As mentioned Saturday, the Illinois Campaign to
Suppress Gun Ownership Prevent Gun Violence tried last night to exploit the murders of disarmed students and faculty by staging a conference at Northern Illinois University (scene of the most recent campus atrocity). The funny thing is that it didn't work out so well for the citizen disarmament advocates.
I just got back from the Naperville/NIU event and it was the single most lopsided forum I have ever witnessed. There were about 150 in the audience and 4 ICPGV presenters. Without exaggeration, my best guess would be that of the approx 150 in the audience there might have been less than 5 anti's with most of the remainder outwardly pro 2A. The panel took a real beating at the end of their presentation when no fewer than 20 pro2As stood at the microphone for the next 1/2 hour and gave the panel a real tongue lashing. This included the president of the ISRA who made a few "retaliatory verbal" trips to the mic to counter the blatant lies of the ICPGV.That's actually one of the more conservative estimates of the ratio of pro-rights to anti-rights activists--another attendee estimated an audience of perhaps 180 (maybe more), with only one person (aside from the four panelists) supporting citizen disarmament. News coverage mentions somewhat smaller numbers, but acknowledges that pro-rights activists were in the majority.
They were met by a largely pro-gun crowd of roughly 100 people who attacked the Illinois Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence leadership's positions, arguing the proposals would make it more difficult for law-abiding citizens to obtain firearms.As I have been saying recently, the other side's two big priorities in Illinois are currently a virtual ban on private sales of handguns and mandated low capacity magazines. The usefulness of the proposed magazine law was effectively rebutted by someone interviewed by the Daily Herald:
Carl O'Neill of Skokie said Evans' story was compelling, but the laws the sponsoring group is pursuing wouldn't change what happened to him.Excellent point, Mr. O'Neill.
"Mr. Evans said it took 1.5 seconds for the gunman to reload," O'Neill said. "There's no big difference that it takes three seconds to reload twice and fire 30 bullets than if he had a 30-round clip. It only takes one bullet to kill."
CBS2Chicago also has some coverage, and also acknowledges that supporters of gun rights outnumbered the disarmers.
But the majority of those listening to her [Nina Vinik, of the ICPGV] speak in Naperville were staunch gun rights activists, who insist the laws on the books right now are enough.Keep in mind, by the way, why this location was chosen by the ICPGV (aside from the attempt to cash in on the murders of the NIU students, by holding the event on that campus):
"We are not going to change our position," said Richard Pearson of the Illinois Rifle Association. "None of the laws that are proposed in Springfield will help stop crime."
Young said Naperville was chosen to host the event because of the support residents have shown for the organization's legislative agenda.So they carefully picked a location with the idea of stacking numbers in their favor, and were still overwhelmingly outnumbered by pro-rights advocates.
I'm proud of you, northern Illinois gun owners--you done good.
War on Guns has more, as does Days of Our Trailers.
Update: Found this article, from the Northern Illinois University student newspaper, after I'd already posted this blog. Anti-gun fanatic Steve Young seems a bit unhappy about the turnout, doesn't he? “The whole idea was education,” said ICPGV representative Steve Young, speaking one-on-one. “These are single-issue voters, and we heard from some pretty radical people tonight. These people make our case for us; all they have to do is show who they are,” Young said, referring to the protesters. Those "pretty radical people" seem to outnumber the people trying to disarm them--that disarmament effort is going to be tough.