to happen? This gun running was permitted by the United States government. Thousands of people are dieing in Mexico each year by guns that are banned in Mexico.

  48. - dupage dan - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 2:17 pm:

    NW Illinois. Can you point to an instance in recent public memory where the changes you wish to put into place would have prevented the tragedies? You can perhaps make the point that there would be less firepower present with smaller magazines and the like. Can you point to a situation where a gun show sale with no background check resulted in a massacre? I think these things should be discussed. As a gun owner, I am concerned that no background checks occur at gun shows. Sure, the waiting period is maintained but I think it would not be too hard or onerous to have a clearing center at each gun show so that sellers could get up to date info on a buyer. We have the technology - why not? Banning AWs would, I think, have little impact on the landscape. Not for a long time, anyway. Unless you wish to ban them completely and include confiscation of current private stock. The result of such an attempt would, I think, not go well. The NRA lobby, and private citizens, would take a dim view of that.

  49. - Confused - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 2:38 pm:

    I just remembered that I bought a case of 30 round magazines a few years ago. So, I’ve changed my mind about the high capacity magazine ban as long as mine a per grandfathered in like they were in the 90s. That just might balance out my recent portfolio losses on Apple stock.

  50. - Skirmisher - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 2:59 pm:

    As a life-long shooters, friends of mine and I have noticed a significant change in shooting since the Gen-X, “gaming” generation have grown up. These people are rarely interested in the sorts of marksmanship shooting sports of previous generations. They turn up on the range with Glock semi-autos and police-type silhouette targets, and blast away at them as fast as they can at very close range. It is “gaming” with real bullets, and it has caused us older guys a lot of discomfort. It isn’t just the availability of more firepower: There is also an ugly cultural thing at work here, and it squarely in middle-class America. You can’t try to address the one issue without confronting the other. Incidentally, I saw a bumper sticker last week that read “My gamer fragged your honor student”. That pretty well sums up the cultural disfunction, doesn’t it?

  51. - Bemused - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 2:59 pm:


    I think the IED and RPG are more of an issue to the folks in the war zones than light arms. Is the RPG covered under the 2A. You know it could be used to take out prairie dogs.

    As far as I know the AR-15 did not work well against FBI much less the rest of the Armed Forces.

  52. - Confused - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 3:06 pm:

    “I think the IED and RPG are more of an issue to the folks in the war zones than light arms.”

    Um, getting hit with a 7.62mm round will definitely ruin your day. Even if more of your buddies are getting killed with IEDs. An H-60 tail rotor gear box feels the same way.

    Just sayin’.

  53. - Nuance - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 3:11 pm:

    STL - Whether or not there would be fewer casualties does not change the fact that there would still be too many. I know some shooters who can unload and reload a new magazine quicker than I can think. The fact still remains that a magazine of high-capacity can be easily made by someone does not care to break to law and has evil intent.

  54. - Confused - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 3:11 pm:

    That said, which is it? An AR-15 is the most powerful weapon ever deployed by any armed force anywhere and must be banned? Or is it a hyped up .22 that can’t be counted on to do more than kill a Prairie Dog? Choose a side and I’ll argue for my constitutional right to keep and bear one regardless. Even if you don’t think I really truly totally certifiably (by Pat Quinn) need one.

  55. - Nuance - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 3:15 pm:

    STL - I meant to add that a high capacity magazine can probably be created using duct tape and a file.

  56. - Skirmisher - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 4:01 pm:

    Actually, Nuance, my experience is that it is easier to make a functional machinegun than a reliable high-capacity magazine. Magazines are tricky. Not saying you can’t make them, but the average screwball probably can’t do it. Limiting magazine capacity to the 8-9 rounds common to World War one and World War Two era semi-autos won’t stop nutters from trying to do mayhem but it would at least slow them down.

  57. - amalia - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 4:04 pm:

    @ Skirmisher…..great and scary post. bumper sticker is chilling.

