Imagine people who oppose holding violent criminals accountable for their crimes. For most of us, that’s a no-brainer. Yet not in most in today’s “progressive” Democrat caucus in the Illinois General Assembly. Certainly not in the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus that effectively runs the General Assembly. The concern themselves with offenders and their families, not victims and victims’ families. They make excuses for criminal behavior and blame “institutional racism” and other social justice slogans for crime, not evil in the hearts of bad people. Even more incredibly, among the Black Caucus members in particular, they must not really give a damn about all of the carnage in the black community (no, I’m not following AP style guidelines about capitalizing “black”, nor will I follow it in describing Hamas savage terrorists as “militants.”). What, over 80% of the victims of gang violence (after all, most of it is gang-related… and the guns aren’t firing by themselves) in Chicago are black.
What’s more, these progressive Democrats attempt to decriminalize crimes at every opportunity.
Remember the Illinois State Rep (and Black Caucus member) named Carol Ammons who reportedly shoplifted a Coach purse from a charity thrift shop in Urbana? As that offense was being investigated, State Rep. Carol Ammons – went on to introduce a bill to move felony shoplifting from $300 in merch to $1000 or more. (Was it $1500 or $2000?) Did she bring that bill to protect herself or to protect those like her who think it’s okay to steal from businesses because, well, “they have insurance.” Which of course they don’t.
I still remember sitting in what I thought was a “friendly” Democrat rep’s office and hearing the woman explain she wasn’t in favor of anything even remotely like Florida’s 10-20-Life law. That despite how 10-20-Life brought Florida’s firearm violent crime rates from above the national average down to HISTORIC lows in the space of about three or four years.
If you don’t remember, under the Sunshine State’s measure, if you possessed a gun during the commission of a violent crime, you got ten extra years on top of the sentence for the offense committed. And while the defendant could plea bargain on the underlying crime, the extra 10 years was non-negotiable and non-probationable. And there was no credit for good time. It was hard time.
For offenders who discharged a firearm in the commission of a violent crime, you got a twenty-year enhancement. The downside to this that happened on rare occasion? People who thought of themselves as good guys who used force inappropriately got a pretty steep penalty for not knowing the law as well as they should have.
For those who wounded or killed someone with that firearm, they got a 25 to life enhancement.
Basically, people who misused firearms were taken out of circulation for the better part of a generation and VIOLA! Firearm violent crime plummeted to historic lows in no time.
And that downstate Democrat, who is no longer in office, told me that she and her caucus would NEVER support a firearm enhancement like that, “I don’t care how much you claim it would lower gun violence.”
I was dumbfounded.
That was the day I lost my virginity when it came to politicking in Springfield.
Now, today, Dems in Springfield are doing their best to avoid voting for the renewal of a VERY watered down version of Florida’s old law. One that is not terribly commonly used and as such it’s pretty much utterly ineffective. (Note: When it is used, it does yield longer sentences. But social justice prosecutors can simply charge an offense as another crime that doesn’t trigger the enhancement to avoid it… and to avoid holding offenders responsible.) But even at that, the prog Dems don’t want to be seen as being harsh on the people they see as “victims” of systemic racism and all that DEI / social justice crap.
Proposal to extend stiffer gun offense penalty joins school tax credit, end to nuke moratorium on agenda of Illinois legislature’s final week
After more than 770 homicides were recorded in Chicago in 2016, then-Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration pressed Illinois lawmakers to pass a measure that would increase minimum prison sentences for repeat gun possession offenders.
The law that legislators ultimately approved took effect in 2018, and was a rare bit of policy common ground for Emanuel and Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner.
But in the years since, the level of gun violence in Chicago has remained stubbornly high, and most of the thousands of shootings that have occurred in the city each year remain unsolved. Critics cite those factors as among their reasons for opposing the enhanced sentencing law, which expires at the end of December.
An effort to extend the measure for another year is one of the issues facing lawmakers as they return to Springfield this week for their final scheduled three days in session this year.
Many of the Democrats who control the General Assembly have resisted criminal penalty enhancements in recent years, but party members also try to walk a fine line between progressive criminal justice reforms and the need to show constituents they’re not soft on crime.
The article continues for about 10,000 words but just rehashes the same things over and over, profiling how a number of Dems are trying to dodge this vote.