This past week we say a debate on right to carry that lasted something like 9 hours. Despite being under a court order, Chicago politicians are doing everything they can to slow walk the issue and try to get the most restrictive bill possible – a bill that would be a carry “law” but in practicality would leave you virtually no place in public where you could exercise your right to carry.
So what is going on in the House? Well seems that even if there is a court order, and in light of the Sandy Hook shooting, the Speaker is intent on getting roll calls to use against suburban republicans.
Remember that none of this is the final passage. And the bills being amended are likely NOT to be the final bills voted on. The amendments, are designed to put people in a trick bag. Take the one on carrying “near” a school.
First off it is so vague as to not pass constitutional muster. But the Speaker would rather have suburban republicans vote against it, so he can send out mail pieces in the campaign saying Rep Smith voted against keep guns away from your kids at school. Let us not forget that this was the same group that sent out mail pieces in the last election with a photo of a school hallway littered with brass from an AR-15.
The mail pieces write themselves. And Madigan has the money to put them in all kinds of mail boxes in those districts.
When adopting an amendment, it only needs a plurality NOT a majority. Say what? It means that of the members voting, you only have to have more than the other side to win and have it adopted. Instead of a hard 60 vote majority of the House you only need to beat the other side by 1 so an amendment that gets 46 votes to 43 votes is adopted. And conversely an amendment that get 35 votes to 40 votes fails.
But these are all second reading votes. And while it is nice to win every roll call. We are not going to play that game. And we need to educate our members and supporters about what is going on.
While some of them were important, the only vote that really matters is the one at the end of the day for final passage.
During the debate on the carry amendments we saw Colleges and others try to make it impossible to carry in public, but then, we also saw 68 (there were 67 votes with one of our good guys out for a medical reason) votes for our shall issue, preemptive carry amendment. That sent shock waves through the building as the City of Chicago has now gone into panic mode as we are now 3 votes shy of a super majority to pass a bill. And those votes are out there.
That vote was significant. The City is already trying to intimidate some of the votes that showed up on the bill. And now it is time for us to go into overdrive. Any bill that is a legislative iniative of the City of Chicago, we should oppose. And any downstate or suburban rep that supports us should vote present on all the City bills going forward. They want more red light cameras – vote no. They want special treatment to do X or Y vote no or present and leave them with their 35 votes that are not a majority in the House nor enough to pass ANY bill.
What the House votes showed was that we have enough hardcore votes to stop final passage of a bad bill. And we have the Votes to pass a good clean carry bill when it hits the floor.
Now over in the Senate President Cullerton is still looking for the grand bargain. HE still wants his take away piece for the anti-gunners. And has started a set of negotiations to see what can be hammered out. So far they are not happy with our answers. Shall issue, statewide, Preemption, commercial training.
We also know that anti-gun senators are calling their reps to try and keep them off the roll call in the House to try and squeeze us for a MAY issue bill. That isn’t going to happen.
In the meantime, all the guns bills are largely on hold in both chambers’ committees. In the House we are seeing bills being held, and amendments being kicked straight to the floor, without committee consideration.
So this coming week, we will see some sort of repeat of the last week, with the issue of the week being semi-auto bans. And this week, we may lose some of the amendment fights. But before you run off and get mad or distraught, understand that we are on the Madigan merry-go-round. This is his “show” and it is about gotcha politics. And right now we are working on a way not to play into his little game. Putting our supporters on dozens of bad votes does nothing to help the cause overall. The only votes that will matter are the ones on Third reading for final passage. Keep that in mind as we go forward. It’s not about every skirmish at this point. It’s about the war at the end of session.
The message going forward at this juncture is simple:
- No bad Carry bill
- No more gun bans or gun control
- No to the City of Chicago’s legislative agenda until the respect the Second Amendment.
- And thank you to those who supported Amendment 27 in the House – the Phelps carry “bill”
Another one to say thank you to is Ken Dunkin. The City is trying to intimidate him after the vote.
Guys we are a ways away from finishing this. But we are ahead and in the lead. They know the Court case is strong. They know if they push to far we will hold out. Keep banging on the phones and See you at IGOLD.