The Very Progressive Toi Hutchinson

Rich gives us the latest oppo drop on Robin Kelly from Toi which cites State of Illinois investments in companies that deal with firearms–a comment suggests this investment predated Alexi’s time in office and actually was reduced during her time working for Alexi.  So it appears to be a very odd hit piece especially because it keeps the debate on guns which is not a winner for Hutchinson.

  1. – so… – Monday, Feb 11, 13 @ 10:05 am:One other thing worth noting that isn’t in the Sun Times article – The awful, horrible, no-good investment in Alliant Techsystems was made BEFORE Giannoulias took office and Kelly became his Chief of Staff.

    See the 2006 ISBI Annual Report –

    Page 63 – Alliant Techsystems – 126,700 shares, valued at $9,673,545

    If anything Hutchinson should be THANKING Kelly. Once Alexi and Kelly took office, the investment in Alliant shrank considerably.

    As of June 30, 2007 ISBI’s investment in Alliant had shrunk to 75,176 shares valued at $7,453,700 (

    As of June 30, 2008, the ISBI investment in Alliant was valued at a mere $53,585 (

    As of June 30, 2009 the investment was worth $109,292 (

    As of June 30, 2010 the investment was worth $113,384 (

    So, under Kelly and Giannoulias’ tenure, the ISBI’s investment in Alliant shrunk from $9,673,545 to $113,384 – at 98.8% reduction.

But what I’m curious about is why did Stand for Children Illinois donate $100,000 to her?  For those not familar with Stand for Children Illinois they are the Illinois affiliate of a anti-union school ‘reform’ group made famous with Jonah Edelman’s remarks

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Yeah, them.  The ones who created the super high majority for a teacher strike–which the Chicago Teachers reached.

It came in the General Election in 2010 so she hasn’t faced a primary or even had to ask questions about that donation yet.  It might be the time to ask her what exactly does she agree with in Stand with Children’s agenda that got her $100,000.


Shorter Judy Baar Topinka

He doesn’t slobber on himself.

“Gov. Quinn is a good-hearted man and I appreciate his efforts in delivering today’s State of the State address. The fact is that despite our many challenges, there are good things happening in Illinois and many reasons to be proud to call this state our home.

Rest of the press release

SPRINGFIELD – Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka on Wednesday released the following statement in response to Gov. Pat Quinn’s State of the State address:

“Gov. Quinn is a good-hearted man and I appreciate his efforts in delivering today’s State of the State address. The fact is that despite our many challenges, there are good things happening in Illinois and many reasons to be proud to call this state our home.

“Unfortunately, our continued financial predicament overshadows these accomplishments. Today my office has more than 161,980 unpaid bills totaling more than $6.5 billion – and the state’s total bill backlog reaches $9 billion. Our unfunded pension liability is $97 billion, and growing by $17 million each day. And the nation’s bond rating agencies have downgraded Illinois 12 times in the last four years – giving us the worst credit in the nation and costing taxpayers more whenever the state borrows.

“This fiscal calamity hovers like a storm cloud over the state of Illinois. It will not lift until we take long-overdue steps to balance our books in the long run. We cannot afford tangents or distractions – we have to address our finances, and time is of the essence.”

Kelly Up in Internal Poll

Leading Halvorson by 4 and Hutchinson by 6.

Hutchinson’s true record on guns not out yet. This week’s Chicago Tribune story detailing Senator Hutchinson’s responses on her NRA questionnaire that earned her an A rating has not yet penetrated the public’s perception. More than one in five (21 percent) of voters who say they would not support an A-rated candidate are currently voting for Hutchinson—support that is likely to disappear as the campaign continues.

More over at Capitol Fax, but good numbers and even better news if the NRA continues to take center stage in this race.

When Changing Your Mind Is Just Too Convenient

Markos has been doing a good job handing Toi Hutchinson her butt for past support of the NRA.  Hutchinson claims she has changed her mind and is acting:

When state Sen. Toi Hutchinson ran in her first election in 2010, the National Rifle Association backed her because she opposed a ban on semi-automatic weapons, high-capacity magazines, the reporting of stolen firearms and supported the right to carry a concealed weapon.

