Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. conspicuously dropped out of the public eye a couple of months ago. Some figured it had something to do with the pending House Ethics Committee investigation into his money-raising efforts on behalf of yet another jailed Illinois governor, Rod Blagojevich. There were whispers that he was being treated for a drug or alcohol problem. A few even speculated he might have attempted suicide. But last week, his wife broke the silence . . .

She told the Chicago Sun Times that the Congressman suffered an emotional “collapse” in June and is undergoing treatment after being “completely debilitated by depression.” And while we all hope he makes a full recovery, Warner Todd Huston of chicagonow.com points out that the Congressman holds an Illinois firearms owner identification (FOID) card.

Jackson, a Chicago resident, is also one of the most dedicated gun controllers in Congress. And his malady raises an inevitable question.

It is also public knowledge in Illinois that he is a holder of an Illinois Firearms Owner ID (a FOID card). This state-issued ID that allows Illinois residents to legally purchase firearms and ammunition is supposed to be revoked for people that have been admitted to a mental health facility. So, will the state revoke Jackson’s FOID card?

Huston goes so far as to cite Illinois law on the subject:

Sec. 8. The Department of State Police has authority to deny an application for or to revoke and seize a Firearm Owner’s Identification Card previously issued under this Act only if the Department finds that the applicant or the person to whom such card was issued is or was at the time of issuance:

(e) A person who has been a patient of a mental institution within the past 5 years or has been adjudicated as a mental defective;

And it’s not an unreasonable assumption that, since the Congressman has an Illinois FOID, he probably also owns an actual firearm or two.

So, the big question is, will there be calls from the left to have Jackson’s rights to his firearms removed in accordance both with the law in his state and city but in accordance to his left-wing ideals?

When a Loughner or a Holmes snaps, there’s no shortage of gun grabbers demanding that anyone who’s so much as felt depressed when their pet goldfish dies should lose their right to armed self defense. In their world view, it’s just a small step from drowning your sorrows over a bad breakup to lighting up a theater full of moviegoers.

But Jackson’s been hospitalized at the Mayo Clinic and diagnosed as a bipolar 2. That’s a condition that’s usually manageable with medication. Not that that would be nearly good enough for the anti-2A crowd. At least it wouldn’t if we were talking about someone other than a reliable gun-controlling Congressman.

So will Rahm and Chief McCarthy – who take a back seat to no one in their anti-gun zeal – have the stones to follow Illinois law and send a couple of CPD officers to demand that Jesse Jr. turn over his FOID and heaters?

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53 Responses to Question of the Day: Should Jesse Jackson Jr. Have his Gun Rights Revoked?

  1. So will Rahm and Chief McCarthy – who take a back seat to no one in their anti-gun zeal – have the stones to follow Illinois law and send a couple of CPD officers to demand that Jesse Jr. turn over his FOID and heaters?

    Has anyone sent them an email asking them?

  2. Gee, how hypoctritical is it to have an FOID and own guns when you want everyone else to be denied the right to keep and bear arms?

    Ever notice how common this form of hypocrisy is among Democrat anti-gun politicians, like Nancy Pelosi, Dianne Feinstein, Teddy Kennedy [back when he was still above ground], the publisher of the NY Times, and all of the mayors, senators, congresscreeps, and Presidents who want to ban guns for everyone EXCEPT their [armed] bodyguards and their own families?

    • it’s worse than bodygaurds. at the time feinstein was pushing for the awb she had a concealed carry permit. someyhing a peasant like me can’t get living in the bay area.

  3. Not sure about Illinois but an old time “mental institution” is pretty hard to find in lots of places these days. Most people being treated for emotional/mental conditions end up being treated with prescriptions by their family physicians, outpatient by mental health professionals or in psych wards of regular hospitals if hospitalization is required. As for being “adjudicated as a mental defective”, that used to mean being mentally retarded (a politically incorrect term these days). Not sure what the current Newspeak meaning of “mental defective” is. You would have to meet the letter of the law to suffer the consequences, I would think.

    Since about half to two-thirds of the population of the USA takes some kind of tranquilizer or mood-stabilizing prescription drug on at least an occasional basis, I’m not sure anyone is qualified to decide that another manic depressive shouldn’t keep and bear arms.

