OK, I gave everybody a break from my complaints about the bills oozing their way through the Illinois
Politburo legislature, but the break is over now. Our fearless leaders have been busy in their efforts to turn the Bill of Rights into their own personal Charmin substitute. They have also gained a new (or at least this is the first I've heard of them) accomplice, the Illinois Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence (ICPGV).
The ICPGV has conducted what they refer to as a "statewide poll." Not surprisingly, the results of their "poll" indicate enormous support for the draconian laws that are currently being debated. From the ICPGV's press release:
The bipartisan team of Overbrook Research (R) and Lake Research Partners (D) conducted the statewide poll of 603 voters, as well as additional surveys of 300 voters each (1,200) in four state senate districts. Support for the proposed gun laws was equally strong in all four districts, with majorities favoring each of the policies whether heavily Republican or Democrat.Setting aside for the moment the fact that we live in a republic, and not a democracy--precisely because of the danger of the tyranny of the majority, in which 51% of the people can agree to strip the other 49% of their rights--perhaps I can be forgiven for having some doubts about this "poll." For one thing, almost two thirds of it was confined to four Senate districts. Illinois has 59 Senate districts. No mention is made of which four (or just over 1/15th of the total) districts were polled--any takers on a wager that the Chicago area was quite heavily represented?
One of my friends at Illinois Carry noticed something that I find interesting:
I just did a little research on the Illinois Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence (ICPGV).As mentioned earlier, I had never heard of this group before yesterday (and I try to keep track of anti-gun organizations, particularly in Illinois). Quite a coincidence that they would appear--seemingly out of nowhere--just when the legislative session is debating more gun laws.
The first thing that struck me is Evanston is in the 708 area code and the phone number given is 773 - a Chicago number.
Checking further I found that the phone number, 773.885.2726, is a Sprint cell phone.
Does anyone besides me wonder why they use a PO box instead of a real address and a cell phone instead of a landline?
My suspicious nature tells me this is a shell organization.
Illinois Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence (ICPGV)
A Project of Legal Community Against Violence
P.O. Box 7077
Evanston, Illinois 60204
By the way, speaking of the proposed ban on .50 caliber rifles, I've mentioned my admiration for Ronnie Barrett before. After his address to the Illinos Senate Tuesday, that admiration has become even greater.
March 20, 2007I fear that Mr. Barrett's powerful words fell on many deaf ears. That would be very bad news for this state.
We have much in common. You have sworn an oath to uphold the United States Constitution, in its entirety, and I have spent over 25 years working to preserve the 2nd Amendment of that same Constitution. If we examine the “fifty-caliber” issue in this context, I am convinced that you and I will come to the same conclusion, and that you will act on principle and truth.
Historically, the anti-gun movement loses when there is intellectually honest debate on outright gun bans. The most recent example was in a Federal Appeals Court where the District of Columbia’s handgun ban was ruled unconstitutional. Those wanting to take our rights are then forced to take them a little at a time and use fear and “big lie” rhetoric to deceive legislators. Fortunately, only those politicians either unable to understand the issue, or lacking the courage to seek the truth, are vulnerable to this tactic. The “big lie” is that banning fifty-caliber rifles will somehow make Illinois citizens safer and protect our infrastructure from terrorists.
The truth is that if fifty-caliber rifles are banned, firearms businesses and their manufacturing jobs will leave your state, the rights of law-abiding citizens will be infringed, infrastructure will not be protected and court action is certain. Since passage would be contrary to the Bill of Rights, Barrett Firearms Manufacturing would be forced to cease servicing and selling to any government agency in the state. I am mindful of the consequences of creating an overpowering government force by limiting its citizens’ access to powerful arms.
The proposition of trading the illusion of security for freedom is not a new folly. Recall the gang violence of the 1950’s. In that case, politicians seeking the spoils of “feel good” legislation banned the self-opening knife. First, the knife was demonized by giving it an evil name, "switchblade". Then the voting public was told that the switchblade was itself the problem rather than the violent felons that killed with it. The public was conned by politicians into believing that the citizenry would be safer by simply banning switchblades. We all know that gang violence is still a serious social problem. It is painfully obvious that the cause of the problem is not a knife that opens with one hand.
Now comes the modern day switchblade; a big rifle. Along with it are politicians who blame it for hypothetical problems to which it has no connection. The fifty-caliber rifle is demonized as an evil “super-gun”. Dishonest rhetoric wrongly portrays it as having wildly destructive capabilities exceeding Hollywood’s best action film. Skillfully manipulating the fearful and the easily duped, the cunning claim is that only the evil “super-gun” can pierce terrorist targets such as aircraft, fuel depots and fuel trucks. The new “big lie” is that common rifles are impotent and only the fifty-caliber is a threat. The truth is that any common centerfire deer rifle is capable of disabling these targets.
Unless Senators are willing to support the preposterous idea of confiscating all of the deer rifles in Illinois, banning just fifty-caliber rifles will do nothing to protect targets of terrorism. Current Illinois gun laws address every conceivable form of real-world firearm abuse. Federal law already categorizes fifty-caliber (and smaller) rifles as “small arms” and governs their use as well. And because crime statistics clearly show that fifty-caliber rifles are almost never used by criminals, the obvious questions are these; how would the citizens of Illinois benefit by your banning fifty-caliber rifles and how much money shall Illinois spend enacting an ineffective law that is likely to be challenged in court?
Unfortunately, we can look to California to see the results of a similar plan. Because an equally flawed argument was used to ban fifty-caliber rifles there, those legislators who fell for the “big lie” are now suffering the effects of unintended consequences. Their plan has turned into an extravagant waste of taxpayer’s money and new equally capable calibers have emerged that are fully compliant with their new law.
If you agree to let the “fifty caliber” argument be won or lost on its own merits, you will find that passing this provision is not in the best interest of your constituents. Further, I encourage you to resist the temptation to pass this provision in exchange for dropping other provisions. Freedom is not for barter.
Our common interest is to uphold the freedoms our forefathers won for you and me and we are together now fighting to maintain. I am sure you can see that it is both counter-productive and morally wrong to trade an illusion of security for any of our freedoms.
I am asking you to oppose banning fifty-caliber rifles because it is the right thing to do.
Owner and CEO
Barrett Firearms Manufacturing, Inc.
Please read these entries at War on Guns, as well:
A Matter of Time
UPDATE: I've mentioned the Joyce Foundation before. Well, it looks as if they've had a hand in the formation of our new gun rights suppression lobby group, the ICPGV, which is, as they state, "a project of Legal Community Against Violence (LCAV)". LCAV, in turn, has gotten a cool $125,000 from the Joyce Foundation. I guess it's good to know that our rights are at least not being sold cheaply.