Now as a Democratic candidate in the special 2nd Congressional District primary campaign, Hutchinson supports a ban on semi-automatic weapons and large-capacity ammunition clips as well as requiring comprehensive background checks and stolen firearms to be reported.

“When it’s time to move, you need to move, and when I had an opportunity to take action, I took action, and I think actions speak louder than words,” said Hutchinson, of Olympia Fields, during an appearance Monday before the Tribune editorial board.


The country’s current gun control situation is “one of the biggest reasons why I signed onto the assault weapons ban and the ban on the high-capacity magazines and I just signed onto another bill that makes you have to report if you’ve lost your gun within three days. Because there are a ton of people who lose, you know, and they end up being used in crimes later and nobody knows what happened to those firearms,” she said at the forum.


She was added to the assault weapon ban on January 29


Date Chamber  Action
  1/16/2013 Senate Filed with Secretary by Sen. Antonio Muñoz
  1/16/2013 Senate First Reading
  1/16/2013 Senate Referred to Assignments
  1/29/2013 Senate Added as Chief Co-Sponsor Sen. Toi W. Hutchinson
  1/31/2013 Senate Added as Chief Co-Sponsor Sen. Jacqueline Y. Collins

Requirement to report stolen firearm

Date Chamber  Action
  1/16/2013 Senate Filed with Secretary by Sen. Dan Kotowski
  1/16/2013 Senate First Reading
  1/16/2013 Senate Referred to Assignments
  1/29/2013 Senate Added as Chief Co-Sponsor Sen. Julie A. Morrison
  1/29/2013 Senate Added as Chief Co-Sponsor Sen. Toi W. Hutchinson
  1/30/2013 Senate Added as Chief Co-Sponsor Sen. Jacqueline Y. Collins
  1/30/2013 Senate Assigned to Public Health


Last session–nada. Kotowski had bills up to require all private sales with family exceptions have to undergo a background check, make it illegal to purchase a 50 caliber rifle, and make it illegal to sell a gun to a gang member.  Munoz had the assault weapons ban last session as well.

Evolving views happen, but some are just too convenient especially when Hutchinson was so absent on even basic common sense changes.  Hutchinson saying she is doing something now is nothing more than looking around and realizing she is toast with the NRA hung around her neck.

The Biggest Nerds in the World

Gun  nuts.
Seriously.  Engage them in a discussion on guns.  What do you get?

Ex 1

Dozer you are incorrect. Magazine capacity has nothing to do with lethality. Current timelines reported show almost 20 minutes from 911 call in CT to first responders in the building… Magazine (not clips) changes take 2 or 3 seconds…

rifles are meant to extend range of a shot. The CT shooter (i hate to say this) would have been MORE LETHAL with the pistol shots… a 9MM is almost twice the size of the 5.56 mm round fired from the rifle and if the rifle is firing typical FMJ rounds you actually have better survivability since it passes through the target with less damage at those short ranges…

Sorry. You are using emotion and not an understanding of ballistics here. My guess… most of these shots were head shots since they were almost all fatal. Rifle or pistol, caliber small or large… these kids were herded and told by lock down policy to sit and wait for the attacker to come. Mag limits and rifle bans would not change stop this.

Ex 2

Mistermix, my Glock uses high capacity magazines, not clips. The ammunition for my M4 is in clips until I put the bullets in the magazine. If you’re going to talk the language of gun control, learn the language of guns first.

Ex 3

I’ve fired in excess of 1000 rounds out of mine, not one FTF or light strike in the entire lot, Defense ammo, +P, Reloads, and some IDPA light loads – This gun is my EDC, and I’ll tell you I am impressed with mine. Not a single issue, and it gets cleaned once a week by hand, and once a month in my sonic cleaner.

