Oh, the Sun-Times. Like a broken (analog) clock, they are usually decent at what they do for a couple of minutes each day. The rest of the time, they are tone deaf, clueless or just plain antagonistic with people and ideas that don’t agree with the narrative. So much for welcoming a diversity of opinions.
In recent days, they’ve been hyperventilating over gun control.
They’ve gotten themselves worked up into a frenzy over sheriffs telling Governor Pritzker to pound sand over the new gun ban. And they treated their dwindling readership to another editorial tells sheriffs to do their jobs.
Let’s fisk them, shall we?
Both stories are behind paywalls of a sort… the kind where you have to provide your email address and get spammed to death in order to read them. So no links. Tip: You can skip the paywall at Wayback Machine.
Sheriffs, do your duty and uphold the law on assault weapons
By Tom Weitzel
Illinois recently passed new gun legislation that was signed into law almost immediately by Gov. J.B. Pritzker. The main provision of the bill, an assault weapons ban, was a direct result of the mass shooting that took place in Highland Park on July 4, 2022.
Yep, a half-dozen black folks getting killed every weekend in Chicago in black-on-black crime has been and continues to be largely ignored by the (ahem) people running our state for how long now? But let a half-dozen white folks get killed in a uber-wealth suburb, that spurs people like Bozo Bob Morgan into action, lickety-split.
Since then, press releases, news conferences and social media posts have shown a number of Illinois sheriffs and state’s attorneys stating that they will not enforce this new gun legislation. Not only is this a slippery slope — it is an avalanche. For sheriffs and state’s attorneys to publicly state that they will not enforce the law is not only a violation of their duty, but it also defies logic.
Defies logic? O-really? Only if you’re a very dim bulb.
I do not support every single piece of legislation that comes out of Springfield, but I must comply with it or work to reverse or modify the legislation, which is exactly what is happening right now with other legislation that includes controversial provisions eliminating cash bail — the SAFE-T Act.
I (blah blah blah), BUT…
That’s a common recipe for people who want to strip you of your rights. In fact, when you read or hear it, you can brace yourself because here it comes…
I do not understand how any official who has taken a sworn oath to enforce the law can make that kind of statement.
A lot of us wonder how people / officials who have taken a sworn oath to uphold the law could vote for such a bill. Much less choose to uphold a patently unconstitutional measure.
Nearly every single survey, poll and national police organization have stated for the last two years that law enforcement in general is suffering from a lack of confidence and trust by the public, who feel there is politics and partisanship in our profession. So, how could you possibly take a chance on making matters worse?
Take a chance.
Hey, Tom, put down the recreational marijuana and have a listen: do the right thing and don’t worry about what harpies and radicals think.
Support the Constitution.
Instead of trying to manipulate people with fears and emotions as our politicians and media outlets like the Sun-Times like to do, these sheriffs can help people to understand the truth so we will all be better, smarter citizens.
The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police (ILACP), the National Sheriffs Association (NSA) and the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE), to mention a few, have stated publicly that police agencies need to do a much better job of getting their message across to residents and delivering highly ethical law enforcement services to all citizens. And then sheriffs make this ridiculous statement against enforcing the law.
I am aware this new law may well be rule unconstitutional. That is still to be determined.
To be determined? Are you equally slow-witted that you need a road map to figure out a motive when an Islamic gentleman screams “Allah Akbar” as he shoots up a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida?
Also, several lawsuits challenging the legislation are sure to be filed and in fact, have already commenced. That is the way the system works. If these sheriffs and state’s attorneys want to change the law, then they need to start work on doing just that. To just not enforce it puts the police profession in a downward spiral.
“puts the police profession in a downward spiral?” Nah, it’s thinking like yours and that of the people running our state and our largest cities who are doing a fine job taking care of that by themselves.
When I was police chief in Riverside, we faced an issue involving a medical facility that was going to perform abortions. There were some officers who came to me and said they did not want to be assigned to special details where they might have to guard the facility. Simply and bluntly, I told them to do their job, or lose their job — period. They are sworn to uphold the law and if abortions were going to be legally administered at this facility, we had an obligation to protect the workers, not take political or religious stances on whether we would do our jobs. That would be disastrous, and there would be no way to draw the line in the future.
Nothing like tossing in an unrelated issue…
This was not an issue of whether any of us believed in a woman’s right to an abortion. It was a matter of honoring our sworn oath to protect the citizens we served. Ultimately, the medical facility never did contact us for protection , but I certainly made my statement to my officers at every single roll call I attended.
Politics in our nation have become so enmeshed in partisanship that it is bleeding into and affecting law enforcement. If law enforcement leaders cannot stay out of the political fray and refrain from making purposefully inflammatory statements for their own personal gain, the profession is doomed.
I will continue to fight through all legal channels for issues I believe in. Police chiefs, sheriffs and state’s attorneys, just do your job.
“Just following orders” didn’t work for the German soldiers on trial at Nuremburg.
Where in the Constitution does it say people must live in fear of powerful weapons?
Where in the Constitution does it say people have the right not to fear?
Get over your fears. Learn. Take action to mitigate threats. Empower yourself instead of living in fear.
By CST Editorial Board
When guns are used to threaten or shoot at people, they paint a target on the backs of free expression and democracy as well spreading death and injuries.
On Monday, Solomon Peña, a failed Republican political candidate in New Mexico, was charged with organizing and participating in a scheme with four other men to fire bullets into the homes of four Democratic lawmakers. It was just another example of firearms being used in a way that could quell free and open debate.
Well now. Did you guys forget to mention the radical leftist, anti-gun activist (and transgendered individual) who traveled across the country to assassinate Justice Kavanaugh with a Glock pistol?
