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a glimpse into the ISRA/NRA playbook

A glimpse into the ISRA/NRA playbook…

I came across two interesting things in my inbox last week.  The first was a message from State Representative Laura Fine outlining new laws in effect for 2014.  It also included an invitation to a educational forum on the concealed carry law to be held Wednesday, January 22nd at the Glenview Police Station.  The forum was being held in response to questions from business owners and residents about how the ccw law will affect them.  The panel will include representatives from the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence (ICHV) and the Cook County States Attorneys Office.  The ICHV is the oldest and largest statewide organization of its kind in the U.S.  Part of its mission is to educate the public about firearm violence and misuse and advocate for legislation to reduce easy access to guns.  The States Attorney’s Office is charged with prosecuting crimes.  Their expertise in translating the language of the law seems to make them a natural and valuable representative for the forum.


The second email was forwarded to me by a friend of mine.  The Illinois State Rifle Association issued an “urgent alert” announcing “antigunners to be holding meetings attacking concealed carry.”   Their email alleges that the purpose of the forum is not to educate, but to “frighten the public and spread lies about concealed carry on public safety.”  It goes on to say that: “Rep. Fine, the ICHV and the Cook County State's Attorneys Office want to strip you of your right of self defense, and then come take your guns away.  ARE YOU GOING TO STAND BY AND LET THE GUN GRABBERS TAKE WHAT IS RIGHTFULLY YOURS?  Of course not.  That is why you must stand up now and defend your rights!  That is why we must flood Fine's "Public Meeting" with solid supporters of the 2nd Amendment!”


If anyone is to be called out on fear mongering, it needs to be the ISRA.  They persistently stir up fears about gun confiscation among their base.   While recognizing the second amendment, they ignore and disrespect the first amendment.  Last year, an educational event was held at the Glenview Police Station meant to educate the public on gun violence.  The ISRA had issued a similar alert prior to the event and its loyal members turned out en masse and prohibited the panelists from being able to speak uninterrupted, as they heckled any statement they found disagreeable.  As I looked at those around me, I shrank in my seat, feeling as if I was surrounded by a group of schoolyard bullies.


Although the issue of guns and gun violence has been politicized and elicited visceral responses on both sides of the issue, I see it as a public health issue.  Much like smoking.  Unfortunately, the NRA has prohibited the Centers for Disease Control from conducting research related to gun violence.  The Tiahrt Amendment, also supported by the NRA, prohibits the release of gun tracing information to journalists, public health researchers and communities impacted by gun violence.  Despite the fact that Illinois is the 50th and final state to implement a concealed carry law, there is no public health information about the number of incidents involving a firearm carried in public.  Domestically manufactured firearms are not subject to any safety standards.  If this law will save more lives and prevent more injuries from occurring, as the ISRA claims it will, then let us be educated about the law and collect information related to ccw incidents in the cold light of day.

