Rahm Emanuel's idea of 'sensible' gun laws is 'no guns, no carry'

Sick minds are fascinated by the publicity generated by these insane acts on the news. We can't blame the messengers, but the 24/7 news cycle must contribute to copycat crimes.


By Nancy Thorner and Ed Ingold (resident of Mundelein)


The headlines in newspapers on Tuesday, December 11th, both outside of Illinois and in the state, carried a similar message citing that a federal appeals court had struck down a ban on carrying concealed weapons in Illinois. Excluding Washington, D.C., Illinois is the only state where carrying concealed weapons is entirely illegal. Lawmakers were given 180 days to write a a law legalizing it


Without delay Chicago aldermen urged state officials to appeal the appellate court's decision tossing Illinois' ban on concealed weapons. Some aldermen even suggested launching their own legal battle. Mayor Rahm Emanuel angrily denounced Tuesday's ruling as a decision by judges who are out of touch with the dangers many residents face. The mayor receives 24/7 armed protection, so he should know about dangers on the street. 


The only workable solution in Illinois might be to establish a state-wide licensing system which preempts local law. Otherwise every home rule community would have a different set of rules, making it impossible to travel freely without violating some law or another. Any city with 25,000 or more residents is automatically granted home rule at the request of the mayor or city council. Cities with fewer residents can apply for home-rule base through a referendum. Lake Forest, Illinois, with 16,000 or so residents, is an example of the latter. 


In most states, local laws are preempted by statute, but large, "blue" cities often ignore the law. Pennsylvania grants state-wide concealed carry permits. Philadelphia has nonetheless arrests or detains legally armed citizens regularly, and has lost several lawsuits as a result. Washington state preempts local law, and allows carry in government buildings unless posted or prohibited by federal law. Seattle designates corner bus stops as posted "government" buildings. It's hard enough to get a carry permit in New York State, but nearly impossible in NYC, unless you are a politician, movie star or millionaire. 


Progressive-liberals, including most big city mayors, have a mind set that all guns are bad, and that concealed weapons permits will lead to a rise in crime. The exact opposite is true, but explaining this to a closed mind is like administering medicine to a corpse. Concealed weapons have very little effect on homicides, except that a few are moved into the "justifiable" column (about 200 a year in the US). There is a dramatic reduction in violent assaults, however, as much as 50% since 1994 in Florida, compared a nation wide decrease of about 30% in the same time period. Carjackers and muggers never know when their victim (or witness) might be armed.


Now let's move the hands of the clock ahead a few days to the hideous elementary school shooting on Friday, December 14th, in New Haven, Connecticut, where eighteen children and eight adults were killed and the 20 year-old shooter committed suicide. The Sandy Hook Elementary School principal who lost her life lunging at the gunman in an attempt to overpower him might have been able to stop Adam Lanza in his tracks had she been armed. 


We grieve for the parents and relatives. It is as though they were our own children or grandchildren. I can't fathom what kind of monster would do such a thing. 


Sunday, the Connecticut State Police confirmed that Lanza used a Bushmaster to commit the killings. He had on himself two other handguns, one of which he used to commit suicide. A fourth rifle – also a .223 caliber – was found in his car.


As expected, gun-control advocates quickly used Twitter and the media to blame firearms for the senseless murders. Gun-haters will be out in full force, because no crisis should go to waste. 


CNN's Piers Morgan tweeted: "Another day, another horrific shooting. America's gun culture has to change. When will America deal with its gun madness? 


In a statement to the nation on the day of the kindergarten massacre, President Obama told the nation, "We're going to have to come together and take a meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this regardless of the politics." New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg response demanded that President Obama take immediate action. "Calling for 'meaningful action' is not enough. We need immediate action. We have heard this rhetoric before. What we have not seen is leadership -- not from the White House and not from Congress. That must end today. This is a national tragedy and it demands a national response."  


