Nice article the local paper--complete with a plug for THR and a quote from me!


April 15, 2008, 07:41 PM

(I added the bolding--many thanks to Mr. Kocal for the great article and his support of the RKBA).

Heart of the matter - Pass the Pro-Second Amendment Resolution in Carroll County
'Common Sense' Gun Bill Makes No Sense
Commentary by Thomas Kocal, Publisher

In a press release received last week, Governor Rod Blagojevich joined gun control advocates across the state by expressing his disappointment with members of the Illinois House of Representatives who voted against House Bill 4393. Proponents of the measure say that the bill would help curb illegal gun trafficking by limiting gun purchases to one a month. The measure failed 53-60, but was placed on postponed consideration so it can be called for a vote again later.

The governor refuses to consider that the bill failed, due to the fact that there are 60 State Representatives who voted it down, fulfilling their obligation to uphold the U.S. and State of Illinois Constitutions. The 60 legislators are from the area that we here in Carroll County affectionately call "the State of Illinois" that's not Chicago.

HB 4393 is sponsored by Rep. Luis Arroyo (D-Chicago), who says the bill is aimed at reducing gun trafficking by preventing bulk-purchases of handguns. They say the legislation applies only to handguns; hunters and sportsmen that purchase and use shotguns and rifles are not affected. Proponents of the gun control legislation also claim that research shows that limiting handgun purchases to no more than one per month can reduce interstate gun trafficking. Gun traffickers often buy firearms in bulk, then turn around and sell them on the street. Studies show that handguns sold in bulk sales to the same individual purchaser are frequently used in crime.

The problem I have with this legislation is that HB 4393 is addressing a problem that is obviously a Chicago problem.

The governor's press release, which is a piece that resembles propaganda more than a press release, says "Since September 2007, 21 Chicago Public School students have been killed, 20 by gunfire. Last school year, 24 of the more than 30 students killed were shot to death, compared with between 10 and 15 fatal shootings in the years before.

"After the vote, the Governor met with Father Michael Pfleger of St. Sabina and dozens of Chicago Public School students who traveled to Springfield . . . to help lobby in support of the bill.

"We've already lost over twenty Chicago students to shootings this school year. Parents, friends and neighbors are crying out to their elected leaders for help. How many more children have to die before lawmakers pass legislation that will save lives and keep guns out of the wrong hands?" asked the Governor. "Today's House vote is a big disappointment to everyone involved in the fight against gun violence. But we won't give up, we'll keep lobbying and pushing lawmakers to take action. The young lives at stake are too important to forget."

To validate my statement that this is a Chicago problem, consider this. HB 4393 got its start as an initiative of Chicago Mayor Richard Daley. Besides the sponsor of the bill, Rep. Luis Arroyo, five other representatives initially co-sponsored the measure. Only 2 are not from Chicago or Cook County. One is Rep. Charles Jefferson (D-67) from Rockford, and the other is Rep. Kathleen Ryg (D-59) from Vernon Hills in Lake County, Cook County's northern neighbor.

After the April 9 vote, 6 more co-sponsors have been added. They are all from Chicago or Cook County.

My opposition of this proposed gun control legislation does not overshadow my heartfelt empathy for the families and friends of the Chicago students who have senselessly lost their young lives because a gun got in the "wrong hands." But we must keep in mind that this issue is not about "legislation that will save lives," because it won't. The issue is gun control, which violates every citizens' right to bear arms.

My hope is that the Carroll County Board will get off the table and pass the Illinois Pro Second Amendment Resolution at the April 17 Board meeting. Approval of the resolution was tabled at the March 20 Board meeting. To date, 73 of the 102 counties in Illinois have passed the model resolution. The resolution was developed as a response to the legislation proposed by Mayor Daley.

As reported in the March 26 issue of The Prairie Advocate News, the resolution is in support of the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and Article 1, Section 22 of the Illinois Constitution, which states that the right of the people to bear arms is guaranteed as an individual right for defense of life, liberty and property, and "is regarded as an Inalienable Right by the People of Carroll County, Illinois."

The resolution states that "the people of Carroll County derive economic benefit from all safe forms of firearms recreation, hunting, and shooting conducted within Carroll County using all types of firearms allowable under the United States Constitution and the Constitution of the State of Illinois."

The resolution urges the Carroll County Board, who have been elected to represent the people of Carroll County, and being duly sworn by their oath of office to uphold both Constitutions, to oppose the enactment of any legislation that would infringe upon the rights of the people to keep and bear arms, and to consider such laws to be unconstitutional and beyond legislative authority.

Chuck Wemstrom (D-3) didn't like the wording in the resolution that stated the County would "oppose the enactment of any legislation . . ." He said "It makes perfect sense to have pertinent rules and regulations regarding these types of weapons."

