Allen and I may not agree on gun control, but there's nothing wrong with having a conversation!

Allen and I may not agree on gun control, but there's nothing wrong with having a conversation!

To wit, this is a press release challenge just issued by my esteemed conservative Left, Right and You radio counterpart:
Trustee Skillicorn Says Anti-Gun Rhetoric Is Bad For Business  allen
For immediate release
January 3, 2013
East Dundee, IL
East Dundee Trustee Allen Skillicorn invites Senate President Cullerton and Senate Democratic Caucus members to meet with the owners and employees of GAT Guns in East Dundee before approving sweeping Anti-Gun regulations.
The village of East Dundee recently annexed the GAT Guns store and shooting range. Working together with the owners and the village, GAT Guns is currently expanding their shooting range and store. This expansion will lead to more jobs and more tax revenue for the village and state. This week the Senate Democratic Caucus pushed forward a vote for sweeping Anti-Gun regulations that threaten financial success of GAT Guns and the livelihoods of the 50-plus employees who work for the gun retailer.
“Not only do these regulations contradict the constitutionally protected Right to Keep and Bear Arms, they are bad for the business climate here in East Dundee and Illinois. Senator Cullerton, your rhetoric has far greater consequences than just grandstanding to your Anti-2nd Amendment special interests. Your rhetoric harms real people and businesses in our state.” Said Trustee Allen Skillicorn.
Trustee Allen Skillicorn
245 Dunridge Circle
East Dundee, IL 60118
While I’ve certainly softened my stance on gun control, and I have absolutely no problem with hunting rifles, I still say that no one needs to own anything that even approximates an assault weapon.
I also firmly believe that, while the NRA’s general actions are counterproductive to living in a civilized society, sitting down and calmly discussion the subject, as Allen suggests here, is always a worthwhile endeavor.

6 thoughts on “Allen and I may not agree on gun control, but there's nothing wrong with having a conversation!

  1. I sent this letter to the Tribune, Sens. Durbin and Kirk, and Rep. Roskam.
    NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre, in his response to the Newtown massacre, put his organization’s entire reason for being in a nutshell: “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” It’s certainly punchy and memorable. More than that, he and his organization firmly believe it’s the clinching argument, the last word on the subject. But it is both delusional and dangerous.
    Why delusional? Because it divides the world into “good guys” and “bad guys.” The truth is that, in his or her own eyes, every one of us is a “good guy,” right down to the worst of the truly bad guys. Even the most vicious gang-banger believes he has good reason to shoot, whether it’s for feeding his family or his habit, defending himself or his gang’s turf, taking revenge, or whatever. His violence is justified, in the warped workings of his mind, and that makes him a good guy. The bad guys are those who cheat him out of what is rightfully his, or treat him with disrespect. So, with no one but “good guys,” the “good guy/bad guy” distinction simply evaporates, and serves no useful purpose.
    Take it a step further: Can any of us guarantee that we will be a “good guy” in every situation? If we are honest, we know very well that we are capable of wrong perceptions, judgments, allegiances, and actions. We are fallible beings, especially when we are taken by surprise. In the blink of an eye – in an adrenalin-fueled reaction to a threat, real or imagined – we can find ourselves turned from a “good guy” into a bad guy. Police organizations and martial arts instructors take human nature into account. They spend great amounts of time and effort training their students in the control of their minds, not just their weapons. And there are many people living with regret over shooting without thinking: “If only I hadn’t had a gun handy when my son sneaked in the house that night. He’d be alive, and I wouldn’t be living a life sentence of guilt and regret.” In that father’s eyes, “Guns don’t kill people; people kill people,” another of the NRA’s mantras, is a totally pointless distinction, too.
    Why is it dangerous? Because it places the power to decide that “I’m the good guy here, and you’re the bad guy” into the hands of each person who carries a gun – even when it’s carried legally. In actuality, it makes him or her into a law unto him/herself and, in the nanosecond between alert and reaction, one who can decide to be judge, jury, and executioner.
    When I was growing up in the 1940s and ‘50s, the culture condemned this as vigilantism. We kids were told that we didn’t live in the Wild West any more; that the entire legal system, from the cop on the beat to the judge and jury in the courtroom, exists to keep people from taking the law into their own hands. We knew that, like any human institution, it has its flaws, but at least it keeps anarchy at bay.
    The claim that every citizen has the absolute right to possess firearms, even military-style assault weapons, flies in the face of that broad societal consensus that once prevailed. To be clear, hunters with their rifles and shotguns are not a problem, in my view. But there are many handgun owners, especially those who insist on concealed carry, whose actions say, by implication, “I can’t and I won’t trust anyone but myself to protect me and my family.” We’re seeing distrust of government, too often escalating to outright contempt, growing unchecked. See the militias all around the country. Down that road lies anarchy.
    With all this in mind, how can we not require strict screening of potential buyers, thorough training in handling firearms, and licensing of owners? How can we not prohibit the sale of military-style assault weapons? How can we not question the wisdom and safety of concealed carry?
    Fred Reklau
    27W174 Churchill Rd.
    Winfield, IL 60190