I did pull it out of the box and clean it with CLP, I use an air compressor set at 25psi to blow out the excess cleaner and oil before I reassemble. With several other SA weapons in my collection, I will say not a single one has had issues from my 5.25 Comp 9mm (over 10,000 rounds) to my 1911 GI A1 (in excess of 16,000 rounds) – no issues, the 1911 gets a new recoil spring every 3500 rounds if it needs it or not.

We shoot a metric F ton in this household, one of the benefits of duel income no kids, and a wife that likes to run brass as much as I do. We shoot like clock work once a week, and more often than not twice a week. I think your issue could be chalked up to a bad apple, and IMO you cut the process short by not taking advantage of the exceptional warranty and service available through Springfield.

For each bad example you find, you will also find 30 people that don’t have any issues, and never post about how great this gun really is. Game changer for me, I truly hope others dont base an opinion of this stellar weapon off your experience.

All of this overly technical conversations that attempt to split hairs over what anyone not obsessed with the subject would properly consider  arcane details seemed vaguely familiar.

Ex 1

Actually, Who Cares, provides evidence that the video is accurate. It estimates the energy contained in turbolasers to be greater than 30TJ, but the star trek wiki states the standard antimatter content in a photon torpedo to be 1kg or more, putting a maximum energy output on the order of greater than 10^17 J, or 100,000 TJ. Even assuming the true output of a turbolaser blast to be 50 times the given figure, then it seems it would not be terribly effective against the shields of the Enterprise which are designed to sustain multiple direct hits from standard photon torpedos, and presumably recharges slightly in the time between hits.

Ex 2.

Where to begin?

Let’s start with the temporal problems:

In the OT, it is implied that Leia knew her mother for several years before her death, whereas in the PT Padme dies moments after she was born.

The Old Republic existed for over one thousand generations in the OT, whereas in the PT it existed for only a thousand years.

Owen, Beru, Anakin, and Obi-wan age forty years in the twenty years between trilogies.

Character Problems:

It is implied that Obi-wan trained Anakin because of hubris (and in other versions of Jedi it confirms this), and not merely to fulfill a promise to his dying master (who, by the way, was never mentioned in the OT).

Obi-wan and Yoda simply run away at the end of Episode 3, even though they were prepared to kill both Anakin and the Emperor directly prior to this. They even meet up after their injury-less defeats, and they never consider returning together to destroy the Emperor while Anakin is incapacitated. Instead, they wait for twenty years for Luke to come of age (which actually would be considered too old to begin Jedi training anyway), and never even consider training Leia. Obi-wan even considers Luke their “only hope”, even though the PT confirmed the existence of female Jedi, making Leia a perfectly acceptable candidate for becoming a Jedi. Add to all of this the fact that it is never mentioned that Anakin’s children would be “chosen ones” in the style of their father (whatever that means), thus making their waiting pointless, as they should just finish the job themselves.

Anakin is described as the best starpilot in the galaxy in the OT, but no mention is ever made of this in the PT.


Ex. 3


Blaster bolts are seen to be slower then bullets. And here is another thing, it is below Mach as well, because the sound is simultaneous with the bolt being fired, not after.

I say the light show was necessary for the visual appeal. FACT is they must be slow enough to be visible, and HOW slow they chose the speed to appear does not concern me. It’s yet another variable that only confuses the issue.

The sounds from starships and explosions in space that aren’t even supposed to be making noise in space also happen pretty much simultaneously with the cause of the sounds.

Blaster fire is below Mach, it is proven. Also from visual evidence, it is very slow as well.

Of course, but if it is proven just provide the evidence. But let me just remind you that my original point is if it needs to show up, it has to be slowed down, so even if the weapons fire IS at c, it cannot APPEAR that way, so I won’t use a visual of something that can’t be shown as evidence. It’s kind of the same (I think) as saying you can’t prove the distance of something in space by the sound when we know we’re not supposed to hear anything.

Anyway, I chose not to get all wrapped up in canon on film like it’s absolute 100% accurate so far as it can be shown on film because I know damn well that some things need to be done for show, and it’s proven every time you hear a starship or weapon or explosion in space. And I’m pretty sure you’d never see a ship travel away from you if it jumped to FTL. But since the viewing audience is used to seeing visual representation of objects leaving into the distance and in a specific direction, you DO see ships travel into the distance.

