Wednesday, March 30, 2011

RTC gets even more support!

Just listened to Todd Vandermyde (NRA lobbyist for IL) on Cam & Company and he says that HB 148 (Family and Personal Protection Act, AKA Firearms - Concealed Carry) got a nice bit of support today from the Illinois Chief of Police Association.

The Chiefs Association had shown some support earlier in the month but did ask for a small change or two in the bill, sounds like the main one being "duty to inform". This means that a person with a concealed carry permit must tell an officer that they are armed during a traffic stop, etc. 

Apparently some of the Chicago area Chiefs, who don't typically attend the Chiefs meetings, arrived in efforts to sway the vote...but it didn't work. Rumor has it that the Chicago Machine is running around like their hair is on fire! 

So, for the record, HB 148 now has the support of the following police organizations: 

So far the ISP remain neutral. 

Don't think the battle is won though, stay on the phones, write emails and letters....try to get YOUR elected officials to support and co-sponsor HB 148! If they already do, THANK them! 

My thanks to the the law enforcement agencies listed above for standing up for what's right and just. 

Monday, March 28, 2011

Last gasp?

Well folks, the rumor is that anti-gunner extraordinaire Anita Alvarez (Cook county SA) has a press conference scheduled for tomorrow (Tues. March 29). This woman is a dyed-in-the-wool "true believer" in taking guns out of the hands of everyone in this country and she admits it. She is so rigid in her belief that she openly states that no one, in her opinion, should be allowed to own a firearm for any reason. At least we know where she stands on the issue, I give her credit for saying it out loud. (that's all I'll give her though)

I think we are seeing the last dying breath of the anti-gun movement in IL, they know HB148 is coming for a vote soon and the scheduling of this is no coincidence. I'm sure there will be lots of familiar faces from the "movement" there, but I'm curious to see who attends outside of the usual suspects. Silly tactics to boost the crowd have been used before for such events, even taking kids out of school and bussing them in.

A couple of things rolling around in my head:
1. Why the Cook County SA? What sway does she hold over the entire state and why has she chosen to leap to the forefront?

2. Why does her opinion matter?

My answer: It doesn't.

She took an oath to uphold the Constitution...even if her opinion differs. Both Heller and McDonald say that she should be supporting the 2d Amendment, so this is a good reason to see her booted out of office.

3. Does she really believe what she's saying about guns? See for yourself what she has to say on the subject.

We have a lot of politicians in IL and in D.C. that should remember their oath; it is the Constitution and the will of the People that they represent, not their own agenda/opinion. Right now, the will of the People is RTC and those in office need to make this happen. We're tired of being the only citizens denied the right to armed self defense and we will not forget the results of this battle at the next election.

I'd like to encourage everyone to send Mrs. Alvarez a polite email, reminding her about that oath she took when she was put into office. Hit the contact link at

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A moving letter from Colleen Lawson

The following was published by Colleen Lawson on Facebook on Mar. 21, 2011 and is reprinted with permission. Mrs. Lawson was one of the Plaintiffs in McDonald v Chicago. Thoughts and prayers are with you and yours Colleen. 

Dear Legislator: Could you please help me decide which of my kids lives to save? Here's the problem:

Last night yet another of my kids found himself on the goodbye end of a robber's gun as the robber slowly counted down "5 ... 4 ... 3 ... 2..."

  I know you politicians told us "if it saves one life, then keeping guns away from law-abiding citizens is the right thing to do!" but I'm having a little trouble figuring out which life is the one to be saved. I've had most of these kids for 20 years or more, and I'm rather fond of them all.

My kid last night? It was his third time facing armed robbers in Chicago, in Illinois. Can you tell me how many times is just right and how many times is too many?

 The one last night was in a convenience store at the time. He and his friend had gone into the store to buy soda, and they hid as the robber stuck his gun in the face of the store clerk and began counting down.

Do you give classes in hiding? Wait, that can't be right, cause many kids get found anyway, and it's not always easy to stay quiet if your heart is thudding and you're afraid. Maybe you give classes in what kids should do if they find themselves around guns. No, that's not right. State Rep. Annazette Collins proposed that idea, to keep kids safe and deglamorize firearms, and she was roundly trounced for the idea.

