ISRA Asks Senator Kotowski to Explain State Police Infringements on First Amendment Rights of Illinois Gun Owners
If you're not familiar with Dan Kotowski, that's OK. He's basically an anti-gun doofus who used to head the "Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence (inexplicably abbreviated "ICHV" and not "ICAHV.") and managed to sneak into office as a state legislator here in Illinois. Unfortunately, he doesn't seem to understand some of the rules of legislating in a republic. There's an important one that says voters get to tell their legislators what they think about legislation before legislators vote. Kotowski does NOT like that idea. It's hard to blame him for wanting to skip the comments from the peanut gallery, of course, after he got smacked down by the President of Armalite--at his own gun-hysteria press conference--for flat-out lying about Armalite's AR-50 rifles, but that's part of the job he signed up to do when he snuck into office. Theoretically, he's actually supposed to be representing all those unwashed proles, so theoretically, he should be taking their phone calls.
Danny Boy managed to tick off a whole lot of Illinois voters by pushing for lots and lots of onerous gun control . . . so lots of people sent him faxes and letters asking him to knock it off. He apparently is alleging that some of those people were threatening his august person, and going so far as to send detectives of the Illinois State Police to interview people at their homes.
The Illinois State Rifle Association seems to think that this means Kotowski is probably more interested in intimidating the voters into shutting up than anything else. Now, maybe Kotowski has some evidence to show that what he's done here is reasonable, but the ISRA has interviewed at least one person who was questioned by ISP detectives, and they seem convinced that he didn't do anything to warrant that scrutiny.
So at this point, the ball is in Danny Boy's court. Do you have any evidence, Danny? Anything at all? Or are you screwing the Illinois State Police AND Illinois voters?
This wouldn't be the first time we've gotten screwed by an anti-gun legislator telling bold lies about being threatened. A few years ago, during Dickie Daley's annual push for gun control, a hearing got postponed after hundreds of gun owners took off work to be there. The excuse was that a female legislator had been threatened. Todd Vandermyde actually felt it necessary to come out and tell the gathered crowd that death threats did not serve our cause. We all believed that some idiot had done something incredibly stupid and shamed us all. We were contrite.
Until we found out that the "death threat" was a message from a guy who told the legislator that she had spit on him by trying to take his guns and he would spit on her if the bill passed. Stupid, crude, even thuggish--but no threat of any kind of harm except to dignity.
John Ross, author of Unintended Consequences, recounts a similar tale with a somewhat more flamboyant character in Missouri during the fight for concealed carry in that state:
"In any event, Banks' opposition to our bill turned out to be more than superficial. A lot more. When it became obvious that the bill was going to pass in the Senate the next day (which was the last day of the session), that night he called the Highway Patrol and reported that one of the grassroots concealed carry supporters had threatened to kill him. The next morning the Capitol was crawling with Police and Highway Patrol, all armed and unsmiling. The Senate decided they couldn't act on the measure at "such a sensitive time." Five hours later the session was over for the year. I later discovered several things: First, the "death threat" came from the husband of Banks' goddaughter, a supporter of concealed carry who IIRC had had the foresight to tape the phone conversation, because the police immediately came a-knocking. His words were something like "You will lose all your credibility in the eyes of your fellow senators if you kill this bill." The police concluded that there had been a "misunderstanding" on Banks' part, but wouldn't charge him with filing a false police report."For the record, here's my threat to Danny Boy Kotowski: I'm going to see you booted out of your cushy legislative job in disgrace. Frankly, this is going to happen whether you produce any evidence of threats or not. I was resolved on this course long before this State Police issue came up; this is just another nudge. Enjoy your perks while you can, kiddo.
I'll tell you right now, Danny Boy, there's no sense sending the ISP after me. If they show up, I'll serve 'em lemonade on the porch and we'll have a good laugh at your expense while they get paid to smoke cigars and look at baby pictures. You know very well the average detective with the ISP can't stand you or the wishful thinking approach to crime control you stand for. (Now you've made me dangle a preposition, you little punk-pimple. Of all your misdeeds, history will record this as the blackest.)
I can't wait to see the evidence, Danny . . . . the clock is running.