An-opinionatedwoman

Middle-Class | Midwest | Middle-of-the-Road

I Am My Father’s Daughter

This Father’s Day 2015 is full of memories as my life takes on another turn of events.  I’m not certain when the impact occurred as to how much of an influence my father really had on me.

Edwin Kowalski

Is it every time I fill the lawn mower with gas, and remember when Dad would say, “don’t fill it all the way up to the top; the gas needs a little room to expand.”  Or is it when I drive the car in winter, and remember what he said to do when if I hit an ice patch.  Or maybe when I’m in my DIY painting mode, and remember dad’s instructions about using the paint roller and sashing the trim.  Or perhaps, a bigger impact when I see someone having a difficult time, or an accident, and I just automatically, by rote, rush in to help.  I learned the latter when I saw my dad pack me in the car along with some supplies and we drove over to some of his employees’ homes that had been flooded out by heavy rains one year.  Mom told me dad was a softie, because he remembered his own life’s hardships, and yet that “softie” was not a pushover.

Dad had three loves in his life:  his family, his golf game, and his business.  The order was flexible depending upon events of the moment.  He was the oldest of five children, and his own father passed away when he was teenager.  He had to quit school to support his mother and siblings.  He never finished high school, and yet when he finally retired due to health reasons in his late 70’s, he was a proud owner of a manufacturing business employing a significant number of people.  And yes, Mr. President, he did build that.

I grew up with a “Tiger mom”, so dad, with his calmness and practicality, was the perfect foil when Mom and I would go at it over piano practice, and later other mother/daughter duels.  Whereas mother was always miserly in her praise for a job well done, lest I “get a big head”, dad wore a big smile on his face and shared a hug.

But in hindsight, my dad’s greatest impact on my life and the person I am today involves the obstacles of life.  “No one owes you a living,” he would say.  He never dwelt on the hardships, the injustices, or the ingrates.  Instead, he used his energy to solve the issue and make the situation better than it was.  What Dad lacked in formal education, he more than made up for it in determination.  He always had faith in me, and he was my sounding board and shoulder when life’s lessons threatened to overwhelm me.  He believed in family, his country, in the goodness of the Almighty, and that life’s rewards were there for you if you worked hard and treated your fellow man fairly.

When dad passed away suddenly at age 87, his wake spoke volumes to the man he was.  People from the condo building where my parents lived came out in force, employees who worked for him over the many years, industry colleagues, golfing buddies, neighbors from where I grew up.  “Your father always said hello to me,” “he always lent a hand,” “he gave me my first break,” “I learned more from your father than I did my own,” “his face always lit up when he spoke about you and how proud he was of you,” “his family always came first.”

And now, as I honor Father’s Day with some grillin’ and chillin’, I realize that I have not lit a large enough fire on the Bar-B for my intended dinner.  I AM my father’s daughter.

Week in Review: Trump Jumps, Alexander/Alexandra, Greek Theater, Shakespeare (not) in Love

Last week was a busy, busy, news week, so here’s Political Woman’s POV ….

Trump Jumps into the Republican Race for the Presidential Nomination

So is he in it to win it, or just in it?  Probably one of the greatest showmen since P.T. Barnum, “the Donald” has entered the run for the White House.  Before his potential voters are labeled, “Trump Chumps”, harken back to 1992, when businessman Ross Perot’s entry into the Presidential race cost George H.W. Bush the election.  Perot resonated with the electorate, because he spoke to not only their fears, but their hopes for a better America. Perot’s comment about Bill Clinton’s constant reference to his governorship of Arkansas as bona fides to become president was priceless …” but I could say, you know, that I ran a small grocery store on the corner, therefore I extrapolate that into the fact that I can run Wal-Mart. That’s not true.”