Mr. Legislator, all my kids have been robbed at gunpoint on the streets of Chicago -- well, all the young ones, who still live in Chicago. Does that mean that it's better for my kids to live someplace else? Wait, that can't be right, because you keep telling us that Chicago is a good place to raise children.

Is it best to just stay home? That can't be right, cause the first time he was robbed at gunpoint he was on the steps of his own house.

Maybe being in a group is best. No, that can't be right, either. The last time, three of my kids had grouped together for safety as they walked home from a friend's house. But their attackers had grouped together, too. Three unarmed victims, three robbers with guns, just over three blocks from home in what was once one of the three safest areas of the city.

Mr. Legislator, I have tried to keep my family safe by living in an area where lots of policemen live. But it seems to be open season on cops, too,in Chicago. Even Thomas Wortham, a cop who was also the son of a cop, was shot in front of his parents home as his father watched. 

Should I try one of the other "safe" areas? No, less than twenty-four hours ago, an acquaintance of mine was in a group of 4 and got robbed in Lincoln Park by ... a group of 4.

Maybe only going out in daylight is the answer? Or maybe in an area that's more retail than residential? Gosh, that can't be right: Two of my girls were attacked mid-afternoon as they waited for a bus right outside a major shopping mall. 

Perhaps you say that everything's fine because none of my kids were shot or killed, and because last night's robber chose to be contented with the money and goods, and let the clerk and customers go. But it would have been hard to say that as I wiped the blood from the face of the one who'd had her head slammed into the concrete sidewalk as she and her friends were robbed. 

And that can't be right, anyhow, cause not everybody's kids escape uninjured. 

Can you tell me if there is a questionnaire that we give to a criminal to determine which ones will be "nice" and not kill their victims? Just hurt them a "little" or leave them in fear for a while? How much is "a little"? How long is an okay "while"? 

 Maybe I've misunderstood the whole "if it saves one life" policy; Does it mean that, so long as it's MY kids life that's saved by being unarmed on the streets of Chicago, the disarmed citizen policy in Illinois is still justified? Which kid? What do I tell the siblings? What do I tell my neighbors, as they mourn for their slain kids?

What if it's your kid that gets killed or hurt, Mr. Legislator, and I'm unable to help? 

A couple of these kids aren't mine by birth: they just hang out at my house cause they feel safe here. Should I tell them to stop feeling safe? 

To me, they're all my kids, and I tell them every day how valuable they all are. One studies daily for her GED, one's in college to be a grade school teacher, one's still in high school, one works twelve hours a day helping underprivileged children, one's less than a semester away from getting his law degree. Should I ease up on the value talk? Should I tell them that, "Hey, folks die every day, that's just the way it is?" Devalue life a little bit so they don't think there's anything unusual about being helpless victims?

No. That can't be right. Because that is exactly how you grow a criminal. You desensitize him to the value of life, take away his sense of what is right and what is wrong, and expose him to crime after crime after crime after crime until he sees no hope for the future and learns to either be a victim or to look for victims.

And that is exactly how you grow a victim. Let them know that there is no chance of anyone nearby who has the ability to help them if they find themselves at the mercy of an attacker. Gee, it sounds like the same thing you tell a would-be attacker, doesn't it? Let them know that they need have no fear of anyone being able to fight back. And they will come. And they do come. And keep on coming. There are entire blocks in Chicago where street attacks have occurred weekly -- WEEKLY, Legislator! -- for years without a single arrest being made.

 Dear Legislator, please tell me what I am to say to my kids today, when they ask me why this keeps happening to them. I really want to know. I don't mean to cut into your busy day.  I just want to do what's right.

Don't you?

Maybe it would be easiest to just share with me what you tell your own kids and I will share it with mine. 

I totally understand that your intentions were good when Illinois first believed that criminals would obey the same no-gun laws that the law-abiding follow ... but what do you tell your kids when they ask you why we have not ripped away that errant foundation as has every other state within America? What do you tell them when they ask how you will know which of them will be hurt or killed by an attacker, and how you have chosen that to be okay by you? 

What do you tell your kids when they ask why we elected you, then gave some of you the right to conceal carry, and others of you the expense of a protection detail, and then nod our heads in submission as you tell the rest of us that it is better that we do not get the same ability to defend ourselves?

Criminals know that there are less than a thousand Chicago cops armed and able to stop them during any given shift these days. 