While researching the pros and cons of this issue, I came across a comment posted on another web site,, addressing the March 26 Prairie Advocate article. It was written by Mike Bishop, who is from "NW IL - the other 'Downstate.'" A portion of this reader's comments follow:

"As a life-long shooter and resident of Carroll County I was taken aback by Mr. Wemstrom's reasons for not supporting the Illinois pro-second amendment resolution that has won overwhelming approval in the majority of rural Illinois counties. Not caring to support the resolution is well within the purview of his office as a member of the Carroll County Board and I take no issue with that, but his stated reasons are very disconcerting; just what are these 'pertinent rules and regulations' of which he speaks regarding lawful weapons? What limit on the number of guns owned by a citizen would satisfy him personally? . . . His terminology speaks of the annual assault on rights that comes from Mayor Daley as he tries to demonize, ban and restrict the actions of law abiding citizens outside of Chicago's borders. Two of the premier producers of semi-automatic rifles and pistols used in competitive shooting, hunting and self-defense are made right near us in Geneseo, Illinois (Armalite and Springfield). One producer, Les Baer, has already fled our state to Iowa for fear that this prohibitionist mentality may eventually prevail; twenty good jobs left the state as well. It is time to put an end to this Chicago-driven incrementalism with regard to firearms."

Mr. Bishop speaks to the heart of this matter. Gun control is gun control, regardless of its protectionist intentions. I and many others like me prefer to protect ourselves, rather than allowing our government to protect us from ourselves. We must remember that the right to protect ourselves rather than our government protecting us from ourselves substantially means that the government is here to serve us - precisely the foremost intent of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.

More can be found at, a site that was started to promote the Pro Second Amendment Resolution that is currently sweeping Illinois. It was the intent of the founders of this effort to have the resolution submitted and hopefully passed in as many counties as possible in Illinois, thereby sending a strong message to legislators in Illinois that the supporting counties, Illinois gun owners, and supporters have had enough of the anti-gun legislation in Illinois. If it has been awhile since you have read the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, you can refresh your memory by going to and clicking on the American Flag.

If the State Representatives from Cook County want to pass gun control legislation in Chicago, they should go for it. As for what they want to legislate in Carroll County, it's none of their business. But it is the business of the Carroll County Board to make sure our rights are preserved. Pass the Pro Second Amendment Resolution.

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April 15, 2008, 08:50 PM
Well said! :)

April 15, 2008, 09:37 PM
A most excellent article. My interest in firearms developed after I left my home state of Illinois, and I had resigned myself to the fact that I'd probably never be moving back there in my later years. This type of stance gives me hope that, though not back to Cook County, I may still be able to go home again, someday.

Winchester 73
April 15, 2008, 10:04 PM
Excellent work.Nicely done!

April 15, 2008, 10:27 PM
Not an article. It's an opinion piece. Akin to an editorial. When the rest of the paper starts looking at firearms-news with an unbiased eye...

April 15, 2008, 10:41 PM
Well done! You, sir, have way with words. Thanks for shooting down yet another stereotype.

April 15, 2008, 11:05 PM
How in the world will regulating LEGAL gun sales, prevent the illegal gun users from victimizing other citizens? It isn't the LEGAL buyers who are the problem.:what:

April 16, 2008, 12:29 AM
It is an article, per Merriam-Webster: a nonfictional prose composition usually forming an independent part of a publication (as a magazine)

But your point is well-taken. Seems like things might be s-l-o-w-l-y tilting that way.

USMC 1975
April 16, 2008, 08:34 AM

I really like to see gun supporters write in such a clear and professional manner. I think it hits home more clearly with the educated liberal leaning left.

This article and the quote of our HR member put us gun owners in a good and educated light.

Thank you for taking the time to write to these people.


April 16, 2008, 09:21 AM
Not an article. It's an opinion piece. Akin to an editorial.

True enough, Bogie. The paper is actually a 'free' weekly ad-supported paper delivered by mail and distributed at area stores. Apart from this, it is very much a substantial local paper that people around here actually read. The author, Thomas Kocal, is the owner/publisher of the paper and he made this and another pro-RKBA piece by our local State Rep a main offering this week.

Since Mr. Kocal derives much of his revenue from the ads in the paper, it is something of a risk to offer up his own opinion on subjects that people feel stongly about; to his credit he does so rather often on a varriety of topics.

April 16, 2008, 10:05 AM
I left Illinois in 2000 due to the draconian gun laws of Cook County. I have absolutely no intention of ever moving back.

I'm glad that the Illinois people outside of Cook County are now organizing and fighting back. Cook County needs to be isolated from the rest of the state and Counties outside of Cook need to stand up and fight back when Daley tries to force his will on other municipalities. His Chicago gangster tactics have gone on far too long.

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