While walking past a cubicle at the nuclear plant where I worked, I suddenly stopped in my tracks so I could closely inspect the calendar photo I had seen. It appeared to be a topless photo of Princess Diana. I quickly discovered that the calendar was a spoof, showing numerous world leaders in compromising positions using pictures that had been deliberately altered. It wasn't the nudity that caught my attention, it was the shock seeing someone totally out of character.
That is the level of surprise I have experienced several times since I moved back to Indiana. My parents subscribe to the Chicago Tribune, and every morning at breakfast the table is littered with scattered sections of the newspaper. Mom hands me any article she thinks I may be interested in, and three recent articles caused me to double-check the masthead to confirm they had been printed in the uber-liberal Chicago Tribune. (The Tribune has constructed a small but informative First Amendment Musuem in the lobby of their Michigan Avenue building, but they were speechless when I asked for directions to Chicago's Second Amendment Musuem.)
It may be too early to suggest that the Tribune is a pro-gun publication, but I think there is a noticable crack in the armor of Chicago's political machine. The first article, City misfires in passing new gun-range law by Eric Zorn, talks about Chicago's proposed regulations for opening gun ranges within the city. One of the consequences of a recent Supreme Court decision is that future Chicago gun owners must learn to shoot even though gun ranges are prohibited in the city. The new ordinance would allow gun ranges to be built, however the requirements are so onerous that nobody in their right mind would even make an attempt. I wasn't the least bit surprised. This sounds exactly like the Chicago politics that I learned about in my youth. However I had to reread Mr. Zorn's closing comments before I was willing to acknowledge that he was opposed to the new law.
If so, the city has offered no proof; no statistics or studies that support treating gun ranges as though they were noisy offal-processing plants instead of recreational facilities that simply require a lot of insulation. I'm not a shooter, so why do I care? First, because it seems to me like a good idea that those who do own guns are in practice and know how to aim their weapons. Second, because I hate to see a city facing such huge debts passing laws that so flagrantly attempt to skirt the intent of the Supreme Court that they're doomed to be overturned after expensive legal challenges. This ordinance isn't even too cute by half. It's just ugly.
Atta-boy, Mr. Zorn! Although I wouldn't expect him to show up for a practical pistol competition, I respect him for expressing views contrary to the well entrenched establishment.
The second article, Babes with Bullets and other women who believe the Constitution applies in Illinois by John Kass was even better! Mom says that Mr. Kass frequently writes articles critical of the establishment, insisting that he often "sounds like you do". After pointing out that Illinois is the only state that doesn't allow concealed carry permits, he actually describes gun owners in a positive light.
I'm not desperate to carry a gun, but the fact that Illinois has exempted its citizens from the Individual Rights Sweepstakes is so constitutionally depressing that there's only one sight that could cheer me up: A few dozen women with Smith & Wesson handguns learning how to get lethal, with the help of top female shooters and instructors in firearm safety. And so I spent a recent afternoon with a group called Babes with Bullets, hosted by the Oak Park Sportsmen's Club in Plainfield, where sisters, mothers, daughters and friends learned how to shoot safely and well.
Once again I had to double check to see if this was the same Chicago Tribune that has long been the official propaganda source for Chicago politicians. I read this article twice just because it cheered me up, because Mr. Kass talks about my two favorite things: guns and women. In fact, the organization he writes about is called Babes with Bullets. I've included their website in my favorites list along with the Second Amendment Sisters and Armed Females of America.
The third article, Gun-trafficking probe grows by Richard A. Serrano talks openly about corruption within the ATF - my "favorite" federal agency. (The printed headline differs from the one archived online). Our federal government claims to be working hard to put Mexican drug dealers out of business, while at the same time they are selling guns to these same dealers via Operation Fast and Furious. I am still somewhat skeptical that justice will actually be meted out, however the evidence is apparently so strong that directors of the various agencies are beginning to point fingers at each other in an effort to shift the blame.
Kenneth Melson, the ATF's acting director, has been under pressure to resign over the agency's handling of the gun-trafficking operation, known as Fast and Furious. But in two days of meetings with investigators, Melson disclosed that other law enforcement agencies had a connection to the operation. His statements sharply ratcheted up the affair, and strongly suggested that House and Senate investigations, as well as an internal review by the Justice Department, will widen.
According to Melson, some of the Mexican drug cartel leaders being targeted were paid informants working for the FBI and DEA. Those agencies never shared that crucial information with the ATF, he said, telling investigators that if ATF agents had known of the relationships, the agency might have ended the investigation much earlier.
I have a zero-tolerance policy towards rape, and a similar attitude toward violations of "my" Constitution. No second chances! One infraction is sufficient justification for the harshest punishments imaginable. Naturally, problems cannot be corrected if no one knows they exist, and this article at least informs the American public that something very sinister is happening within the very goverment that is obligated to protect their life, Liberty, and property. What the American public will do about this is yet to be seen.
Still in all, I think these articles show evidence that public opinion is beginning to turn. When enough people stand up for what is right, then things will finally start to change for the better.
While I was hosting my internet radio program, every other Friday was designated as FIREARMS FRIDAY. During the first broadcast of that title one of my listeners called to report that the program sounded weird. It turns out the listener wasn't complaining about static or technical difficulties. They said, "You were talking about guns as if they were NORMAL." "Yeah", I agreed. "That's exactly how it should be."
When I die, Liberty is no longer my problem.