Marjorie Fujara MD, FAAP
Stephanie Farsht January 22, 2014 at 10:09 AM
Rep Fine's intentions were to educate her business owners on the new law, not to take away guns. The ISRA's intentions? To "flood" the meeting and "vigorously defend their rights" during an educational discussion on public safety. There are plenty of responsible gun owners that own businesses in that community that genuinely need to and want to learn more about this law. And there are plenty of non-gun owners that have the right to understand where loaded firearms will be. And for those who wrote comments about Chicago having strict gun laws with high crime, have you not heard of cars?
Mina Smith January 22, 2014 at 10:53 AM
"even if it saves ONE life" - you people always throw this around? can you prove a life has been saved via disarmament? No. Yet our side has actual number of lives saved through the defensive use of guns. So really if your are justifying certain actions by saying "even if it saves ONE life" then all y'all ought to be pro-gun and campaigning to ensure every household has one or several and all kids taught to shoot.
Mina Smith January 22, 2014 at 10:55 AM
"Rep Fine's intentions were to educate her business owners on the new law, not to take away guns." - and? so what?? It's a public meeting by a state representative who has a responsibility to all her constituents. What you guys are trying to do is sequester her in a room and pick and choose who gets to attend. No. Sorry. We are also members of the Public we will attend if we desire to. End of story.
Peter Flanagan January 22, 2014 at 12:09 PM
If Fine was really interested in educating businesses she'd have the Illinois State Police run the forum, not the ICHV which is a rabid antigun organization as is the Cook County State's Attorney's office. After all, the state police are administering the concealed carry program, not the ICHV or the state's attorney's office. The ISRA has as much right to be there to promote firearm ownership as the ICHV has being there to promote the banning and confiscation of privately owned firearms.
Dan Cox January 22, 2014 at 03:18 PM
The winds of change are blowing through Illinois and Rep. Fine, just got a Polar Vortex up her skirt! Conceal Carry is the biggest game changer to come to Illinois Politics in the last 50 Years! Finally, the voices of Illinois gun owners are being heard...LOUD AND CLEAR!
The Voice of Highland Park January 22, 2014 at 03:25 PM
Please I implore all Highland Parker's who don't agree with Dan's radical views to just not respond whenever he posts a comments. We enjoy our way of life in Highland Park and if Dan doesn't then he should post where he lives in Round Lake Beach
Mina Smith January 22, 2014 at 03:36 PM
The only time I ever notice patch commenters trying to out-group non-local but fellow Illinois residents is when that person disagrees with the poster in question. Let's take a quick poll, shall we, of the local area attached to our posters who agree with this person's position.
GS January 22, 2014 at 04:04 PM
Weird. Why does the Moms that don't get any action block all the people that disagree with them from their FB page? Don't ever leave the state...you'll never know that 50% of the people in other states are law abiding CCW holders. They could be next to you at the WI Dells or Walmart in IN. #clueless
GS January 22, 2014 at 04:05 PM
Guns save lives
Mina Smith January 22, 2014 at 04:11 PM
"Guns save lives" - yes they do, and we can put a number to that. Unlike the anti-gun coalition who cannot put any numbers to how many lives are "saved" via disarmament. IF "IT" SAVES ONLY ONE LIFE ... well, if it does then the answer to the question: What is "it"? Is guns. Not gun control.
Dan Cox January 22, 2014 at 04:17 PM
Stephanie Farsht, We are no longer going to stand by and allow the Anti-Second Amendment Advocates to spew their lies without a strong rebuttal, we are going to raise our voices and stand up for our Rights! We are winning court case after court case, re-affirming our Second Amendment Constitutional Rights and we are just getting started. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has stated that the courts have put him in a Straight-Jacket... well that is where any bureaucrat that tries to violate our Constitutional Rights belongs. Hmmm, what size is Rep. Fine?
Marjorie Fujara January 22, 2014 at 04:56 PM
I agree with two common threads posted by many with opposing views on this board: 1.There are other viewpoints on this issue that have a right to be heard. 2.That a forum like this should be open to the public. However, at the gun violence prevention event held last year at the Glenview Police Station, ISRA members infringed on my FIRST amendment right to peaceful assembly. "Public welcome" does not entitle you to be disruptive and disrespectful, even if you passionately disagree with something said. Maybe a legislator who passionately supported this law when it was being drafted could sponsor a forum with other voices being heard.
