Chicago’s wbez.org offers an inside baseball look at the NRA’s work for Canadian gun rights. Only not. Rob Wildeboer’s post is actually an excuse for the former Canuck and “Criminal Justice Reporter” to report on the bare-knuckled fight for concealed carry rights in The Land of Lincoln. And he does a damn good job of it too, especially the bit that pits Democratic congressman Mike Quigley against Richard Pearson, the director of the Illinois State Rifle Association (ISRA) on the subject of the National Rifle Association’s lobbying efforts. Quigley draws first blood . . .
Mike Quigley, a Democratic congressman representing the 5th district of Illinois on Chicago’s North Side, said people are deathly afraid of the NRA. “I think the American public would like to see reasonable gun control legislation, middle ground but the NRA has this headlock on Congress that they have like no other lobbying group, put a stranglehold on thoughts about gun.”
Quigley been pushing gun legislation and speaking out against the NRA.
“If anyone wonders that we occasionally have victories, no. This is total defeat, running from the battlefield. Republicans make no pretense of this. They’re pro-gun but the democrats have run from the battlefield,” he said.
Quigley says the NRA doesn’t let politicians take the middle ground in the gun debate in this country. “They warn people, you’re either with us a hundred percent or we’re gonna tell people to be against you.”
He says most races are so close that legislators don’t want to risk losing a couple percentage points because they were targeted by the NRA, so they stay mum on even seemingly sensible gun control measures.
“Seemingly.” Nice one Rob. But I don’t think Mr. Pearson needs that kind of help.
Pearson says they don’t want to give up any middle ground because gun control advocates want more and more middle ground and they never stop. “There is no compromising with these people because they always want to compromise on the compromise and pretty soon you have nothing left so we’re not going to compromise,” he said.
The political fight is inextricably linked in Pearson’s mind with freedom. Firearms protect the people from tyranny, and while there are downsides to firearms ownership, it’s worth the price to ensure our freedom.
Trying to counter the assertion that the NRA is eliminating the middle ground in the debate over guns, Pearson was asked if there was some sensible legislation to improve public safety that they could support.
“See I think everybody in Quigley’s district should have a 9-millimeter in their pockets. Now, why doesn’t he meet us on the middle ground there. I want to meet on our middle ground, not his middle ground.”
America’s fifth most populous state is the only state in these here United that doesn’t allow its citizens to carry a concealed weapon (excluding de facto ban states like New Jersey and New York). The NRA are hard at work—again, still—trying to restore gun rights to Illinois citizens.
TTAG will keep you posted.