The sad fact is that Connecticut has very strict gun control, and the shooter would not be legally entitled to own a firearm, much less a concealed weapons permit. These things happen because there are deranged people in this world who will find a way to go out with a lot of publicity, whether with a rifle, box cutter or gasoline can. Sometimes they could have been stopped, as in Aurora CO, if a qualified psychiatrist had not kicked the can down the road, along with the college's administration. Most of the time, however, there isn't much warning.


Mark Furman, former LA Police Detective, summed it up pretty well. The shooter, Adam Lanza, left home and entered the school with no intention of leaving again. Rather than leave a quiet suicide note, he lets the news media flash his face and history across the world. He lived with his mother, Nancy, who taught at Sandy Hook Elementary School who he shot dead before leaving for his shooting spree. 


Much has improved in terms of emergency response. The police arrived within a minute of the Sandy Hook, cold-blooded shooting massacre and entered the school immediately, without waiting for a SWAT team. They did the same at the Mall in Portland, OR. At Virginia Tech, the police had 2-3 hours notice that there was a shooting on campus, and waited outside the final scene for 20 minutes while people were still being shot. At Northern Illinois University, the campus police waited outside for 15 minutes, until backup arrived. In Aurora CO, campus police dropped their investigation of threats James Walker made to teachers, after he quit or was expelled from school. (One wonders why we need armed campus police to write parking tickets in Illinois and Colorado.) 


Although a so-called "assault" weapon, a semi-automatic AR style rifle, was found in Lanza's car, it was not used in the shootings. Nonetheless, availability of "assault weapons" to civilians are being singled out as the cause for violence. There are more than 30 million of these rifles in private hands, three of which were involved in mass shootings this year. Semi-automatic rifles account for less than 1% of all violent crimes, according to FBI statistics. Opponents claim that the don't have a role in self-defense. This too is false and misleading.


In a perfect world, guns wouldn't be used in crime if there were no guns, but that's hardly a practical solution. Criminals will always find weapons, even if they steal them from police or the military (Clyde Barrow got his machine guns from national guard armories). Before guns there were spears and arrows. Before that, there were pointed sticks and clubs.


In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, teams of looters went from house to house, breaking in even if they were occupied. The same thing happens in lesser natural disasters, such as earthquakes, tornadoes, brush fires or even extended power outages. Business owners in "Korea Town" Los Angeles, used AR rifles to turn away mobs bent on looting and destruction following the 1992 acquittals of officers in the Rodney King incident. The businesses were largely destroyed during the Watts riots in 1965. A handgun is not much use against multiple aggressors. A rifle is effective even if they are armed and active, and a dozen rifles can stand off a mob. Looters had little to fear in New York in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, where honest citizens find it nearly impossible to own a firearm. 


Most likely, as with shooters of the past, there will be revelations about Adam Lanza's state of mind that triggered his erratic action that to most individuals is beyond their comprehension, which only seem important in retrospect. The real key to preventing these random acts of violence is early detection of these symptoms, so that the person can be treated or confined.


On the day of the shooting, Charles Krauthammer, a regular panel member on 5:00 p.m. Fox News TV program and a trained psychiatrist, analyzed the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting in terms of 1) The psychology of the shooter, 2) the weapons themselves, and 3) today's culture and environment. 


Krauthammer concluded that Evil does lurk within the minds of those who do such heinous acts, which is most often impossible to determine before the individuals acts out his fury on others. If not guns, those with evil intentions will use other methods to kill or injure others. 


Most importantly, society has changed for the worse where young people are de-sensitized to violence by entertainment media and video games. Businesses allow slot machines in the malls where teens play shooting and killing. 


Sick minds are fascinated by the publicity generated by these insane acts on the news. We can't blame the messengers, but the 24/7 news cycle must contribute to copycat crimes. At what price comes Andy Warhole's phrase, "fifteen minutes of fame." What better target than activities people feel safe doing, like malls and sporting events? What could bring more publicity than attacking what we cherish the most - our children?