  4. I’d rather he and his whole tainted bloodline have their free speech revoked.They shouldn’t mind, since we already see how little they care about Constitutional rights.

  5. This issue needs to be pushed vis-a-vis Fox News so Bloomy and all anti-gunners can then be taped and made to eat crow when their boy is dragged out in front.

    • Vehemently disagree. That is the type of knee-jerk short sighted response we’d expect from the left.

      Bi-Polar disorder is a highly treatable condition and shouldn’t be an automatic disqualification. Several million Americans successfully deal with it and lead perfectly normal lives. I am one of them. What matters is how responsible an individual is with their treatment and medication. I’ve dealt with it for 26 years and the closest I’ve come to law breaking is a couple speeding tickets. The folks that refuse treatment and make trouble are usually adjudicated by court and therefore not allowed to buy a firearm.

      As much as I’d love to condemn JJ Jr. for his hypocrisy this isn’t a valid reason. What I’m most interested to see is whether the Brady bunch or MAIG call for his FOID to be revoked just as they call for it for anyone with a diagnosed mental illness.

      • Good for you for being able to cope with it. But for me and the life experiences I have had with bi-polar people in school (all of which ,only one I knew and was friends with, is still alive!) who have killed themselves in many violent ways I say, no!

        Shawn Lee – shotgun blast with rabbit shot to the gut. In front of his Grandmother, in the street, outside the house where he lived. We are lucky he just shot himself.

        Dan Howlett – hung himself. Off his meds one day and stomped a kid near to death at a bus stop but for no reason accept being off his meds. Hung himself out of guilt he wrote.

        I forget this guys name, he went school with my sister. Anyways his girlfriend was done with him. He beat her, raped her and when she threatened to call the police he shot her point blank in the head with a .303 in their kitchen in the apartment they shared.

        Sorry, I just don’t trust anyone with issues to have a firearm

  6. Good piece Dan.

    “And while we all hope he makes a full recovery”
    — speak for yourself 🙂

    “Jackson, a Chicago resident, is also one of the most dedicated gun controllers in Congress”
    “It is also public knowledge in Illinois that he is a holder of an Illinois Firearms Owner ID (a FOID card)”
    — Not surprised.

    ‘Do as I say not as I do.’ Leadership (as lousy an anti-gun liberal leader as this dude is) sets an example for their sheeple. This is just another example of a politician-priest failing their followers with double-standards. The rationalization or excuse that ‘so and so is a celebrity or politician and has a right to a gun’ is increasingly being scoffed at by the average voter.

  7. It doesn’t matter. Not really. If Junior Jackson is forced to give up his card and firearms, then Rahm and McCarthy will brag how they vigorously applied the law with equality. And junior will still have a firearm if he that’s what he wants. The privileged few are seldom punished or controlled.

    • It does matter. The question is: Should he have his gun rights revoked. The answer is, yes. Whether or not that will happen is another story. The fact of the matter is that if he doesn’t then there is a blatant disparity that is not even trying to be hidden. Most people these days don’t stand by that.

      • Of course he should have them revoked. But if Jr Jax loses his “rights” he will still do and own whatever he wants. Hizzoner and the Chief will look the other way while publicly congratulating themselves on how they applied the law equally. Revoking Jackson’s gun rights would be a small public relations win for the Mayor and Chief with no real consequence to Jackson. It’s almost better if they do nothing and continue revealing themselves for the hypocrites they are.

        • Yeah. I see what you are saying. I think either way they go with it they look bad – and that’s good!

  8. . . . Department of State Police has the authority. . . . It doesn’t say ‘must’. However, I agree, the State police SHOULD confiscate Jackson’s FOID card, his guns, his ammo and the Constitutional rights he would deny others.

    • Right. It’s a case of ‘MAY revoke/seize’ an FOID of someone who becomes disqualified, no requirement to do so.
      I just checked the back of my NJ version of the FOID. If JJJr was a NJ Representative (spare us that, please) he would be holding an automatically void FOID card, which the law requires him to surrender to the Superintendent of State Police within 5 days, or be guilty of a misdemeanor.
      Let’s see if Law Enforcement in Chicago wants to set a precedent in how they handle this.
      What do you have to say, Rahmbo?