Surely I don’t need to remind you that our eyes are pretty limited, but even a framerate 10 times our range of detection would not show light speed objects leaving the vacinity. It would be in position, you’d maybe see the first instant it started to accelerate, and then it would vanish. You’re basic ‘don’t blink or you’ll miss it’ wouldn’t even apply.

Now onto the Jedi reflexes again? Or are we all in agreement that it’s the arrival of several shots from different directions arriving simultaneously that is impossible to block, and that how long it took them to get there is mostly irrelevant? Yeah, MOST people understand that.

Anyway – Im ‘undecided’ and don’t suggest you believe about the speed based on what I say, but Im just telling you I wont believe they’re going slower based on whats shown on the screen. I’m willing to accept other evidence… but I forget why it matters. Some sci fi even show actual light beams move away from their source. Wait… Does anyone also realize the light sabers extend at differing speeds too? It’s stuff like this that I say is done for dramatic effect. Sometimes it extends instantly for immediate use… but I’ve seen one extend very slowly like… “Im in no hurry to destroy you… Im cool and taking my sweet time!”

 We have outsourced governmental regulations on firearms to the same time type of arguments one would find in a Star Wars forum.  Any argument with those who are obsessed with firearms end with firearm advocates finding some minor technical issue about what you have said followed by a giant hurumph and insistence you are not fit to be in the discussion.  While who shot first, Han or Greedo is a fun discussion, it’s not the basis for serious public policy discussion and that is what the NRA has turned the discussion over guns into.

Men, and it’s mostly men, have inane discussions about minutia of their hobby and obsess about the smallest detail of technology as if it bears any resemblance to reality.

And then there are Star Wars nerds.

If firearms are a fun hobby, I understand the obsession as not being much different from cars or Star Wars.  However, once people start seriously spending their time training how to survive a gun fight when that’s as likely to occur for the average person as is running into Greedo the Bounty Hunter, it’s time to ignore them.  They aren’t the experts, they are the obsessive nerds who take a hobby from something fun to something weird and obnoxious. Imagine we ran space policy by what science fiction nerds wanted?  I believe the White House just showed why that doesn’t make sense.

It’s just that in this case, the NRA caters to those nerds and feeds their fantasies of shoot outs and Mack Bolan novels.   It’s too bad the NRA isn’t as reality based as

Why Making FOID Holders Not Subject to Open Information Laws Was The Smart Thing To Do

Contrary to the morons at the NRA, it’s not those without weapons that are going to be targeted for burglary, it’s those on a list of firearm owners who will be targeted for burglary when the individuals are not home.

At least two burglars broke into a house in White Plains, New York, on Saturday and headed straight for the gun safe.

This address and the owner’s name, registered on a permit for legally held firearms, had been published on the controversial gun map published by the Journal News on December 23.

The burglars couldn’t open the safe and the property owner wasn’t home. But this incident has led to speculation that the map is now being used by criminals for targeted gun theft.

Read more:
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

Usually if a burglar breaks in when you are home, it’s because they made a mistake and thought you were gone.   It is a very bad idea to publish the home addresses of firearm owners for the obvious reason the above story points out.  Fortunately this guy had a gun safe, but a listing of firearm owners is a map for thieves.

And Irony Meters are Forever Retired by the NRA’s Most Recent Move

There exists in this country a callous, corrupt and corrupting shadow industry that sells, and sows, violence against its own people. Through vicious, violent video games with names like Bulletstorm, Grand Theft Auto, Mortal Kombat and Splatterhouse. And here’s one: it’s called Kindergarten Killers. It’s been online for 10 years. How come my research department could find it and all of yours either couldn’t or didn’t want anyone to know you had found it?

NRA Practice Range app with coffin shaped targets.

On iTunes, NRA promises that the app, rated suitable for ages 4 and above, contains a large range of safety tips, information and educational material. This includes ‘2nd Amendment newsfeeds’ and ‘gun law information centers.’