Killers choose schools because they are gun-free zones and thus pose no risk to the person wanting to kill for reasons known only to them. But does it make sense to have gun-control cities in which gang-bangers thrive and where they make up the only armed residents at locations where the most murders take place? The City of Chicago is prime example!

Published initially at Illinois Review on Monday, December 17.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Bringin' Down Briarwood December 18, 2012 at 06:22 AM
RE: "The ... principal who lost her life ... might have been able to stop Adam Lanza in his tracks had she been armed." I'm just shaking my head. You stupid b&^%&). To use that as your example to advance your little cause just further demonstrates what a mindless selfish (rhymes with 7000 N in the city) you are. I won't even bother speaking to the idea of keeping guns in a school. You should be ashamed of yourself!!!!!!!
Bringin' Down Briarwood December 18, 2012 at 06:38 AM
STEVE!!!!! This woman can not be THAT valuable to your clicks. Dump her!! Her mindless self-indulgent (and usually subtly racist) ramblings are simply not worth it. She's an absolute scumbag who offers no solutions, no new ideas and adds nothing to the conversation. There HAS to be a more reasonable representation of the right - you know, somebody that actually has a thought of their own. It's obvious from the long list of comments she always receives that nobody reads her column. (God bless all of you for being smarter than me. These columns are a car accident I can't ignore.) Anybody out there want to support her?
Bringin' Down Briarwood December 18, 2012 at 07:32 AM
ONE MORE THING, STEVE ... This woman is not just some little whack-job who needs her voice to be heard on your single publication. She posts at any number of sites including running her column in different forms on four or five patch sites, a blog with the EXACT same ramblings at freedompub.org, a wordpress blog as well as regular posts to the Illinois Review and Champion News. This isn't someone talking to issues of the community. H*ll, the last several columns have been about: a) Rhamn Emmanuel/gun control b) The wind energy industry c) My favorite: The three-part look at a Barrington Hills pot field and supposedly corrupt Cook County Board from a Lake Forrest home Ol' Nance has a political agenda and this is free advertising for her campaign - one which has little to do with the community. Do us all a favor, Steve, and stop posting this lady's agenda. There HAS to be another writer who can offer the conservative viewpoint and make it more relative to this century and the community. Nance and whoever funds her has enough of a forum on the Internet. Dump her! Your site will be better for it.
JP Economos December 18, 2012 at 07:42 AM
Nancy is a very smart lady, way above you, i am sorry to say.
Carl Lambrecht December 18, 2012 at 09:38 AM
Radical Atheists killed 100,000 million people in the last century. Yet I would not ban an atheist for his radical fellow traveler.
Walter White December 18, 2012 at 12:35 PM
Well said, BDB. Idiots like this are the reason our children are dying in the streets. The NRA has spent billions to push an agenda out to these crazies. All they have to do is spout the talking points.
RonnieTheLimoDriver December 18, 2012 at 12:50 PM
I don't agree with many things Nancy posts and I do not agree with the NRA on many issues. However, its important to remember the NRA is a lobby for gun owners (aka citizens) so the agenda is being set by those represented, not the other way around.
Walter White December 18, 2012 at 12:56 PM
What about the gun industry? You don't think the NRA represents their interests also?
Bringin' Down Briarwood December 18, 2012 at 08:48 PM
I have no problem admitting my faults. The fact that you think anybody is "above" anybody else is one of the many issues you and ol' Nance probably have. And I have no doubt that it extends far beyond this site.
Bringin' Down Briarwood December 18, 2012 at 08:53 PM
If you think this is strictly a problem with her conservative ideas, maybe you missed the line, "There HAS to be another writer who can offer the conservative viewpoint and make it more relative to this century and the community." Of course the ideas should be out there, but from someone who has the community in mind and who doesn't do it to for her own irresponsible agenda.
Bringin' Down Briarwood December 18, 2012 at 08:58 PM
This is NOT a gun message thing. That's just the latest example. Her selfish agenda extends farrrrrrrrrrr beyond the gun message. She irresponsibly sprays to all fields.
