Mission statement:

Armed and Safe is a gun rights advocacy blog, with the mission of debunking the "logic" of the enemies of the Constitutionally guaranteed, fundamental human right of the individual to keep and bear arms.

I can be reached at 45superman@gmail.com.You can follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/45superman.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Attacking Second Amendment not enough for Commissar Senator Kotowski; now he wants to suppress the First Amendment, as well

A search of this blog would turn up a great many references to Illinois State Senator Dan Kotowski (and none are likely to be considered flattering). Today, I hope to ratchet the level of contempt I express for him to a brand new level--a level commensurate with the contempt he has expressed for the people of Illinois--you know, the people he ostensibly "represents."

I refer this time to what the Illinois State Rifle Association has discovered, that Kotowski is apparently siccing the state police on people who call or FAX him to express their displeasure with his civilian disarmament agenda.

ISRA Asks Senator Kotowski to Explain State Police Infringements on First Amendment Rights of Illinois Gun Owners

CHICAGO, June 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following was released today by the Illinois State Rifle Association (ISRA):

The ISRA is expressing great concern over reports that Illinois State Police (ISP) detectives have been visiting the homes of people who phoned or faxed Sen. Dan Kotowski (D-Park Ridge) to express opposition to gun control legislation sponsored by the senator. The ISRA has recently conducted a thorough investigation into one complaint, and is gathering additional information on as many as several dozen other reported incidents of police questioning citizens who have spoken out against gun control legislation.

In the case investigated thus far, the respondent reports that ISP detectives arrived at his home, unannounced, and informed him that their visit was in response to faxes he sent to Sen. Kotowski. The detectives then went on to ask the citizen questions about his mental health and other personal matters. Although the citizen was not arrested, he reports that he feels that the detectives were there to deliver the message that it's not a good idea to criticize Dan Kotowski or the gun control measures Kotowski supports.

"The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees the right of citizens to petition the government for the redress of grievances," said ISRA Executive Director, Richard Pearson. "Of course, the manner in which citizens exercise that right must not include any threats of harm against elected officials."

"When we first heard about the ISP visits to homes of people who had sent faxes to Sen. Kotowski, we were concerned that some folks may have acted inappropriately," continued Pearson. "However, upon inspection of the faxes in question, we see absolutely no reason for the ISP to visit citizens' homes -- other than to possibly put a damper on the citizen's desire to participate in the legislative process."

"At this time, we are asking Sen. Kotowski to produce any evidence he may have which illustrates threatening behavior on the part of citizens who have received ISP visits," said Pearson. "If Sen. Kotowski cannot produce any such evidence, then we will be asking Attorney General Madigan to conduct an investigation into the apparent use of the ISP to suppress the First Amendment rights of persons who express opposition to gun control legislation."
Note that people are receiving visits from the police not for threatening Kotowski (which I acknowledge would warrant a police response), but for merely expressing unhappiness with his legislative agenda. By the way, for some superb commentary about this from a fellow Illinois gun rights blogger (how did I fail to notice him all this time?), stop in for a lesson with the Armed School Teacher.

Oh, and for those folks who might want to drop our fearless Senator a line (and who don't mind a possible visit from the Illinois State Police), here's some contact information for Commissar Senator Kotowski:

Springfield Office phone: (217) 782-3875
District Office phone: (847) 797-1192
District Office FAX: (847) 797-1195

I'm sure you all know that you need to be absolutely sure that nothing you say could be construed by even the most enuretic of sissies to be even remotely hinting at even the vaguest of physical threats. You should probably keep a copy of the FAX, to be able to prove that no threat was made, and it wouldn't be a bad idea to record any calls you make, for the same reason.

Let's make sure Kotowski isn't lonely.