How To Screw Yourself Repeatedly

For a long time I made fun of the conceal carry movement not so much for their goal–I don’t really care about the issue much.  However, they consistently believed they had a shot when it passed the ag committee and Madigan than had it ignored in Rules.  It was such a standard tactic to bury a bill while allowing rural legislators to claim credit for a yest vote, it was hard to imagine that everyone didn’t get this.  Imagine Madigan being Lucy and ISRA being Charlie Brown trying to kick the football.  The great thing is it never stopped being funny because of the overreactions on both success and failure by the gun lobby.

So ISRA does some long term strategic coalition work after finally figuring this out and I was ready to hand it to them for being effective finally.  Then the Posner decision which I read differently from everyone and all of a sudden the gun lobby starts running victory laps and telling the Lege what they, the gun lobby, will accept.  Never a good strategy, but when you are already overplaying your hand it’s especially bad.  How the Supreme Court will rule on Moore v Madigan is very much in question.  Using it as leverage to get an imperfect bill before their opponents figured out that ISRA had less leverage than everybody assumed would have been the smart strategy.  But not the gun lobby, it’s all in and all crazy all the time.

Then, you have the mass murder of children so what do you do?  STFU and say some nice things and point out to your allies conceal carry isn’t really an issue in the Connecticut case so let’s lay low and seem reasonable on some recommendations for further gun control even if you want to quietly kill it.  That is what any sane and thoughtful lobby would do.

The gun lobby?  Hell no……

SPRINGFIELD — One of Illinois’ leading gun-rights advocates urged state lawmakers Monday to pass legislation that would give school districts authority to arm school principals, teachers and even custodial staff with concealed weapons.

“The problem we have is a gun-free zone. We have a gun-free zone around a school. Every crazy person knows that. And so, the gun-free zone is like a magnet for the lunatics. He or she knows there won’t be any resistance there,” said Richard Pearson, executive of the Illinois State Rifle Association.

Way to take a dump on your momentum.  You can believe this all you want, but saying it loud after the slaughter of 20 6 and 7 year olds is perhaps the dumbest thing a gun lobbyist could do.  More guns around my children at this particular moment in the national dialogue is a big loser.

Oh, and the crazy guy isn’t rational Richard.  Your typical calculus of what someone will do is a problem in such circumstances for that very reason.



When Reading an Appeals Court Opinion Leads You Astray

This post was started before Connecticut and while the political pressure changes, the basic points I think still hold up.  I don’t oppose conceal carry with training–I live in Missouri where it has been law for a few years now and it’s pretty much a non-issue for the average person.  Thus, I can’t really argue to deny people’s ability to carry legally because it makes some people feel icky.  However, the response to the 7th Circuit Decision by Posner is way out of whack with what I believe is a pretty clear middle finger Posner is waving at Scalia.

Posner has written on Heller in The New Republic and he’s incredibly harsh on the decision by the Supreme Court’s majority in that case:

The text of the amendment, whether viewed alone or in light of the concerns that actuated its adoption, creates no right to the private possession of guns for hunting or other sport, or for the defense of person or property. It is doubtful that the amendment could even be thought to require that members of state militias be allowed to keep weapons in their homes, since that would reduce the militias’ effectiveness. Suppose part of a state’s militia was engaged in combat and needed additional weaponry. Would the militia’s commander have to collect the weapons from the homes of militiamen who had not been mobilized, as opposed to obtaining them from a storage facility? Since the purpose of the Second Amendment, judging from its language and background, was to assure the effectiveness of state militias, an interpretation that undermined their effectiveness by preventing states from making efficient arrangements for the storage and distribution of military weapons would not make sense.

The Court evaded the issue in Heller by cutting loose the Second Amendment from any concern with state militias (the “National Guard,” as they are now called). The majority opinion acknowledges that allowing people to keep guns in their homes cannot help the militias, because modern military weapons are not appropriate for home defense (most of them are too dangerous), and anyway the opinion says that the only weapons the Second Amendment entitles people to possess are ones that are not “highly unusual in society at large.” Modern military weapons are highly unusual in society at large. By creating a privilege to own guns of no interest to a militia, the Court decoupled the amendment’s two clauses.