Or the James T. Hodgkinson guy from Illinois who tried to assassinate the entire Republican charity softball team?
One of the guns the assailants reportedly carried was an automatic rifle that could have, by firing many more bullets over a wider target area, injured or killed the occupants of those homes, had it not jammed. Fortunately, the occupants of the homes were not hit.
Do they mean like James T. Hodgkinson?
It is that exponential lethality of powerful firearms that led lawmakers in Illinois to ban assault-style rifles and high-capacity magazines with a bill Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed on Jan. 10.
Defying the rule of law when he signed it into law.
The law also banned rapid-fire devices known as switches because they turn firearms into fully automatic weapons.
Already illegal, but Kim Foxx doesn’t prosecute those caught with them… unless they’re white guys with FOID cards. Seven “switched” Glocks (see above) were recovered by a single CPD district in December IN A SINGLE DAY. How many were prosecuted? Not a one we could find.
Even if the Illinois law is upheld in court, it won’t stop all shootings, but it could save many lives and prevent many injuries. It also will reduce the fear of those in a public space they will encounter someone with a weapon that can spread instant carnage.
Could save lives? How about the lives saved by good guys owning the best guns for defensive use? After all, criminals tend to run in packs today in Chicago…
Unfortunately, sheriffs from about 80 Illinois counties have said they won’t enforce the assault weapons ban. That invites unnecessary tragedy. If sheriffs don’t think they must uphold the law, even though they have sworn to do so upon taking office, is there a risk that ordinary people will think they don’t have to abide by laws they don’t like? Could sheriffs decide on their own, for example, that they can search people’s homes without a warrant?
Some things are patently unconstitutional. Like refusing to enforce a Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education to desegregate the last of America’s segregated schools. Plenty of racist local and state-level leaders had all sorts of “good arguments” why keeping schools segregated seemed a good idea among their fellow bigots and racists. Fortunately they and their bigoted ideas were cast into the dustbin of history.
Kudos to the sheriffs for telling authoritarian state leaders to pound sand on this issue.
By taking sides with firearms over public safety, the sheriffs also exhibit a lack of interest in promoting safety, reducing gun violence and preventing the threat of powerful weapons from discouraging citizens from fully participating in public life.
No “the sky is falling” over Chicago/Cook County/State of Illinois amnesty for illegal aliens?
As a practical matter, the sheriffs don’t have a major role in enforcing the ban on gun dealers selling assault-style weapons and high-capacity magazines. People who owned such guns before the ban went into effect must register them with the Illinois State Police by Jan. 1, 2024.
HINT: We’re not.
We’re not going to have to.
But nothing in the new law says any sheriff or any law enforcement official is required to knock on peoples’ doors to ask if their firearms have been registered and confiscate them if they are not. Moreover, the law is generally enforced by the state police and the Illinois attorney general, not sheriffs.
Still, it is the sheriff’s job to enforce all laws, not to decide what the law should be or whether it is constitutional. It’s up to the Legislature and governor to enact laws, and up to the courts to rule on constitutionality.
Some things are so obviously unconstitutional that even low-information types can see it. Would the Sun-Times be so “just following orders” about shutting down newspapers or churches?
Sheriff’s deputies will, of course, have opportunities to enforce the law if they, in the course of encountering an individual for another reason, see an assault weapon or high-capacity magazine.
But supposing law officers ignore illegal weapons that then are used in a case similar to the New Mexico shootings? Allowing such weapons to circulate in society continues to pose a chilling effect on democracy. To coin a phrase, political intimidation grows out of the barrel of a gun.
An armed society is a polite society. It’s also a society where strong people don’t depend on government to keep families safe in their daily lives.
In the end, the courts will rule on the constitutionality of the new Illinois law. The Illinois State Rifle Association has filed a federal lawsuit and other lawsuits have been filed in state courts, though the federal courts are the place where the important decisions will be made.
Yes they will.
In the political vernacular of our times, issues from vaccines to climate change have been “weaponized,” as some people just won’t listen to the other side.
“Some people”… Oh, that’s RICH. You mean like big tech, and the mainstream media like the Sun-Times who have been CENSORING free speech discussions over everything from vaccines to the global warming hoaxes to face diapers to hydroxychloroquine to grooming our children in schools to illegal immigration to election integrity?
You, Sun-Times, and political hacks and other left-wing media outlets freaked out not-so-bright Americans into this:
You can’t listen to the other side if they’ve been forcibly silenced.
To make our state and nation safer, people must stop “weaponizing” guns and work together for solutions.
You mean solutions like fixing the Chicago Public Schools so that more than 11% of black students can read at grade level?
Solutions like instead of welcoming illegal aliens, who oftentimes aren’t the very best and sometimes are downright violent criminals, we send them back?
Solutions like holding violent criminals accountable? You know, Florida passed a sentencing enhancement law that within just a few years lowered that state’s firearm violent crime to the lowest it’s ever been! Use a gun in the commission of a violent crime, add ten years. Discharge it, add twenty years. Wound or kill someone? 25 to Life. Those are years on top of the underlying crime.
There was no parole, probation or plea bargaining away that enhancement. It was hard time. And the word got out if you use a gun in the commission of a crime, plan on spending a generation or more in prison.
As it is right now, while 87% of kids might graduate high school, in many places too many of them couldn’t read the diploma to you. They have little hope of a good job, buying a home, getting married, raising children, having a career and being productive members of society contributing to their communities.
Instead, semi-literate kids today see the glamorous “gang” lifestyle as the only real hope they have at success.
They see the glamor and the money from the gang lifestyle.
They gain prestige among their peers for a willingness to inflict violence upon others.
Nevermind that the gang lifestyle is an expressway to early death or long-term incarceration.