  58. - The Ghost in The Darkness - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 4:11 pm:

    When is anyone going to look at the FBI crime statistics? For the year 2011 in Illinois (1) one person was killed with a rifle, type unknown. However 29 people were killed with knives or cutting instruments, and 17 people died by beaten to death by hands or fists. Now with that said which one is more dangerous. What is Quinn (who has ARMED bodyguards) going after next? Your hunting knife, steak knife or fishing knife, how about your hands as both kill more people in this state than rifles do. But do the checking yourself the tables are on the FBI website.

  59. - Irish - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 4:18 pm:

    I wanted to comment yesterday but decided not to. I needed to take a breath after seeing the response of some people to this unbelievable tragedy. I did not want to become another of those who have jumped into the fray spouting their partisan, political, organizational, babble and bumper sticker slogans, professing their group’s doctrine.

    This was a terrible tragedy that befell beautiful young innocents and their teachers that was committed by a young lost soul. I find the response of those who refer to the shooter as unconscionable evil or a deranged killer to be thoughtless and misguided. Amyone who has struggled with a loved one who has mental issues knows there are no easy solutions. And our government, whether it be state or federal, is not much help. I would guess that this is not something this young man did eagerly or looked forward to. Instead of using the loss of these beautiful young lives to crank out more support for a particular side of a political debate we should be more focused on how this young man got to the point in his life where he felt this was necessary. The tool he used should not be more important than why he used it.

    Yes, this should start a debate, and yes it should raise awareness. But the discussion should be about treatment of mental illness and how we can do a better job of it. Because that is the real issue here. And until we get serious about that we will continue to have massacres like this one. Guns have been around for hundreds of years. Gun laws have not changed much in the last five years. Yet mass shootings have increased exponentially. Something is going on in our society that is causing this. So do we want to debate gun contol and assault weapons or do we really want to solve the problem?

    It is typical that our governor would jump into the fray demanding a ban on assault rifles rather than asking for solutions to the poor mental health care that is so prevelant in our society. Isn’t this the same governor who is in the process of closing more institutions that treat the mentally ill? Oh, but that would be much more difficult to try to solve the treatment of the mentally ill than to spout off about assault weapons. And we in Illinois Government don’t tackle tough problems we just ignore them or misdirect your attention. We will put the mentally ill out in the street and leave their care to the private organizations, you know the ones we are not reimbursing, cause that is also too hard.

    Everybody in no one left out right? Well not really, if including you means it is going to be difficult, then never mind.

  60. - The Ghost in The Darkness - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 4:56 pm:

    Great comment Irish! You are absolutely right, no one wants to address the mental health in this state or country. Quinn’s great plan to continue to fund Chicago is to close prison, youth, and mental health facilities. Additionally, to let the less violent offenders out. By the way Quinn how did that workout when you did it. A big problem is we expose these young people to extremely violent movies and video games. Parents think it is OK. The kids kill a zombie or a terrorist on a game and tomorrow he gets to kill the same people again. They do not have the ability to differentiate reality from fantasy. The other thing that has happened in America is we have taken GOD out of our schools as it might offend someone.

  61. - Skirmisher - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 4:58 pm:

    All the talk of banning “assault weapons” comes from persons who simply have no idea as to what an “assault weapon” actually is. What they really want to ban is anything that has a remotely modern, frightening appearance, and that does nothing to solve the problem. I rather think, however, that an absolute, no exceptions, limitation on magazine capacity (In particular detacheable magazines)is feasible and has considerable legal precedent. Hunters have been limited for decades to a capacity of three shot shells in a shotgun, for instance, and while the arms themselves are Constitutionally protected, regulation of magazine capacity in the interest of public safety appears to me to be well outside Constitutional protection. Moreover, having high capacity magazines permanently altered to a lower capacity is an easy fix. Forget the idiotic “assault weapons” ban and go for a limitation on magazine capacity, and make it a felony to be in violation. Apply those limits to the police also. They are civilian, public employees, folks, not military!

