It seems that some folks have taken exception to some of the statements I have made about everyone's favorite civilian disarmament lobbyist-turned Illinois state senator, Dan Kotowski.
You can see more of this type of vitriol here (Kotowski treating the state police as “his personal goon squad), here (”Commissar” Kotowski) . . .I'll acknowledge sloppy wording on my part in claiming that Kotowski was using "the state police as his personal goon squad"--a junior senator does not really have the power to make the state police do his bidding, so it would have been more accurate for me to say that the ISP is playing the role of Kotowski's goon squad, entirely of the department's own volition. If it would make anyone would feel better to receive my sincere and humble apologies for the misstatement, please consider them given. I suppose that what I am trying to admit here is that I was wrong to blame Kotowski for the ISP visits and interrogations of people who had clearly issued no threat whatsoever--that blame lies with the ISP. As for the "
I simply do not buy the explanation that a few (very few, I would wager) threatening calls/FAXes from hotheaded idiots justifies an investigation of people who have given exactly zero reason to believe they were behind said threats. As for the "hotheaded idiots" I just mentioned, apparently one of the criticisms leveled at both ISRA and bloggers like me is that we have not done enough to condemn such threats.
Kotowski and his office staff received threats during the first few months of the Spring Legislative Session, most of which specifically referred to his sponsorship of gun safety legislation. “If Illinois State Rifle Association members were as law abiding and anti crime as they claim, then they would be the first to condemn these threats and help to champion the cause for measures designed to get guns away from those with criminal intent.”This, despite the fact that ISRA's first press release on this matter said:
Of course, the manner in which citizens exercise that right must not include any threats of harm against elected officials.My first post about this issue included an acknowledgment that such threats "would warrant a police response"--which I had kind of hoped would make clear that I disapprove of such threats. Toward the end of the same post, when I urged readers (I must be up to three or four of them by now) to contact Kotwoski, I made clear (I hope) that it was vital to be careful to keep the messages absolutely, utterly without threats of any kind.
I suppose I was guilty of the overly optimistic assumption that it would go without saying that the vast majority of us do not condone threats of physical violence. Clearly, I presumed too much. So now, to be absolutely clear, I will try to leave no doubt whatsoever that I categorically condemn anyone who would make threats of physical violence against those with whom one disagrees. It is a boneheaded move from a tactical standpoint, and more fundamentally, is not civil behavior. I hope anyone who made such threats is caught, and that the punishment is severe. I would think, by the way, that the likelihood of catching the perpetrators would be increased if police manpower and resources were not wasted on investigations of people whose only known contacts with the senator had not contained threats.
I should also amplify the point that The Armed School Teacher made so well--that if gun rights advocates are being blamed for threats that were either never made, or had been made by agents provocateurs aligned with the other side, with the intention of discrediting the gun rights advocacy movement, it would not be the first time. I am not claiming that this is what is happening here--only that it has happened before.
Finally I will reiterate my disappointment that the very well documented calls to "snuff out" both a legal businessman and state lawmakers are, apparently, considered unworthy of investigation, while alleged threats (the evidence of which we are so far being asked to take on faith) have triggered investigations of people who were never thought to have made them. I simply do not see how anyone could argue that gun rights advocates in this state are frequently on the short end of a profound double standard.
People tend to take that kind of thing personally.