March 15, 2007

IGOLD EVENT A BIG SUCCESS – A crowd of law-abiding gun owners ranging in size between 1,200 and 1,500 descended upon the Capitol today to lobby their representatives to vote against the Daley Gun Control Package. Attendees were very enthusiastic and made great headway in making their feelings known about SB16 and other gun control bills now in the legislature. However, IGOLD was not an endpoint to the struggle for our gun rights, it was just the beginning. SB16, the Daley “Assault Weapons” ban, may come up for a vote this week on the Senate floor. It remains very important that you call your Illinois State Senator and politely tell them that you are a law-abiding gun owner and you oppose SB16 and that you would like them to vote against the bill. If you do not know who your State Senator is, then please go to the Illinois General Assembly web site at: and click the “Legislator Lookup” link located on the lower right corner of the page.

As a side note, near the end of the day, a State Senator contacted the Capital Police to report that a person had entered her office and made some extremely insulting remarks towards her related to her ethnicity. It is, always has been and remains the policy of the Illinois State Rifle Association to always act in a polite yet respectful manner towards their elected representatives while also remaining firm in our position on the issues.

Firearms owners can in no way be separated out of the general demographics of the Illinois populace. Owning a firearm is not related to someone’s viewpoints on any other issue in society. If one of the 1500 firearms activists that attended yesterday’s IGOLD event did in fact do such a thing, I want to personally assure the Senator that this person was not acting on behalf of the overwhelming majority of firearms owners in the state, nor the Illinois State Rifle Association and we are just as offended that some one might act as she described.

Unfortunately firearms issues are emotional on both sides and not all citizens are able to contain their composure when discussing them. I often get emails and phone calls here at the ISRA from those that would see our rights dismantled and they are very often not very polite either. Receiving these sorts of communications is just a part of doing the work as an elected officer in the association, just as it is for a publicly elected official... it comes with the territory. That said, let me reiterate that we would never condone this sort of activity in any form and on behalf of the 1500 other firearms activists that attended yesterday I would offer my sincere condolences to the Senator for having experienced it.

WE’RE SO SORRY FOR THE MISTAKE – In an earlier alert, we reported that officers with the Capitol Police had harassed members of the ISRA Lobby Team. Yesterday, the Chief of the Capitol Police detachment approached a member of ISRA leadership to clear the air. The Chief reported that the ISRA lobbyists were mistaken if they thought the officers were sent to harass them. According to the Chief, the police detail was charged with the duty of protecting two inert dummy rounds that were being used to support committee testimony on the Fifty Caliber Ban, one in .50 BMG and one in .30-06. UM…OK…as gun owners we can all appreciate the daunting task these officers faced in providing protection to a couple of duds – and we’re not talking about the Senate sponsors of the ban. Now that we have been assured that although the Officers were standing close enough to our lobbyists that they could feel their breath, they were in no way attempting to intimidate them. Chief, we'll give you the benefit of the doubt and ask our readers to please refrain from any further calls to the Secretary of State's office on this matter at this time.

Thanks to all!

Don Moran, ISRA President