I personally know thousands of Illinois private citizens who take their citizen responsibility seriously enough that 34 other states trust them to calmly, competently and maturely carry concealed firearms as they live their daily lives. The children in those states can stand on their own steps, shop in convenience stores and wait for busses near malls with the confidence that they and would-be criminals are constantly aware that someone may be right nearby to thwart an attack and help them stay safe. Someone who has so committed themselves to time, training and mastery of defense that they stand out easily as the calmest ones seen in an emergency situation. 

But in Illinois, criminals and victims walk our streets with only the confidence that, unless you -- personally, Legislator -- stand in support of HB 148 and bring concealed carry to the lone holdout state of Illinois, no one will ever come to your children's aid if they, like my kids, find themselves at the mercy of an attack. This can't be right, can it? 

 Though I have taken the time to learn and master the calm and skill necessary to defend my family and yours, I cannot personally afford a security detail for my family at this time. If you won't allow me to defend my children - and yours - in the face of armed attack on the streets of Illinois, will you kindly share your protection detail with my family? My neighbor wants to hear your answer, too. 

 And, if you will not, then tell me, please: What shall I say to my kid today, as I help him through the sound he's heard again and again for the past 12 hours? 

You remember -- the one that goes "5 ... 4 ... 3 ... 2 ...?"

How long should he wait for the final "click"?

How long should I?

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Hunters: All of this affects you too!

This could be a multi-posting... I have started to write this 3 or 4 times and it just seems to get lengthy each time.

I have been speaking with a lot of folks about RTC and the 2nd Amendment in general lately and I keep getting a lot of blank stares from hunters. First off, let me say that I hunt also, it helps keep food on the table and is another way to spend time with my son in the outdoors. Of course, I also shoot at a lot of paper or steel targets, maintain defensive firearms and am around a Gunsmith training course daily. Basically, guns are a part of my daily life, so perhaps it's just easier for me to see what's going on in the state due to my level of exposure to guns and gun owners.

But, back to the hunters. I was having a conversation with a buddy who hunts deer and turkey every year and doesn't do much shooting outside of that; I was discussing the RTC bill and other legislation and he didn't seem much affected by any of it. I was at a bit of a loss, so later I asked a few different folks how they might go about explaining to hunters that things such as the FOID/privacy issue, magazine bans and an "assault weapons" ban would affect them.

One of my favorites was by reminding hunters that the anti-gun crowd wants to chip away at rights....first it would be high capacity magazines, then "assault weapons". At this point the antis wouldn't see their huge drop in crime, so they'd go after semi-auto pistols and shotguns, then tube fed lever actions since they hold so many rounds (oh, the horror).

Earlier today, I was pointed to an NRA Legislative Fact Sheet detailing some of the guns that would be banned by HB-1294. Guess what? Many of the guns affected by this bill are turkey/deer guns, to include two versions of the Remington 1187 shotgun. You'll find a preview of this Fact Sheet below....please, please, please print it out and hand a few to local hunters and gun shops!

Folks, I'm telling you: Get the hunters behind RTC and other pro 2A legislation and there is no contest.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

FOID info release stalled!

The ISRA reports that things are going well in efforts to block the release of IL residents' FOID card information.

Read more HERE.

Monday, March 14, 2011

THIS is why we need RTC legislation

This is a short video of Mary Shepard from Anna, IL. Although she is licensed to carry a concealed weapon by two other states, she cannot do so inside the borders of her home state.

In Sept. of 2009 she was one victim of a vicious, random attack inside a church and left for dead, along with a coworker. Her Dr. wouldn't release her for travel to Springfield in order to testify before the House Ag and Conservation Committee, so the good folks at filmed her for the proceedings.

Please be aware that there is a very graphic picture of Mary's injuries, taken shortly after the beating. If you are squeamish, you might prefer to listen rather than watch the video.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Momentum...we have some

First, let me apologize for my poor posting during IGOLD.... it was a busy day and mobile blogging is a new world to me anyway, but frankly I was simply overwhelmed during my first IGOLD! So many people to meet and say "Thanks" to and so many others of like mind to chat with. It was an excellent experience and I look forward to next year.

(go to this FB link to see plenty of better pics than mine)

Anyway... news agencies from around the state are reporting that RTC legislation has real legs this year and I have to agree based on speaking with those that are working in Springfield to make this happen.