  9. Revocation according to Illinois laws, just like everybody else. EQUAL protection under the law I believe is the standard.

  10. The question is, is he a danger to himself or others? I have a bi polar nephew who has tried to kill himself several times (or was it a call for help, you be the judge), even going so far as to cut his own throat (but not a single, strong deep slash). Frankly, I am glad he does not have access to a gun (he has been hospitalized repeatedly).

    • 1. Jesse Jackson, Jr., politician, should be treated fairly equally with any other resident and citizen of Illinois similarly situated, including any other Illinois resident and citizen voluntarily admitted to a mental hospital and similarly diagnosed. However, I have lived briefly in Chicago, years ago, and, unless things have changed significantly, which I doubt, being treated fairly and equally, or a politician and a regular citizen being treated equally, there, or in many other places I could name, is too much to expect.

      3. If Jackson were some broke, out of work, honest working fellow, instead of a wealthy incumbent politician tied into the machine, and suffered the same depression and bipolar disorders they say he has, his only real way to get help would be to go through the public mental health system in which, like here in Texas, the only way to get in, even if you want in, is to go through the commitment process, he would be forever barred from owning a gun, or even riding in a pickup truck with someone who carried an unloaded gun, or visiting in the home of a friend whose gun was not locked up, by the 1968 federal gun law, designed to sweep in as many people as politically possible. That might also get you if you had bounced a check and not been able to cover it in ten days, etc.

      4. I’m personally and professionally an expert on this and the poster who tried to draw a distinction between cutting your own throat but not fatally as a “cry for help” or a “suicide attempt” is just 180 degrees backwards dead wrong according to the leading professional experts in this field as far as risk of a later, more lethal attempt is concerned.

      5. We know someone who has, when last heard from before she disappeared, already bought three guns and shot herself, non-fatally, three times, but, under the 1968 federal law, was not on the federal no-gun list, although she is also an alcoholic and hard drug addict, etc., because, until she and her husband finally both lost their good jobs and insurance, she had never ended up “committed” and in the state mental hospital system. She has now, after they went broke. She has also been divorced. That law also bans alcoholics and drug addicts from having guns, but the Supreme Court long ago held, in substance and effect, that you couldn’t have those to bar alcoholics from buying alcohol, etc., so there are no lists of those and that part of the law is notably unenforced. Part of the problem with DUI law is that, if made and enforced strictly, it would catch too many legislators and other politicians and other influential high-dollar drunks. I have represented an awful lot of child and adult survivors of incestuous childhood sexual abuse, some of whom were the daughters, sisters, nieces, etc., of elected and powerful appointed officials palmed off on us by both political parties, and some of the victims are, but their molesters are not, on the federal and state no-gun list because, while the victims have required treatment as a result of this abuse, their influential molesters, and those who knew enough to be required to, but didn’t, report, or take further, official action, never get investigated or prosecuted because of their social, financial, and political standing.

      7. The interplay between the state and federal laws to which the author referred is altogether too confusing even for lawyers like me. A federal judge told some of us that he had been shocked to discover that one defendant appearing before him for deer hunting after a DUI had violated, and was sure he hadn’t realized that he had violated, the 1968 federal law. The Texas Mental Health Code also says that “temporary court-ordered inpatient mental health treatment,” commonly referred to as a commitment, carries no loss of rights or privileges once you have been discharged, but the federal law brands you ineligible for life solely on the basis of such an order. There is no way on earth that the average person could know what his rights, duties, and disabilities are under Texas or other laws.