Vortex December 18, 2012 at 10:41 PM
Why shouldn't the NRA represent the "gun industry" people as well? Those companies are made up of people working to provide products and services, just like you do at your job. If the SEIU can lobby, certainly civil rights activists (i.e. Second Amendment supporters) can do the same.
Vortex December 18, 2012 at 10:45 PM
Why the personal attacks? Public schools in many countries have armed civilians to help prevent the worst case scenario from costing the lives of children -- Israel, Peru, the Philippines, just to name a few. You'll find this shocking, no doubt, but there are armed off-duty law enforcement officers around you each and every day you're in public, going about your business. They're just doing their job 24/7, keeping you safe and even would likely sacrifice their lives to save yours in a crisis. Why all the vitriol toward a logical suggestion that would potentially save lives?
Walter White December 18, 2012 at 11:46 PM
I didn't say it shouldn't, I just said it did. It is the main lobby group for the gun industry.
Walter White December 18, 2012 at 11:49 PM
And now they've announced a MAJOR announcement for 12/21. "The NRA is prepared to offer meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again." I'll hold back my giddyness until I hear this big announcement. Major concessions or just spouting the same old excuses with a twist? We'll see.
Bringin' Down Briarwood December 18, 2012 at 11:53 PM
RE: Vitriol a) Your message was left high on the board so I'll assume you hadn't seen my message below, "This is NOT a gun message thing. That's just the latest example." b) Why personal? Because she loves to abuse the facts for her own agenda. She has no consideration for other ideas or a compromise. It is people like her who have driven political dialogue to the stalemate that brings us all down. So I have no problem with a personal attack because she obviously has no concerns for others in her one-way campaign. And her need to use the dead principal while the body is still warm is just another pitiful example of callous approach.
Margaret McCarthy December 19, 2012 at 01:37 AM
Seems to me that the people who are politicizing the tragedy are the politicians who immediately said "something must be done" and the something is always taking guns away from law-abiding citizens to punish the mentally-ill or criminal. Since when is it mistaken to want to protect a right enshrined in our Bill of Rights? Seems like the case to be made is denying people the right to self defense or the use of their arms to defend against a tyrant seizing power The latter was the real intent of the Second Amendment, written by men who knew what they were writing about, unlike Briarwood.
Walter White December 19, 2012 at 01:42 AM
You know this country has gone over the edge when people start talking about being armed for when the tyrants seize power. I guess if the murder of innocent children doesn't change people's thinking nothing will. Sign me up for that Uzi!
Bringin' Down Briarwood December 19, 2012 at 02:19 AM
Sweetheart, you have the golden chance to shut me up. I won't write another word for three months if you can point me to a quote in full context from any member of the federal government who, in the last three days, has advocated the idea of taking action to completely remove the right to self defense and bear arms. A link will be required. Go for it!! And let me say it AGAIN for the more singular-minded among us. You must have pretty poor reading skills if you think my rant was simply about gun control. But I understand you need a target (pun intended) for the cause.
Bringin' Down Briarwood December 19, 2012 at 02:46 AM
One more rule for our game ... Quotes will only be accepted by major news organizations or non-partisan groups. Don't bother trying to look something up at letsbutcherthetruthandseeifitsticks.org.
Bringin' Down Briarwood December 19, 2012 at 05:40 AM
I'm waiting, Sweetheart.
Bringin' Down Briarwood December 19, 2012 at 04:15 PM
I'm still here, Mags!
Bringin' Down Briarwood December 20, 2012 at 05:43 AM
Yea, that's about what I thought you'd give me, Maggie, honey. Want to see why political discourse has tumbled in this country? All you need to see is ol' Nance and her mahjong partner, Margaret - two people looking for an excuse to spew the same ol' rhetoric in a one-way conversation with their hands covering their ears.


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