Introduction by John Boch
Senator Trotter made a mistake forgetting about a gun in his carry-on. Yeah, he gamed the system a little bit. The gun in his carry-on was an oversight that frankly, could happen to any of us.
But Anita Alvarez let him sit in the can for 30-hours after his arrest.
You think that’s gonna engender a lot of love for Anita’s legislative efforts on guns, now that he’s tasted what the average Joe sometimes gets to endure?
Sure, he’s been anti-gun in the past.
Today, in his new district, he’s “moderated” his position – in part because his district is a good deal more conservative that it used to be AND because of grassroots pro-gun activists holding his feet to the fire.
If voters holding his feet to the fire gets us another pro-right-to-carry vote (and a vote to over-ride Quinn’s amendatory veto to ban America’s favorite rifle), then by golly, chill out folks. That’s a win.
Let’s not cannibalize an ally here.
Todd Vandermyde writes a very interesting piece. You don’t have to agree with him, but you would be wise to respect his analysis.
by Todd Vandermyde
Mr. Vandermyde is the NRA’s political point man in Springfield.
Reprinted with permission.
Yesterday, Senator Donnie Trotter was arrested for possessing a handgun in his carry-on bag when trying to board an airplane at O’Hare airport.
Some have tried to jump on a bandwagon of trying to dance in the misfortune of Senator Trotter’s inadvertent mistake. And that is what this appears to be, a simple mistake. The inattention to detail to realize that his bag contained a firearm and he was about to go through security at an airport.
Out of state groups who never spend any time working the halls of the Capitol would do well to learn the whole record rather than issue knee jerk press releases reveling in the misfortune of an otherwise law abiding gun owner. Minorities and women are the fastest growing demographic in new gun owners. Gun owners would do well to continue to reach out to this growing group, not drive them away by snotty press releases.
The real lesson of this is the lack of any semblance of compassion in the criminal justice system. We have laws for reasons, but justice for the sake of being punitive is not justice. What is absolutely appalling is the lack of any reasonableness in evaluating the situation and the circumstances around it. Instead we have a notorious anti-gun states attorney, who due to her own ineptness, can’t look past the totality of the situation in these cases, the flight attendant or Senator Trotter, and see that justice is not being done. Instead she clings to her disdain for firearms and people who would own them or even want to carry one for self protection. At a time when other states’ attorneys are publicly announcing that they will not prosecute people with FOID cards and no evil motives from carrying a firearm for self defense, we have Anita Alverez who wants to make an example out of people who make a mistake.
What is really glaring is the lack of proportion. Ms. Alverez was the COS under Dick Devine who in prosecuting Tyrus McCants for gun running, the illegal transfer of 3 or more firearms racked up the whopping sentence of 18 months probation on what is a class 1 felony – for supplying firearms on the streets of Chicago.
Yet Senator Trotter and a flight attendant should be made out as felons for a simple mistake, facing 1 to 3 years and a host of fines and legal costs. Which should offend our sensibilities more; the lack of common sense in the prosecution of these cases, or the inattention to detail that led to these charges?
Donnie Trotter will have spent almost 36 hours in detainment for his mistake. He now gets to go through the meat grinder many law abiding gun owners face. TSA shows they have about 1500 of these a year. He also gets to see the Cook County criminal justice system up close and personal as a person who had a legal firearm, a FOID and even a PERC card. He faces a smear of his reputation and achievements for this event. I would rather have someone who has tasted that for a mistake as an ally.
Donnie Trotter is a friend. But I know that but for the grace of God, in my haste on a trip someday, I could be sitting where he is today. And I would want the same opportunity not to have my life ruined because I made a mistake.
That’s why I will give Donnie Trotter and the flight attendant the benefit of the doubt and won’t pile on.