      8. As far as preventing suicides, something I do favor, even here in Texas, although guns are used in a substantial percentage of completed suicides, it is noteworthy that, totally and by males, these are outnumbered by completed suicides, by asphyxiation by one method or another (the statistics don’t break that down). As for liberty, a disturbing number of suicides are completed in jails, juvenile detention facilities, and juvenile and adult prisons. I lost a family member to suicide with a pistol easily acquired in New York City with some of the strictest gun laws in the country. He also had enough prescription and non-prescription medication to have done this with either. If you’re on Medicaid, Medicare Part D, or private pay, the normal prescription for one common antidepressant is several times the published lethal dose even without adding alcohol. I knew or know of several people who had no trouble at all getting prescriptions issued and filled which they used to commit suicide. Anyone on the no-gun list can, of course, buy any number of things at any Wal-Mart, no questions asked, that can be used to commit suicide relatively easily, painlessly, and surely. I’ve lost count of the suicides completed by people immediately after having been released from just one emergency mental health facility in Dallas as not meeting the criteria for commitment, just by stepping into the same roadway you have to walk across to get there by public transit, and I know very well of other cases where commitment was too easy and abused for ulterior purposes. I have seen figures on the official State Bar of Texas Web site that indicate as many as 10 – 20,000 [they appear to have changed the number one or more times] of the 87,000 actively practicing lawyers are “impaired” by mental illness or substance abuse, without breaking that down or explaining how they defined “impaired.”

      9. The tragic mass murders, mostly shootings, which were rare until Whitman’s University of Texas Tower shooting about 1966, before whch I can only remember or find record of one, follow a very different set or sets of dynamics. I am familiar with at least two, Richard Specht, who murdered eight nurses in Chicago at one time and place, and who was murdered in prison, and Albert Tall, whose, total in several criminal episodes, I forget, both without a gun. Both of those two had lived within brick-throwing distance of me in the same group of buildings in Dallas earlier. McDuff, whose total that we know of ran to about twelve in about eleven separate episodes, before and after parole following 26 years in prison, apparently didn’t use a gun, either, including his first known murder which had more than one victim. That was back in the day when these mass murders were rare enough that you remembered names. Like Holmes in Aurora, Colorado, recently and, if I recall correctly, Whitman, none of those, including the ones who used a small arsenal of guns, committed suicide. The 9/11 hijackings, some murders on the planes, and 3,000 deaths on the ground, were pulled off with box cutters and without firearms, too. None of these, the Columbine pair, or Chu at Virginia Tech, etc., were, or were legally supposed to have been, on any federal or state no-gun list. The anti-gun and civil rights activists would have a fit if anyone proposed to ban Holmes, Chu, and other such senseless multiple killers from having guns on the basis of their readily observable hostility and estrangement advertised by their outlandish dress, talk, etc., but Whitman apparently looked normal. What I keep recalling is how much more common guns were, and how they normally attracted no particular attention or concern, at least here in Texas, but other places I have lived as well, until about the time of the Whitman tower shooting about 1966.

      10. It would be counter-productive, and very probably unconstitutional, to put anywhere near all the people who have ever had, ever been diagnosed with, or who had ever been treated for, mental illness–a very interesting, paradoxical formula the State Bar got one federal court to accept with respect to many mental illnesses– on any kind of official list. How do you suppose someone could rationally be said to have “been [competently] treated for” a condition with which he or she had never been “diagnosed”? Of what probative value is having been “diagnosed with” something you have never “had” nor been “treated for”? The State Bar of Texas got a federal court to approve of a lifetime ban based upon any one of those three findings. A federal trial and appeals court covering Virginia noted that 41% of law students had suffered and received treatment for clinical depression, the most common mental illness, and the last federal figures I saw predicted that one in five Americans would suffer mental illness in any given year.

      How many people would be deterred from seeking mental health care if that act would put them on a lifetime list of people disabled, first, from possessing a gun, then from driving–I just looked at the current form, and you get into all kinds of difficulties if you are “committed” or if you have seen a psychiatrist in the last five years, but at least that isn’t a lifetime ban like the State Bar of Texas imposes. State and federal appeals courts have already upheld impeachment of the credibility of anyone with such questions as “Isn’t it true that you have been: treated by a psychiatrist, or “a mental patient,” much less “committed to a mental institution?” Unlike having most criminal convictions or probations on your record, there is nothing in the rules dealing specifically with the remoteness of such events when used for impeachment of credibility, though there is a rule under which an enlightened court can do so if you ask, probably except if you are the victim of a sexual assault or victim of or witness to another crime, in which case there is a potential Constitutional issue if that is kept out which most courts are afraid to risk. There is some federal law that is supposed to keep you from getting kicked out of school, or denied employment, if you reveal or they find out that you have needed or received any mental health treatment, but you and your lawyer would both have to be fools to advise you that the law will really protect you.