  2. Well Fred I respect your point of view. But, if you look at the bill that Springfield wants to pass it restricts way more than “military-style assualt weapons” any semi-auto weapon, which includes shotguns (hunting guns). As far as more laws go, look at Chicago with the strictist gun laws in the country how is that working? We had to examples of lack of inforcement in the news last week when Donnie “Dangerous” Trotter tried to take a gun thru the airport. It has a manitory jail time he will not see one day of jail time and he is in Springfield telling other that guns are the problem. And the NBC news host that held up a gun clip that is illegal to own or possess in DC carries a one year jail term. And to all those that are caught in Chicago carrying to protect their hood……they walk if caught. Enforce the laws on the books and go from there.

    1. You may “respect (my) point of view,” but you didn’t address the main points I was making. I think labeling someone else a “bad guy” and myself a “good guy” can and does go very badly wrong, too many times. Preparing yourself to take the law into your own hands — holding the power of life or death over another human being — threatens the rule of law and puts us on the road back to the Wild West. Speaking of that. . . remember the old movies where the steely-eyed marshal told all the swaggering cowpokes coming into town that they had to leave their six-shooters at his office while they were in town? And the marshal was always the hero for bringing civilization to the town!

  3. People hold the power of life or death over another human being ever day when they get behind the wheel of a car. Or,when they have way to much to drink and get behind a wheel of a car. Should we ban cars? We do ban drinking and driving and how is that working? I think it is time for government to step up and enforce the laws that are on the books! I do think that your point of some gang banger as good guy or bad guy is a little over the top but, is that gang banger permitted to carry? I think not. When that gang banger gets caught he will fall into a sytem that will say we failed him and he will be back at it again in no time. We have laws on the books NOW enforce those laws. I think most of the problems will be solved. I can’t stop here, I think the Wild West has been here for a while (506 deaths in Chicago last year) . Kane County has a smaller patrol team now then it had in 2004. While I wait for the rule of law to show up (response time on average 10 min.) the “bad guy” will be done with business and moved on in your world. Not mine, he will be on his knees crying for his Mommy.

    1. Jim:
      This will be my last go-round:
      1. Guns are for killing. Cars aren’t. And yes, enforce drunk-driving laws to the limit. If I have it right, Sweden has the right approach: Get caught with any alcohol in your system and you’ll never have a license to drive again. . . in your lifetime.
      2. I don’t know anyone who would disagree with enforcing existing gun laws vigorously. Selling guns, though, has too few controls, especially at gun shows. It should be as hard – or harder – to sell a gun as it is to own a gun legally. That just seems to be common sense.
      3. I’m guessing many Kane County judges would have an argument with you about the system’s putting gangbangers out on the street willy-nilly. Plenty of people get put away; Illinois’s prison population is very large, and growing. Look at how many jail and prisons are overcrowded.
      4, I’ll speak for myself: Before I would carry a killing machine around, I would feel an obligation to get thorough and continuing training of my physical, mental, and emotional skills – not just time on the gun range – in using that thing. I believe I would have to learn to live with being in a constant state of high alert, always suspicious of those around me. Even then, I would need to absorb the reality that I could always be taken by surprise, and I would be no better off than someone without a gun. In fact, if it’s visible on my belt, I would have to know that someone could come up behind and snatch it. And even if i tried to react and get mine out, the bad guy would already have the drop on me. And I would have to recognize that adrenaline would flood my system, fuzzing my brain and giving me the shakes, so bad that there’s very little chance I could hit a barn door. Maybe you’ll say that none of that of that applies to you. All I can say is: You’re human, too.
      And that’s what I’m counting on – your humanity. As a Christian (a retired Lutheran pastor), I’ll do my standard sign-off when I write e-mails (and it’s meant vey sincerely): PEACE, brother.

  4. When the choice is my family or some dirt bag my hand will be real smooth. As far as cars don’t kill people really………how many deaths due to drunk driving? Both guns and cars are nothing more than tools. It is the people who misuses the tools that is the problem.
    Fred God Bless.

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