The alleged death threats against
Commissar Senator Kotowski (discussed here and here) are now in the news. The article is titled "Investigation begun of threats to Kotowski"--perhaps that means that the real investigation has finally begun, and that the Illinois State Police are done wasting time and resources with the harassment of people who have given no reason to believe that they threatened anyone.
The following line caught my eye:
Most of the threats referred to his sponsorship of gun safety legislation, Kotowski said this week.Most of the alleged threats were in reference to his civilian disarmament agenda? Some folks would have us believe that all the alleged threats came from the gun rights movement. I wonder if Rich Miller and friends would have ISRA apologize for and condemn those other threats, as well. I also wonder if the threats unrelated to gun legislation will receive the kind of investigative attention as those supposedly from gun rights advocates, or if instead, they'll be blown off, like the threats issued by "Snuffy" Pfleger, in front of hundreds of witnesses (and which were recorded).
The article then makes a rather odd assertion.
During the current spring session, Kotowski, of Park Ridge, successfully introduced proposals to tighten restrictions on high-capacity gun magazines and .50-caliber rifles. Both bills have received wide support and are awaiting final approval in the House and Senate respectively.Wide support? The .50 caliber ban bill was never brought up for a vote--presumably because its supporters didn't believe that they had the votes. That was before May 31st, when it would only have needed a simple majority. Now that it needs a 3/5ths majority, its chances of going anywhere during the overtime session are minimal, at most. The magazine ban bill did just barely squeak through the Senate, but again, was never brought up for a vote in the House--presumably for lack of support.
Another of the article's claims that I find a bit dubious is this one:
Kotowski is himself a victim of gun violence and, prior to his election in November 2006 over incumbent Republican Cheryl Axley of Mount Prospect, he was executive director of the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence.By "victim of gun violence," are they referring to the fact that he was mugged? The fact that a couple thugs (one of whom was armed) took twenty bucks from him bestows upon him the authority to violate the Constitutionally guaranteed fundamental human right of the individual to keep and bear arms?
A bit later, we get to why Kotowski believes that it's ISRA's fault that he has been threatened.
"The ISRA needs to take responsibility for inciting people. They created a climate where this is acceptable to some people by telling their members that my legislation takes guns out of the hands of U.S. troops in Iraq, that I'm 'dancing in the blood' of the Virginia Tech shootings," he said, referring to previous ISRA press releases opposing his efforts to pass new gun control legislation.Let me make sure I have this right--ISRA's expression of rather unflattering sentiments about Kotowski--without ever endorsing threatening behavior or violence "incites" people to do those things? Does that mean that gun rights advocates should not be allowed to express our abhorrence for those who wish to disarm us? That hardly sounds like the position of "a strong proponent of the 1st Amendment right to free speech," as Kotowski has claimed to be.
I wonder how careful the article's author was in his quoting.
In the days after ISRA's June 18 response hit the Internet, Kotowski said three death threats appeared online, including one stating that, because of what he's trying to do, Kotowski should feel that "his life is in danger."It is certainly possible that the article is referring to a quote other than the one I know of ("Sounds to me like Sen. Kotowski deserves to be threatened."), but if not, it would be a case of misquoting that would seem calculated to put a much more sinister light on what was said.
I don't believe in threats of violence as part of the political process, but I am proud to express my utter contempt and loathing for elected officials who would use their power to usurp fundamental civil rights.