Mina Smith January 22, 2014 at 05:46 PM
... or maybe, just maybe, the folks organizing public meetings about guns and safety could invite everyone - you know, "the public" - and give everyone in attendance and opportunity to present their views. Instead of, as happened in Glenview, one side pontificating and grandstanding and the other side being prevented from doing anything other than looking on in horrified indignation at the callous regard for their rights and thoughts. Yes, what you all did at that meeting was explicitly prevent pro2A people from speaking. I believe the actual word used for grown adult men was "Shush!" Sorry, but public meetings don't get to cover only one side of an issue and use picky-choosy who's-on-my-side methods to ensure only one view gets heard so as to pretend that one view is the only view. I watched the video of the entire meeting from Glenview last year when it happened or maybe a day or two later. Your right to first amendment speech was not impeded whatsoever. What you did was respond as though a snake bit you every time a pro2A person said anything at all of any variety and then accused that pro2A person of bullying, even if he was doing absolutely nothing of the sort. I am sure there's a word for that; what I do know about it is that is a technique that is dishonest, without honor and it's a great way for you elevate yourself in the audience's mind by labelling us. Here's the difference between us and you: We value truth and honor and we use facts and data to support our position. We don't mind you speaking and presenting at our functions ... because you have nothing to refute our position. However, you take issue with our refuting it, every time, and use our refutation to show that we don't listen, we are bullies, we aren’t respecting you, etc, etc. So if you have an idea that will create a situation where some of you can sit in a room with some of us and allow our refutation of your feelings and "what if" scenarios by using our facts, logic and data great. Let's get it on, girl.
Mina Smith January 22, 2014 at 06:02 PM
Glenview meeting from Jan 2013, for your viewing pleasure: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7C44B55YYLQ#t=30
Mina Smith January 22, 2014 at 06:15 PM
I have totally forgotten about the slides of the NRA as a Rotty transformed into a Chihuahua and then the slide of a gun show with swastikas in the background. LOL - and you say that you want to be respected and not have to feel bullied, huh? Your hypocrisy would be hilarious if it weren't so obvious. You all really need to tighten that up a bit and make it a bit more mysterious - it would be a lot more fun that way.
Mina Smith January 22, 2014 at 06:42 PM
some great outtakes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5J0REVc8Kxk&feature=youtu.be
Dan Cox January 22, 2014 at 07:39 PM
Mina Smith, Welcome to my world, your comments are spot on and I could not agree more. It has been a long time since I have heard our side expressed so well, Thank You.
Dan Cox January 22, 2014 at 08:21 PM
I attended the "educational event held at the Glenview Police Station last year, after Winnetka officials declined to allow it to be held there. My Son D.J. (9) and myself arrived too late to gain entry into the event, so we protested outside, with over 150 other people. It was Winter and it was cold, but we stayed and we met some of your Anti-Gun Advocates outside, as they left the meeting. My Son D.J. was holding a sign that read...Support Conceal Carry in Illinois and it really upset the the Anti-Gun Advocates, so much so, that they tried to stop a local news photographer from taking his photo. They have no respect for our Constitutional Rights or for the Rights of that media photographer. The one sided, slanted, biased reporting of the event by Marjori Fujara is a perfect example of the Anti-Gun Advocates Agenda and is a glimpse into the playbook of the Chicago Style gun-control groups.
Mina Smith January 22, 2014 at 09:23 PM
Well Dan, let's be fair. At the end of the day here are two groups of people with the same goal: Fewer children dying as a result of violence. That is their goal and it is our goal, too. So there's our common ground. Where we differ of course is in our method of getting there. They want to take an approach that is logistically impossible as well as un-Constitutional and we want to take an approach that is proven to save lives. There is not one life that anyone can point to that has been saved because guns were banned or outlawed. Yet we can point to numerous people every week all around the country who have been saved because they had a gun and knew how to use it to protect themselves. What I am willing to say is this: Everyone should have their right to do as they please faced with the threat of a violent criminal at their doorstep. Marjorie and her crew would prefer to be gun-free, defenseless and hope that somehow her high n mighty ideals will save her so that she will see the light of another day. We would prefer to be armed and trained and prepared to face danger with confidence and if nothing else have a good fighting chance to not end up raped on the living room floor and our kids dis-embowled in front of us. If you Marjorie and your crew want to die for your ideals, that's your perogative. Die with your heads held high. But don't you dare push your high n mighty ideals on me and tell me that I have to sacrifice myself and my kids for them especially when I believe vehemently that given an opportunity to protect myself and my kids, I have a good chance of winning. That is where we part company - right at the point where you think it is your right to tell me and my kids it's ok for us to die for your ideals. No.