      10. There is said to be a 2009 Texas law providing for restoration of gun rights of someone who has been committed. If anybody can find it, please post the citation. I seriously doubt that it would be safe to rely upon it in view of the breadth of the federal gun laws now or after this or the next big news story. There is also Texas law that is supposed to keep you from losing your right to work in the health care field, or being deported, etc., if you have been caught and convicted or put on probation for a small user quantity of marijuana, much less anything else, but, again, federal law says that what is not a conviction where rendered is nevertheless a conviction and imposes such irrebuttable permanent disabilities.

  11. I wonder if he’ll be allowed to continue to conceal carry, which elected officials in Illinois have granted to themselves, but not to their subjects. (please see Dorthy Tillman, Chicago Alder-creature)

  12. Lying, thieving political a$$holes should not be permitted to own guns. Jesse is a lying, thieving political a$$hole. Therefore, Jesse Junior should not be permitted to possess a gun. QED.

    And neither should the fatuous old bastard who sired him.

  13. Anybody “completely debilitated by depression” is likely a danger to himself or to others. So yes, I feel that his guns should be forcibly removed.

  14. Whether it is the singing west-coast Jackson family or the fascist Chicago Jackson family you are guaranteed drama and loonie entertainment. How about a picture of Janet Jackson holding a gun while having a wardrobe malfunction?

  15. MSNBC: “Patrick Kennedy has ’emotional’ meeting with Jesse Jackson Jr.”

    JFK’s father would be rolling his eyes in his grave at how feminine American male politicians and modern men have become.

  16. I’m shocked, shocked, I say, at how many of you say yes. Your dislike of black liberals is so great that you take a position which you would usually oppose on the grounds of “where do we draw the line?”

    If you agree to disarm people who are diagnosed with depression or bi-polar disorder, even though there are medicines to treat those conditions, you open up a real Pandora’s box don’t you?

    For me it’s very simple. All those guys should be disqualified because if they go off the medication they become unfit. Included in this medical disqualification is anyone who needs pain medication. Those guys are a problem when they TAKE the drugs, not when they stop.

    The pro-gun folks are always talking about responsibility. Well, be responsible then, that’s what I say.

    • So if I read this right you think I should lose my CHCL because I have to take pain meds as the result of having had 3 knee surgeries, both shoulders broken and 15 other assorted fractures in my 50 yrs of being on this great planet!!!???
      To be clear I take 1 hydrocodone a day because of the surgeries and the resulting bone and tendon issues!! I work in a limestone quarry which requires about 1 to 2 miles of walking and climbing per day!!!
      And before I forget I have also been shot 3 times, in the left shoulder during a DGU and twice in the right wrist and leg while in the military!!!
      Not being sarcastic but curious as to where you would draw the line!!!

      • You’ve had a rough life. The hydrocodone alone makes you unfit, in my book. Do you have a little drinkie once in a while too? How about pot?

        I feel that gun ownership is a serious business. Taking it lightly by allowing this and allowing that, is wrong.

        • But by your definition, no human being could ever be considered responsible enough to own firearms.

          Personally, I don’t think anyone should lose any right whatsoever based solely on a medical condition or the treatment they receive for a medical condition. ALL rights are serious business. I wouldn’t want anyone to take away your freedom of speech, Mike, even though you prove to be significantly limited in understanding what being free is all about.

        • On the contrary, my fried. You’re the one interfering with other people’s right to be free and to pursue happiness. The obscene proliferation of handguns in The States makes that impossible.

          “But by your definition, no human being could ever be considered responsible enough to own firearms.”

          Is that so? Is there not one single person among your acquaintance who is responsible and fit to own guns, even by the strictest standards?

        • Small point: the pursuit of happiness is not a protected right under the U.S. Constitution. It’s set forth in our country’s mission statement, the Declaration of Independence, which does not have the force of law. By the same token, there is no Constitutional Right to safety. How could there be?

        • No right to safety, no right to pursue happiness, but a god-given right to own a handgun and carry it wherever I want?

          Why didn’t you say so before? Now it’s clear.

  17. “APBTFan says:

    August 17, 2012 at 07:29

    So is your conviction so strong you will you go so far as to tell me straight up I shouldn’t own firearms?”

