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*** UPDATED x2 *** Getting it done

Thursday, Nov 7, 2013

* Tribune

Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s effort to toughen state law for illegal use of a weapon is being watered down as the lead sponsor tries to win approval of legislation aimed at helping crack down on Chicago’s violence.

Out of the bill is a provision that first-time gun offenders serve a mandatory three-year prison sentence, a major concern of opponents who worried that a careless mistake could put an otherwise law-abiding citizen behind bars.

This isn’t a loss for Emanuel, despite the implications of that lede. It’s how things normally get done in any legislative body. The object is to pass a bill. The way one passes a bill is to compromise. Mayor Daley refused to compromise on his gun bills and as a result he rarely passed any.

Emanuel wanted a bill to pass. It could now pass, although opposition remains intense

Zalewski, a Democrat from Riverside, still heard loud criticism from a number of African-American lawmakers who argued for rehabilitation programs over incarceration.

White liberals also remain opposed, as does Toni Preckwinkle.

* Hizzoner’s take

“Dramatic increase in penalties,” Emanuel said. “So, compared to what’s on the books that was referred to by gang members as a joke, that is real stiff penalties with a clear message that you’re gonna serve time for doing the crime.”

He’s right, and he may actually pass a gun bill today (or when they return).

…Adding… I’m hearing that the governor’s liaisons are working against the bill today. No surprise there. Quinn doesn’t want that thing on his desk, for obvious political reasons.

…Adding more… The House has adjourned. So no gun vote yet, but expect one when they return.

.…Adding still more… From an advisory…

The House Black Caucus will hold a press conference in the television conference room Thursday, November 07, 2013 at ll:00 a.m. The topic of the press conference will be mandatory minimum sentencing.

This is what the press conference was about

Black members in the Illinois House have used a procedural measure to stop an anti-crime bill aimed at guns on city streets.

*** UPDATE *** The House adjourned from its fall session shortly afterward. […]

[Rep. Ken Dunkin] requested he be provided information on the bill’s effect, including its cost and impact on the prison system. The Department of Corrections did not file that information.

Zalewski could have asked the House to rule the information inapplicable — but it likely wouldn’t have worked.

*** UPDATE 2 *** From the mayor’s office…

“I am disappointed that the opponents of this legislation have chosen political stunts over peoples’ safety to delay passage of a bill that will strengthen penalties and provide a deterrent for serious gun crimes. Criminals are the only winners when procedural games are used to defer a bill that clearly has the necessary votes in both chambers of the General Assembly. When this legislation passes, it will be another important step in our comprehensive strategy to reduce violence, which includes strong and involved parenting, prevention programs for at-risk youth, policing strategies that focus resources in high-crime areas and appropriate punishments. Illegal guns drive violence and we must continue working to strengthen penalties for the dangerous criminals who are carrying illegal, loaded weapons in our communities while at the same time reducing sentences on non-violent crime.

I thank Representative Michael Zalewski and Senator Tony Munoz for their leadership on this bill, and look forward to congratulating them once it clears these legislative obstacles for a vote and eventually becomes law.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - tubbfan - Thursday, Nov 7, 13 @ 10:09 am:

    apparently not, if your feed is correct. . .

  2. - RonOglesby - Thursday, Nov 7, 13 @ 10:13 am:

    “…Adding… I’m hearing that the governor’s liaisons are working against the bill today. No surprise there. Quinn doesn’t want that thing on his desk”

    Amazing. never seen a gun bill that adds more stringent laws/penalties as something this guy wouldnt sign.

  3. - Jaded - Thursday, Nov 7, 13 @ 10:17 am:

    The funny thing is if Quinn doesn’t want the bill on his desk, you can bet it will wind up there.

  4. - otoh - Thursday, Nov 7, 13 @ 10:24 am:

    How does this bill interdict drug-gang corner-war violence? Preckwinkle may be taking a pass because it addresses that outcome, not the cause, of the shootings.

  5. - RonOglesby - Thursday, Nov 7, 13 @ 10:30 am:

    How does this bill interdict drug-gang corner-war violence? Preckwinkle may be taking a pass because it addresses that outcome, not the cause, of the shootings.

    Don’t know that it does. Other than trying to keep those bangers caught with guns off the street longer. But hey, driving into the City and seeing “Chiraq” painted all over, I really dont think they care.

  6. - downstate commissioner - Thursday, Nov 7, 13 @ 10:30 am:

    Don’t believe in mandatory sentences for first offenders-mistakes can and are are made with firearms possession-needs to be left up to judge.

  7. - MrJM - Thursday, Nov 7, 13 @ 11:13 am:

    The Mandatory Minimum Syllogism: “We must do something. This is something. Therefore, we must do this.”

    – MrJM

  8. - MrJM - Thursday, Nov 7, 13 @ 11:20 am:

    The Los Angeles Times:

    Illinois lawmakers are considering whether to require minimum *** prison sentences for unlawful possession of loaded weapons. If the proposal sounds both familiar and ominous, it should: California has been down this road, and in fact is on it still.

    It’s a road paved with fear and desperation, and it leads to a shocking diversion of public resources, prison overcrowding, unconstitutional treatment of inmates, federal court oversight and orders to suspend state laws and release felons before their full time is served. It’s a long road and can take a generation to walk — one tough-on-crime law is merely a first step — but it turns out to be a closed circle, taking weary travelers from get-tough laws like mandatory minimum sentences back again to crime, fear and overreliance on prisons. (emphasis added)

    Would it kill us to learn from California’s cruel and costly mandatory minimum mistakes?

    – MrJM

  9. - reformer - Thursday, Nov 7, 13 @ 12:31 pm:

    If the state could pay its current bills, then it might be reasonable to vote for a big increase in spending on IDOC. But with the state so deeply in debt, and with most of the temporary income tax hike scheduled to expire after next year, it’s imprudent to hike spending.

  10. - wordslinger - Thursday, Nov 7, 13 @ 2:25 pm:

    What Mr.JM said. Well done.

  11. - Peters Piece - Thursday, Nov 7, 13 @ 6:02 pm:

    My work takes me around the near west side and all over the South Side of Chicago. Was down to 75h St. today. Never have seen Chiraq painted anywhere but in art hung on the wall. Where are you seeing this? What possible relevance does this have?

  12. - RonOglesby - Thursday, Nov 7, 13 @ 6:28 pm:

    @Peters Piece
    the most obvious one (if you need to look) is just off of 55 on the on your right when heading north just before the first 94 exit. want me to hit some others? I spend a lot of time there also.

    What it has to do with this is that those that foster the environment and revel in an environment that they can re-name their city to Chiraq could care less about the gun laws. They have no FOID. Have never been legal gun owners. Whatever the mayor does (or does not do) has little to do with their life style and what crimes they will or will not commit.

  13. - wordslinger - Thursday, Nov 7, 13 @ 7:27 pm:

    –What it has to do with this is that those that foster the environment and revel in an environment that they can re-name their city to Chiraq could care less about the gun laws–

    Correct me if I’m mistaken, Ron, but I recall you writing about carrying a concealed weapon on Metra. Was that a demonstration of your respect for the law?

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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