Peter Flanagan January 22, 2014 at 09:49 PM
Sorry Mina, gotta disagree with you. I've been following the gun control movement for 40 years. They have only one goal in mind - the political neutralization of a sizable, socially conservative bloc of voters. They really don't care any more about dead school kids today than they did dead politicians when the GCA of '68 was passed. They don't care about facts and figures or anything "reasonable" that you may throw at them. They want to take your guns away for no other reason than they don't want you to have guns. Period.
Dan Cox January 22, 2014 at 10:08 PM
Peter Flanagan, I live in this area and work in these homes on a daily basis as a Plumbing Contractor... I know the people of this area and I used to know the people of East Central Illinois. It is a different world here, most of the folks here are on the fence and are looking for a simple solution to a complex issue. The Anti-Gun Advocates are using the information fed to them by Bloomberg to influence the future decisions of these residents, including how they Vote! I have had great success in talking to hundreds of these folks and most do not subscribe to the Bloomberg doctrine. There are pockets of Progressive Liberals that are causing issues like Highland Park, Skokie and Evanston, but most other places are not accepting the non-sense. The AWB push that happened last year is a very good example of where the enemies of freedom live.
Mina Smith January 23, 2014 at 10:25 AM
It is honorable to give them the benefit of a doubt and believe them when they say they want to save the lives of children. Since that's my goal, too, it makes sense for us to declare that our common ground :-) YMMV.
Dan Cox January 23, 2014 at 02:28 PM
Mina Smith, There is a diverse crossection of demographics at work here. It is impossible to put a handle on where all of these people are coming from or why they feel the way they do. Alot of the "feelings" and perceptions have been taught to them from school teachers and admistrators that have strong Anti-Gun beliefs. I fought Tooth and Nail with the Teachers that wanted to mold their students into Anti-Second Amendment Advocates and it was a battle. I won those battles by never surrendering and demanding that my Constitutional Rights be respected. The funny thing was, most of my support came from people who were Naturalized Citizens, immigrants that came from places like Korea, India, Pakistan, Russia and the Ukraine. These people learned the Constitution and knew it word for word, verse by verse and they would not be persuaded to cede their Rights. Our children are being taught to not fight for their Rights, but rather to follow the ideas and concepts of political leaders like NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg. We need to spend more time with our children and teach them about the forces at work to destroy our Constitution and our freedom.
Mina Smith January 23, 2014 at 02:57 PM
I hear what you are saying. However the goal of my statement was to provide the requested respect and validation to the article author. Someone has to take charge of the olive branch; since we're winning it probably should be us.
Dan Cox January 23, 2014 at 03:09 PM
Mina Smith, "Olive Branch"? Sorry, but I know these people far to well and they are not going to play fair or work towards a middle ground. What you propose is like a General of the Polish Calvery, reaching out to the Germans during a Blitzkreig. We need to reach out to the populace, the residents of Illinois, esspecially in Places like Glenview, Wheeling, Palatine and others, to bring them into the fold. This is a war of winning hearts and minds...and VOTES!
Mina Smith January 23, 2014 at 03:12 PM
I hear what you are saying. I am doing what I am doing for very specific reasons and I don't really need help with my strategy :-) Thanks Dan!
Dan Cox January 23, 2014 at 03:56 PM
Mina Smith, Best of luck to you, please remember...you will be swimming with Sharks!
Dan Cox January 23, 2014 at 04:24 PM
GUN OWNERS...Join the Illinois State Rifle Association, http//www.isra
Dan Cox January 23, 2014 at 04:26 PM
ISRA www.isra.org or Phone# 815 635 3198
Tony Phillips January 29, 2014 at 04:56 PM
Where did you get your medical degree or is that a lie too?

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