    Yes. From what I have experienced, yes. I think you should not own firearms. I have seen too many depressed and bi-polar people go off the reservation so to speak. Maybe it is because I am from an area that has a high amount of suicide and mental illness that make me think this way but there it is.

    • The suicidal aren’t the ones we need to worry about. The homicidal are. What’s the correlation between depression and homicide? Ol’ clinically depressed Joey who got put on antis because grandma died, he was sad for a few days, and he has a pill pusher for a doctor would lose his rights in your ideal world, Buuurr?

      • “Michael B. says:
        August 17, 2012 at 10:27

        The suicidal aren’t the ones we need to worry about. The homicidal are. What’s the correlation between depression and homicide? Ol’ clinically depressed Joey who got put on antis because grandma died, he was sad for a few days, and he has a pill pusher for a doctor would lose his rights in your ideal world, Buuurr?”

        A little off to the right and for sure missing the point, Michael. It really bores me to have to write this but here it is:

        Do you think suicidal people are stable? Do you think they are in the right state of mind? Would you give one of them a gun? I know all your answers are ‘no’ because I assume you are not on crack.

        The point I was making is that depressed and bi-polar people are often violent, and not only just with themselves. In 2007 a woman who was going through a bitter divorce and depression (being treated for it) finally had enough. She packed her 9 year old son and 7 year old daughter into their car and drove off a cliff overlooking the sea (Conception Bay South was the area it happened in) and all drowned. I have listed three personal experiences I have had with people I intimately knew. What makes you think I would answer any different? Secondly, being someone who has seen violence firsthand growing up with mentally unstable folks – how could I answer any other way? We are supposed to learn from what we experience, right?

        I say keep dreaming, Michael.

        I don’t know what ideal world you are talking about, Michael. I just know it is not good to give guns to unstable people. I would say common sense but the Interwebs has shown us all how uncommon sense actually is.

  18. I’m certainly no lawyer, but if someone were trying to take my card based on the statute cited in the article, I think I’d have a shot (no pun intended) at keeping it. I bet JJ Jr’s lib, dem, lawyers will spot it if needed as well.
    To quote from above… ” only if the Department finds that the applicant or the person to whom such card was issued is or was at the time of issuance:”

    Is or was……AT THE TIME OF ISSUANCE

    It does NOT say, is NOW or was at the time of issuance.
    There isn’t even a comma in place to show a separation that could be interpreted to show the use of the word ‘is’ in this sentence means “now” or to describe the present tense.

    You all remember B.C. and “it depends on what the meaning of is, is” don’t you?

    • I appreciate your analysis of the language used in the text of the law, and agree that the intent could have been expressed more clearly.
      However, I don’t think that even Good Ol’ B. J. Clinton could rationalize that the absence of a comma in ” is[,] or was at the time of issuance” somehow rules out the idea that a person who was qualified at the time an FOID was issued, later became un-qualified to retain that FOID.
      As for the word “NOW” to be put into the wording of the law, that might only serve to provide an opportunity for the false interpretation of “NOW” meaning “at the time this law is adopted”.

  19. I wonder how many of the people who commented about this “really” know why Jessie Jackson Jr. went to the Mayo Clinic for the “supposed” treatment that they said he did? I take it that everyone has read the Chicago papers & have listened to the news there? Well, it’s obvious that whoever put this article together best get his/her facts straight. Jessie Jackson Jr. went up to the Mayo Clinic so that he could have an intestinal problem taken care of. FYI he has had a problem with weight & they tied his stomach & did some other things to straighten out his problems. I am telling you this b/c my sister lives in Chicago & this is what the papers in there say. IMHO, they should have never said the things about Jackson that they did b/c this could very likely be held against him in his future..if indeed he has one anymore. I am definitely NOT a fan of Mr. Jackson. I am merely saying this b/c I feel too many people have jumped to conclusions b/c they read an article that wasn’t the truth about Mr. Jackson.

  20. Perhaps you should read the article in the Chicago Sun Times, (link provided by the author) which contains the statement by Mrs. Jackson about the reason for the treatment of her husband at the Mayo Clinic — “collapse” and “debilitating depression”, not “gastric surgery”.
    If you have a quarrel with the facts as reported there, then take the matter up with either the Sun Times or Mrs. Jackson.

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