  62. - amalia - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 5:25 pm:

    @Irish, I don’t know what reports you are hearing, but almost all of them I hear talk about a three part solution to the problem, mental health help, more regulations on weapons, doing something about the film and video game violence that Skirmisher references. It is absolutely not just about mental illness. that is not what causes the shooting of small children in Englewood. and we must care about that too.

    and we certainly cannot blame the shooting in Newtown on the condition of Asperger’s. I know a PROFESSOR who is socially awkward because of Asperger’s, and brilliant, and wonderful. and I’m weeping for what he must think if he is watching the news with all of the misinformation about the condition. not everyone with every mental condition becomes violent just as not everyone who is poor is shooting up the poor neighborhood in which they live.

    and that is why the three part solution is being discussed. not one part, or two, but three. and probably more.

  63. - Just The Way It Is One - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 6:55 pm:

    It’s out of control, and been so for quite some time now. Gov. Quinn is right on this one, folks. We had a Federal Ban for 10 years–Congress must act once again. Even the NRA admitted it’s ready to make some concessions. The time is ripe and right. And we need to update Illinois’ mental health records to do our best to keep guns out of at least clearly unstable individual’s hands, like Lanza

  64. - Jeeper - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 7:57 pm:

    An AW ban will; not work; we’ve tried it before. Further, the more “military” the weapons you want to ban are, the more the likely 2A prevents you. See Miller v US (1939).

    Lanza was not technically “mentally ill” unless he had some mental illness to go with his Asperger’s (autism).

    The court has already ruled that films and video games are protected by 1A.

    Nearly everything I’ve read on this thread falls into one or more of the three preceding suggestions, none of which appears to have a legal hope of surviving a court challenge.

    Quinn may want an assault weapon ban passed in January but we already know it won’t have the effect he so publicly desires. So, why waste the time debating it and maybe passing it just to lose it in court?

    Why not do something that will - maybe - work, instead?

  65. - Anon. - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 9:05 pm:

    After the Governor gets everything he has proposed accomplished in the first week of January, what will there be left for the new General Assembly to do?

    The courts will hold much, if not all, of what he’s proposing to be unconstitutional, and the General Assembly will have to pick up the pieces then, but that won’t happen until months or years from now.

  66. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 9:11 pm:

    Irish is right, but IMHO, the first priority should be the economy. It seems to be frightening the bejesus out of many and some are responding in highly unusual and often terrifying ways (e.g., in an indirect way, the profilers studying the shooting seem to have already pointed to same in that incident).

    With regard to stats, it’d be interestig to see whether suicides, murders, attempted murders, and physicial and emotional abuse go up or down when the economy is in the crapper. Assuming the numbers go up, it’d also be interesting to see trending throughout a period like the Great Depression to ID peaks and valleys (and potential causes for same)–and then see whether anyone’s done any comparisons between that period and the one we’re in now (and based on projections for the next say, five years).

    Again, if violence rises fairly substantially during tough economic periods, and people today (as some seem to believe) are generally more agressive and/or “agitated” than they were back then (for whatever reasons), that could be quite troubling and I’m not sure that “mental health” programs will help. (Who would have thought that the guys who jumped out their windows because they lost their investments during the Depression were capable and what about the thousands of others who followed suit that year? It’s also well known that serial killers and mass murderers don’t always kill to hurt someone.)

  67. - elkhunter - Wednesday, Dec 19, 12 @ 7:44 am:

    Actully the ar-15 is a beautiful gun.There is no gun like it.I bought one to take camping to plink with and just to blow off 30 shots at a cliff.My grandkids shoot it and love it.I also have my hunting rifles in 300 mag and 243 and to tell you the truth i wouldnt want any of these guns after me.But i dont have to worry about any of my guns harming people.Because guns dont have brains,but the person in control does.Get it.Its the brain not the gun!

  68. - TooManyJens - Wednesday, Dec 19, 12 @ 9:30 am:

    ==But i dont have to worry about any of my guns harming people.==

    The thing is, Nancy Lanza probably thought the same thing.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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