Look for Trump to provide similar comic relief, but also touch similar chords.  We are now seven years beyond the market and housing bubble crash of 2008, and the economy is still struggling under the weight and uncertainly of Obamacare, regulatory over-reach, a labor force with a record number of people who are NOT working, more part-time work being created than full time jobs (see the latest jobs report), the highest corporate income tax rate in the world, and on and on.  Trump is speaking to the people who’ve lost their jobs to overseas competitors, as well as those who lose their jobs here at home replaced by visa holders a la Disney.

Trump will force issues and he’ll force fellow candidates to speak out as to where they stand on issues that matter to the voting public.  He’ll bring a different dynamic to the race, and we can only wait for more abashedly remarks that I would call, “Trump-isms.”

Replacing Alexander with Alexandra

It speaks volumes of our government — the OPM is hacked by the Chinese, with a minimum of four million government employees’ personnel records compromised; no clear strategy to combat ISIS with several hundred more American “advisors” being sent to Iraq; TPA fast-track authority granted to the President, relating to a trade-agreement that 95% of the House and Senate members have yet to read — and now (drumroll please) Treasury Secretary Jack Lew announces that Alexander Hamilton, whose face has appeared on the $10 bill will be replaced with a yet-to-be-named woman, when the newly redesigned currency appears in 2020.

Pandering to the whiny, squeaky-wheel feminist special interest groups, the man who founded the American banking system as we know it, became its first Treasury Secretary, and was instrumental in getting the Constitution written and passed, will soon be keeping Shakespeare company in that now infamous group known as the “old, dead, white men.”  As a woman, who remembers quite well the early feminism of Gloria Steinem and Betty Friedan, I say, when there’s a woman with the credentials of a Washington, Lincoln, Hamilton, Jackson, Grant or Franklin, whose decisions, action and leadership literally transformed this country and its history forever, then put her on our currency, not before.

Will or Won’t Greece Exit the Eurozone

As Greece’s long-running financial soap opera continues, resultant from the 2008 market crash, it’s getting down to the proverbial wire of June 30, whether Greece defaults and exits “grexits” the Eurozone or not.  If you’re an investor in mutual funds that encompass European stocks and bonds, you’re probably on antacid tablets or on the phone with your investment advisor.  While Greece’s economy is minute compared to the US’, Greece’s impact on the European economy is much more significant since the European Central Bank is holding/funding much of the Greek debt.  As we are a global economy, the last time we went through a similar Greek drama, our stock market suffered financial declines.  Our banks have exposure in Greece to the tune of approximately $32 billion, and our exposure to the Eurozone market is far, far greater not even counting the value of our exports.  To read more on this subject click here and here.

So as Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras heads to Brussels this week for talks on bailing out or bailing in Greece once again, we should pay a tad more attention than we usually do.  Earlier this week, the UK Telegraph came out with this story, “It’s time to hold physical cash,” where the manager of one of Europe’s biggest bond funds is urging investors to keep cash under the mattress.  Actually, I’m in the corner with another writer, Jeremy Warner, who warns a market correction will most likely be triggered by some unanticipated event, in other words, totally out of the blue.  Just like in 2008.  Lovely.

Shakespeare – Theater of the Absurd

Just when you thought Caitlyn or Rachel would win the award for when the new normal isn’t normal, along comes English teacher, Dana Dusbiber.  She writes in The Washington Post Education blog (text can be found in this article), that her students shouldn’t have to read Shakespeare because other literature “better speaks to the needs of my very ethnically-diverse and wonderfully curious modern-day students.”

In the ancient days of my college years, I had to take an English literature course a part of the university’s then “core curriculum.”  I chose “The Romantics,” which included works by Wordsworth, Coleridge, Lamb, Keats, Shelley, and Byron.  I remember being scared to death of that course, and before I finished the semester, that English course was one of the best I had ever taken.  And why?  Because of the professor, whose name I’ve long forgotten.  Three days a week for 45 minutes, he became lost in the world of the Romantics and took his students with him as he read verses and explained the tragedy of Margaret in “The Prelude,” and later the bawdiness of Byron’s “Don Juan.”