It justified this decoupling by arguing that the word “people” in the expression “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms” (the amendment’s second clause) must encompass more than just militiamen, because eighteenth-century militias enrolled only able-bodied free men–a mere subset of the people of the United States. But obviously the Framers did not mean to confer even a prima facie constitutional right to possess guns on slaves, criminals, lunatics, and children. The purpose of the first clause of the amendment, the militia clause, is to narrow the right that the second clause confers on the “people.”======

There is a further difference between constitutional interpretations that permit government action and ones that forbid it: only the latter create new business for the federal courts. Conservatives rightly decry the enormous expansion in the federal caseload caused by the aggressive constitutional rulings of liberal justices in the 1960s. But if the new rule declared in Heller is applied to the states, we may see a similar result, this time engineered by conservatives; and we will have further confirmation that the Warren Court liberated conservative as well as liberal judges from the constraint of judicial modesty. Every time a gun permit is denied, the disappointed applicant will have a potential constitutional claim litigable in the federal courts.

Justice Scalia was emphatic that the right to possess a gun is not absolute. He sparred with Justice Stephen Breyer (who wrote a separate dissenting opinion) over the standard to be applied to restrictions on gun ownership. All that is clear is that an absolute ban on possessing a pistol is unconstitutional. The other restrictions that a government might want to impose are up for grabs. It may take many years for the dust to settle–many years of lawsuits that our litigious society does not need.

Conservatives rightly believe, moreover, that the efficacy of legally enforceable rights as an engine for social reform is overrated. The effects even of such well known and generally applauded decisions as those invalidating racial segregation of public schools and the malapportionment of state legislatures are uncertain, and may not have been, on balance, beneficial. The only certain effect of the Heller decision–for the scholarly literature has yet to reach consensus on the effects of gun-control laws–will be to increase litigation over gun ownership.

Here is the key to me of what is behind Posner’s decision in the 7th Circuit.  Scalia made some broad claims that certainly reasonable restrictions are allowed that have historically existed and pointed to Miller where such distinctions were made.

Posner’s decision deals with distinctions then that are arbitrary according to the Supreme Court’s previous decision


Twenty-first century Illinois has no hostile Indians. But a Chicagoan is a good deal more likely to be attacked on a sidewalk in a rough neighborhood than in his apartment on the 35th floor of the Park Tower. A woman who is being stalked or has obtained a protective order against a violent ex-husband is more vulnerable to being attacked while walking to or from her home than when inside. She has a stronger self-defense claim to be allowed to carry a gun in public than the resident of a fancy apartment building (complete with doorman) has a claim to sleep with a loaded gun under her mattress. But Illinois wants to deny the former claim, while compelled by McDonald to honor the latter. That creates an arbitrary difference. To confine the right to be armed to the home is to divorce the Second Amendment from the right of self-defense described in Heller and McDonald. It is not a property right—a right to kill a houseguest who in a fit of aesthetic fury tries to slash your copy of Norman Rockwell’s painting Santa with Elves. That is not self-defense, and this case like Heller and McDonald is just about self-defense.

Pure Posner right there

Continuing later

A blanket prohibition on carrying gun in public prevents a person from defending himself anywhere except inside his home; and so substantial a curtailment of the right of armed self-defense requires a greater showing of justification than merely that the public might benefit on balance from such a curtailment, though there is no proof it would. In contrast,when a state bans guns merely in particular places, such as public schools , a person can preserve an undiminished right of self-defense by not entering those places; since that’s a lesser burden, the state doesn’t need to prove so strong a need. Similarly, the state can prevail with less evidence when, as in Skoien, guns are forbidden to a class of persons who present a higher than average risk of misusing a gun. See also Ezell v. City of Chicago, supra, 651 F.3d at 708. And empirical evidence of a public safety concern can be dispensed with altogether when the ban is limited to obviously dangerous persons such as felons and the mentally ill. Heller v. District of Columbia, supra, 554 U.S. at 626. Illinois has lots of options for protecting its people from being shot without having to eliminate all possibility of armed self-defense in public.

