WICS 20 Television out of Springfield, IL hosted an hour-long town hall on "Guns in Illinois". It ran live. As the Guns Save Life Executive Director, I had the privilege of representing the gun owner perspective with a host of other panelists to talk politics, gun rights and more.
Well, it went as I expected. They put a bunch of people in a room with Rep. Tim Butler from Springfield and myself as the the lone pro-gun voices.
It might be worth a watch at home or a listen as you drive down the road.
Here's the scorecard:
Mass shootings across the country are leading statehouses to consider stricter gun laws. Illinois lawmakers spent months trying to pass laws to protect the public without infringing on Second Amendment rights. All sides come to the table to tell you what they think needs to happen to end the violence in Monday’s special round-table report.
Date: Monday, June 11, 2018
Time: 7:00-8:00 p.m. (CT)
Rep. Tim Butler (R-Springfield)
Rep. Kathleen Willis (D-Addison)
Carl Draper, Springfield Attorney
John Boch, Guns Save Life
Rev. Martin Woulfe, Moms Demand Action
Kent Redfield, Political Science Professor
John O’Connor, Associated Press
Dave Dahl, WTAX Radio
Hannah Meisel, Freelance Political Reporter
John Reger, Anchor
Rachel Droze, Statehouse Reporter
It's available online. The segment where the Moms Demand Action representative (a man!) Rev. Martin Woulfe, myself and Professor Kent Redfield spoke starts at 22:00. Watch it. It's only about seven or eight minutes. The whispering you hear at the beginning of the segment was Hannah Meisel talking to someone, even though she was warned her mic would be hot even when she wasn't onstage.
It looks like it won't embed, so here's the link.
So what happened?
As I wrote, everything went as expected. I did okay on my first opportunity to speak. Doing live TV is always tension-filled, no doubt. And then the anchor John Reger threw a fastball second question right at my head:
REGER: Mr. Boch, Uh, what does someone need? I don't know what kind of gun you two might have, but who needs a semi-automatic or a fully automatic rifle, or a large-capacity magazines and those things? What kind of person needs that for their personal safety?
BOCH: Well John, first of all, it's not a Bill of Needs, it's a Bill of Rights. And you say what kind of person needs this kind of gun, well what kind of person needs the internet? Or what kind of person needs high-speed printing presses? You know, we respect the Constitution and its protections throughout technological advances over the years.
And I find it interesting the good reverend uses the Orlando massacre as a reason we should have gun control. The Orlando Massacre was an Islamic terror attack on America. The government can't keep us safe from Muslim extremists here in America, yet the gun control people want to use that as an excuse to take away our guns.
The AR-15 is America's favorite rifle for a reason. There's more of them out there than F-150 pickup trucks that have ever been made. And I'll remind you that the Sutherland Springs church massacre was stopped by a good guy with an AR-15 – who ran literally barefoot to the church to stop the attack.
Yeah, if you could have seen the look on his face when I said it was not a Bill of Needs, but a Bill of Rights… Yeah, it was truly priceless.