Imagine what Ms. Dusbiber could accomplish, and others like her to show her “ethnically-diverse” students through literature, that life today is not so very different than it was several hundred years ago.  Instead, she is contributing to the meme now found in so many of our universities that courses are only relevant if they mirror life as we know it today, or what we experience in our own race, gender, and ethnicity.  Having a diverse literature curriculum is good for all students, but for Ms. Dusbiber to omit Shakespeare from her course curriculum, whose writings influenced future generations of authors, dramatists and actors is “the most unkindest cut of all.”

We are the land of the free because of the brave – Memorial Day 2015

American Eagle rests on a gravestone in Ft. Snelling cemetary – (Frank Glick)

On July 4, 1776, 56 men gathered in a room in Philadelphia and put their signatures onto a document that formally began the American Revolution.  It was almost 13 months after the Continental Army was founded (June 14, 1775) to fight the British. Today, we remember the countless American lives throughout history who not only fought for our freedoms but also in defense of them and our way of life.

In combing through columns written by better essayists than this author, I found this essay in the May 20 2015 edition of The Wall Street Journal, written about Staff Sergeant Ryan M. Pitts, a recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor.

“…a man who joined the U.S. Army out of high school, twice deployed to war, and who in July 2008 was the last man alive in an observation post named Topside, above the village of Wanat in the Hindu Kush mountains of northeastern Afghanistan.  Wounded in the forehead, one arm and both legs, Sgt. Pitts defended that outpost with grenades and a machine gun until helicopter gunships could lay down supporting fire to clear the way for his rescue.”

Staff Sergeant Pitts was selected to give the commencement address at the University of New Hampshire.  He spoke about courage and fear.

“Courage is not the absence of fear; it is the ability to move forward in the face of it. There is beauty in this definition, because courage can exist in the decisions we make every day. Courage exists in the individual who accepts who they are and openly lives the life they want in the face of rejection. Courage exists in those who challenge their own perceptions in the face of accepting they are not infallible. Be courageous and appreciate courage in others who take action in the face of fear.”

He closed by saying: “The last thought I will leave you with is more a matter of character. Never forget those who helped you reach where you are.”

Then he named the men who died that morning, eight on Topside and one in the village of Wanat: “ Sergio Abad, Jonathan Ayers, Jason Bogar, Jonathan Brostrom, Israel Garcia, Jason Hovater, Matthew Phillips, Pruitt Rainey and Gunnar Zwilling.”

In our present day America, I would almost venture a guess that 75% of American high school teenagers would be unable to tell you what our nation’s highest award for valor is.  I would also venture to guess that 75% of our college students have no clue either.  But, they can probably name every character on the Game of Thrones.  

Memorial Day 2015 is especially poignant for many given the news of the several days, mainly the fall of Ramadi, made even more so by the question du jour for the past two weeks as to whether we should have invaded.  In a country where there is more column space given to what is wrong with the military (The New York Times gave 32 consecutive days of coverage to Abu Ghraib, while burying the story about another MOH winner, Cpl. Jason Dunham on page 3 of Section 3)1, there are still thousands of service members and their families who give selflessly, so that we may enjoy our Memorial Day celebrations in peace with families and friends, or however we wish to spend this day.

While we remember the fallen, it is those who serve, who say, “not on my watch” who keep us safe.

We must never forget that we are the land of the free because of “the brave.”

Staff Sgt. Ryan M. Pitts, winner of the Medal of Honor (Getty Images)

Taken at the funeral for Navy SEAL Jon Tumilson, with his faithful dog, Hawkeye

1 Peter Collier, “American Honor“, The Wall Street Journal

Adoption is Forever – if you’re not prepared, don’t do it

I haven’t posted for quite a while, as I’m spending most of my time on my sister site, political-woman.com.  However, this short video that a friend of mine shared on Facebook, has haunted me, and struck a nerve.  The video is about 3 minutes, but is very powerful, and has over 350,000 views.  The ending is unexpected and the film says more about adoption in three minutes than some films, speeches and websites can say in paragraphs and pages.

