Last Friday, being the national day of mourning for the Virginia Tech massacre, the Illinois
Politburo legislature observed a moment of silence. As it happens, Illinois would be a vastly better place if its legislators adopted silence as standard policy, rather than something to be observed only momentarily.
The Illinois Senate wasted little time in proving that Friday (mp3 file of the Senate session--a transcript is not yet available, but I transcribed the parts I found most relevant). When the silence was broken, it was broken with a nearly immediate attack on America's "gun culture". This is what Senator Rickey Hendon had to say (starting about 3 min, 45 sec into the mp3 file linked to above):
. . . address the fact that guns were involved in this tragedy,Can we find a Captain Obvious cape for Rickey?
and some day--perhaps, Mr. President, today--we will earnestly address the issue of weapons in America, and this nation's fascination with guns.The solution, apparently, is to pass a law against being fascinated with guns--fellow Illinois gun rights blog We Are the Militia has a well written piece about thought crimes.
If we strengthen gun laws,Translation: weaken gun rights.
will it stop every incident? No, it won't,I told you he has earned that Captain Obvious cape.
but we should give these babies a chance to live, a chance to have a future.A chance to defend themselves, perhaps? Of course not--don't be a reactionary relic of the "gun culture."
We must address eventually, my friends, the issue of guns, violent videos, and our fascination with weapons. Let's earnestly address the issue of the availability of guns in America.A bit later, Senator Todd Sieben, although he didn't blame guns for turning Cho into a mass murderer (he has been one of the rare friends to gun owners in this state's Senate), did take exception to the fact that people were speaking of "only" 32 victims, and not counting Cho among that number. I'm sorry, Senator, but I cannot consider Cho a "victim"--I do not consider it possible to be a victim of one's own monstrous evil. I certainly count his family among the victims--the hell through which they are going must be worse even than that faced by the families of those murdered by Cho--but Cho himself is no victim.
The scariest part, to those who revere liberty, came at the end (about 10 min, 50 sec into the sound file), when Senate President Emil Jones Jr. spoke.
In a civil society, I hear often talk about the Constitution, and rights in the Constitution,That's good, Senator--I hope you're listening.
but the rights and pursuit of happiness and joyWell, no reference to the pursuit of happiness was made in the Constitution, as far as I can tell--that was in the Declaration of Independence, and the "pursuit of joy" is something I have never heard mentioned in conjunction with the Founding Fathers.
must be balanced against the other rights, and sometimes in a civil society, in order to have rights, you must give up rights."In order to have rights, you must give up rights," eh--Orwell's Big Brother would be proud--doublespeak lives! Tell me, Senator (although I think I can guess), which rights do you have in mind for us to give up? More importantly, perhaps, is: who made you arbiter of what Constitutional rights we must give up? Has the office of state senator (even state senate president) been endowed with vastly greater power than I had realized--the power to override the Constitution itself? On a side note, how, specifically, would giving up rights help us have rights (the ones you think are the ones we should prefer, apparently)--especially when the right you apparently want us to give up is the very one that gives us the power to defend the rest?
Until we come to the realization that this incident can happen again, in order to have these rights, and pursuit of happiness, we must give up some rights.There's that "pursuit of happiness" again. I can't help but notice that even if there were a Constitutionally guaranteed right to the pursuit of happiness, that falls rather short of the right to succeed in capturing that happiness.
If disarming American citizens is necessary for your happiness, I would argue that the Constitution guarantees us the right to keep you unhappy--and we're not planning to give up that right. Molon labe, Senator.