There were more stories covering IGOLD this year than any time before, always a good sign. Some of the stories were horribly wrong, but at least it got a mention. I won't do their work for them, but at least one news agency mentioned "about 150 attendees"; I'm sure I saw several THOUSAND folks marching along with me in the streets.

Some say that RTC could come from hard work while others are saying that the Chicago Dems simply have to appease downstate legislators after the tax hike and loss of the death penalty.

I say: I don't care how we get it, but it's damned sure time to bring IL in line with the rest of these United States. Why should our wives, sisters and daughters not have the right to protect themselves? Why are our husbands, brothers and sons any less "equal" than those of the other 49?

So yes, we have some momentum, but we also can't afford to lay off of our elected folks on this. Keep calling, writing and emailing those people (always politely) and make sure they know that We, The People want this NOW.

As I mentioned, there are people working for us in Springfield....but they can't do it alone. It's up to each and every one of us to do some work and get this done THIS YEAR.

If you can afford it, toss a few dollars the way of the organizations that are working for you on RTC legislation. ISRA and Illinois Carry being two of them. (links to the right of the page)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

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IGOLD is a hit!

Just a quick note to let anyone reading know that the IGOLD event is going very well.

There's a positive feel in the air and the day has been good all around. Look for pics soon.
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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Geared Up for IGOLD

March 10th is upon us and that means IGOLD in Springfield!

Just a last reminder that YOU are welcome to come and join us to peaceably remind our elected folks that the 2A guarantees our RIGHT to keep and bear arms.

Hope to see you there! Look for updates.

IL HB148, step one: Complete!

For those that may not have heard, Illinois HB148 "Family and Personal Protection Act" (concealed carry) was passed through committee today by a 12 - 2 vote.

Many folks turned out to testify in support of the bill; some were expected but at least one group was a pleasant surprise....the Chicago Police Sergeants' Association has now officially shown their support! 

(Rumor is, Mayor Daley is less than happy about this... He's on his way out so he can be as unhappy as he wants)

This completes the first step in bringing IL into line with the rest of the country and taking our state back from the criminals. Now we must continue to push as this still has to get a full House vote and so forth.

How can you help? Get active and don't just "hope", that's the key! Below are my suggestions of how you can do your part.

Attend IGOLD (Illinois Gun Owners Lobby Day) this Thursday, March 10 and let Springfield and the rest of the state hear YOUR voice. Bring a friend or two or twenty. 

Send a quick email or phone call of "THANKS" to the folks on the House Ag. and Conservation Committee that voted "yes" to send the bill on.

Send a polite email or call to the two dissenting votes and encourage them to vote "yes" when it comes to the floor. They need to understand that the PEOPLE want this!
(The "No" votes were from Representatives Flowers and Burke...I will post contact info links below)

Continue to call those legislators that are on the fence or are "no" voters and explain that we want our Constitutional Rights to be recognized. Ask them to support HB148 and co-sponsor it. Lets really burn up the phone lines!

It wouldn't hurt to call and thank the legislators that do support and cosponsor the bill, but no need to really get after them as much as those that might not be in support.

Join the ISRA (Il State Rifle Assn) if you can afford it (we all know that times are tough).

Join the NRA if you can afford it, they have seen fit to put Todd Vandermyde at the pointy end of the spear on this as a full time lobbyist for IL gun owners. Todd does a great job and you can bet he'd appreciate a "thanks" anytime. (You can thank him at the Illinois Carry link below)

Join Illinois Carry and donate if you can afford it. Otherwise, participate in the forums and ask how you can help in any way, someone will gladly show you the ropes.

Contact info for the members of House Ag. and Conservation Committee:

Further info on the IL General Assembly:

Illinois State Rifle Association and more info on IGOLD:

National Rifle Association:

Illinois Carry:

Let's keep the ball rolling!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Let's take a moment

I've been unable to post since Sunday, but I wanted to take a minute and pay tribute to Frank Buckles, who left this world on February 27, 2011.

Mr. Buckles was the last living American Veteran of WWI and his passing marks the end of an era.

Although never directly involved in combat, he volunteered to serve - even lying about his age to gain entry into the Army.

Mr. Buckles also spent 3 1/2 years in a Japanese prison camp as a civilian during WWII, so to say that his  is an interesting story is a gross understatement.

I'll leave it to the pros to tell you the rest of his story, you can find one good example of it here:

Thank you for your service Sir, you will not be forgotten.