By now, you’ve probably heard about Illinois State Senator Donne Trotter’s little run-in with the TSA at O’Hare on Wednesday. Seems the Democrat and state senate appropriations committee chairman he was trying to board a plane for D.C. when a .25 caliber gun and loaded magazine turned up in his bag (would you want to spend much time in D.C. unarmed?). Anyway, while having an announced candidate for Jesse Jackson Jr.’s now vacant US House seat caught in America’s most ungunfriendly city with, yes, a gun tickles our schadenfreude bone something fierce, Trotter’s not the string-up-the-gun-nuts kind of Illinois pol everyone assumes him to be . . .
No, we have it on good authority from someone who’s plugged into the Illinois gun rights scene that despite his state and party affiliation, Trotter is actually pro-gun. Now usually, in a rights-free zone like Illinois (come to think of it, there really isn’t another rights-free zone quite like Illinois) “pro-gun” could mean someone who won’t go as far as advocating outright confiscation. But in Trotter’s case, he could be considered pro-2A in most other jurisdictions.
Not that it was always thus. Back in 1995 he voted against concealed carry in the state. But things have a funny way of changing. Especially when your district is redrawn to include parts of rural Illinois outside the Chicago kleptosphere.
So now that he represents more than just the south side, Trotter actually voted against Governor Pat Quinn’s “amendatory veto” last week that would have created a new Prairie State assault weapons ban. And as our friend confirms, he’s indicated that if a concealed carry bill were to come up again for a vote, he’d support it.
Does that make it OK that he showed up at an airport group grope station with a mouse gun in his bag? Nope. But no matter what the TSA thinks, we’d feel just fine sitting next to Donne on a plane if he was packing. So the Senator’s made a hash of his campaign to take over Jackson’s House seat. But his gun wasn’t registered in the city and if anti-gun state’s attorney Anita Alvarez has her way, he’ll spend one to three in the hoosegow for this.
So don’t confuse him with some of the more egregious gungrabbers in the Land of Lincoln. Call us when Rahm or attorney Alvarez is caught packing heat. In the mean time, how about decriminalizing the Second Amendment in Illinois?