It is not that all states but Illinois are indifferent to the dangers that widespread public carrying of gunsmay pose. Some may be. But others have decidedthat a proper balance between the interest in self-defense and the dangers created by carrying guns in public is to limit the right to carry a gun to responsible persons rather than to ban public carriage altogether, as Illinois with its meager exceptions comes close to doing. Even jurisdictions like New York State, where officials have broad discretion to deny applications for gun permits, recognize that the interest in self-defense extends outside the home. There is no suggestion that some unique characteristic of criminal activity in Illinois justifies the state’s taking a different approach from the other 49 states. If the Illinois approach were demonstrably superior, one would expect at least one or two other states to have emulated it.


Judge Wilkinson expressed concern in United Statesv. Masciandaro, 638 F.3d 458, 475 (4th Cir. 2011), that“there may or may not be a Second Amendment right in some places beyond the home, but we have no idea what those places are, what the criteria for selecting them should be, what sliding scales of scrutiny might apply to them, or any one of a number of other questions. It is not clear in what places public authorities may ban firearms altogether without shouldering the burdens of litigation.The notion that ‘self-defense has to take place wherever [a] person happens to be,’ appears to us to portend all sorts of litigation over schools, airports, parks, public thoroughfares, and various additional government facilities…. The whole matter strikes us as a vast terra incognita that courts should enter only upon necessity and only then by small degree” (citation omitted). Fair enough; but that “vast terra incognita” has been opened to judicial exploration by Heller and McDonald. There is no turning back by the lower federal courts, though we need not speculate on the limits that Illinois may in the interest of public safety constitutionally impose on the carrying of guns in public; it is enough that the limits it has imposed go too far.

That last bit is a shot at the Supreme Court and Scalia in particular.  As a lower court judge, Posner must follow the decisions in Heller and McDonald, but how to operationalize those decisions was completely avoided likely because it is a morass.  Scalia tried to act like simple common sense would solve these problems in Heller, but the reality is that without any test that can be applied usefully to determine what fits under the 2nd Amendment and what does not, there is going to be lawsuit after lawsuit after lawsuit.

The next step is for states with may issue conceal carry or very restrictive laws to be challenged and for the Supreme Court to define exactly how much the states can restrict carrying of firearms.  After that we get to fight over just about every public facility to figure out what is sensitive and what is not.  Then, or at the same time we get to litigate over the exact limits of the 2nd Amendment applies to firearms and any other weapons.  Can you carry a sword down the street?  A concealed knife?  A .50 caliber rifle?  Given incorporation has not happened until Heller none of these questions have been answered and everyone will have to be.  The way Scalia wrote Heller creates no guidance how any of it will work and Scalia just created a whole new area of the law they are going to have to define and redefine over and over and over again.

Grab the popcorn and laugh at their attempts.

After Connecticut I would expect Madigan to appeal and the Lege sit it out until the Supreme Court makes a decision.  Regardless that the shooting in Connecticut is only tangential relations to conceal carry, that’s not a distinction most will make.  How will the Supreme Court rule?  I tend to think they will overrule Posner simply because the alternative means a lot of legislating from the bench that either Kennedy or Roberts will want to do in figuring out how to decide exactly what kind of conceal carry legislation is permissible and what is not.  Further, if they uphold Posner’s decision, they will realize they not only will have to figure out conceal carry tests, but tests for every other kind of restriction and there is not an easy way to do that.

The simple reality is that the 2nd Amendment is not an absolute right to bear arms and to figure out where those limits are is difficult to say the least.  Of course, if you want to disagree and claim the 2nd Amendment is not absolute, I welcome your essay on why RPGs should be legal for civilians.  I’m sure that will be fascinating as you attempt to distinguish an absolute right from being absolute.