If you know someone who is seriously considering adopting a pet, please share this video.  So many people who want to adopt pups, start out with a good heart and good intentions, and then realize that owning a pup (or cat) is like caring for a child or a parent.  It can be quite over-whelming as a new adopter when one discovers the pup comes with clean-up duty, may get into your things and accidentally damage them, and require attention at odd times, get underfoot and may have unforeseen medical bills.

Should you be one of those adoptive parents and are having second thoughts, just drop me a line.  I have four dogs, one of whom is a rescue and set a new bar for home destruction.  But I’ve toughed it through, and he’s a member of the family.  As an adoptive parent, you become their world.

And if you’re a new adoptive parent, and have decided you just can’t do it anymore, please, call a rescue or take the pup to a shelter.  But before you do, look into those eyes, and remember how much they trust you to do the right thing.

If you have a pup, post its photo and cheer up a young teen fighting cancer: Photo Doggies for Anthony

Haven’t posted here for quite a while as I’ve been concentrating on my other blog, Political-Woman.com.  However, came across this on the news:  Photo Doggies for Anthony.  He’s a young teen fighting cancer and in Phoenix Childrens’ Hospital for chemotherapy.    http://abcnews.go.com/Lifestyle/photo-doggies-anthony-sends-pooch-pics-wishes-phoenix/story?id=28000983

The link to posting a photo can be found here:  https://www.facebook.com/events/1005474049479538/

There but for the grace of God, go I.

D-Day: 1944 / 1984 / 2014 — An image is a worth a thousand words

You be the judge.

1944 – A Hero

D-Day (US Army-Flicker)

 

1984 – A Leader

 

2014 – A “Fill-in-the-blank”

 

President Obama (chewing gum) at 70th Anniversary of D-Day Memorial in France

 

H/T Weasel Zippers:  http://weaselzippers.us/188765-obama-chomps-on-gum-during-d-dad-anniversary-event/

 

Becoming a nation of cowards?

Back to writing on a more regular basis.   I refuse to let my day job interfere with my dream job any longer. :-)

Throughout American history, our nation has prided itself on its tolerance.  Tolerance of different faiths, cultures, ideas, races.  Our ancestors fought the American Revolution because they would not tolerate “taxation without representation” and other transgressions against them by the mother country.  A Civil War was fought because Americans could no longer tolerate man enslaving man because of skin color.

Fast forward to 2014, and we still have our national tolerance.  We tolerate bullies.  We tolerate activist minorities who spew their own brand of hatred and intolerance in the name of cultural diversity.  We tolerate the eviscerating of our Constitutional 1st Amendment rights as citizens by governments and institutions.  We’re becoming a nation of cowards as we sit silently by and watch, read, and listen to people, whether famous or not so famous, become victims of the American version of Socialism.

Socialism or Fascism.  Those who lived under it recognize shades of it here.  Sadly, the term is being heard and used more frequently these days, whether by national journalists or ordinary Americans.  Some Americans will argue that it can’t happen here.  It’s over-reaction to cultural modernity by socially-challenged neanderthals.  Those Americans who hold that view need to take a long, hard look at some facts and not be dismissive that they’re the product of right-wing paranoia.

Several recent high profile examples of repression of speech and dissenting views have been seen through Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice.  In the case of Ms. Hirsi Ali, only 86 of the 350 faculty members at Brandeis signed the letter denouncing her and demanding her removal from the honored recipients list.  Yet, university leadership caved to pressure groups such as CAIR, the same activist group instrumental in procuring the Obama Adminstration’s assent to remove all mention of Islam from FBI training manuals.

While former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice graciously bowed out rather than disrupt the Rutgers commencement ceremonies, who knew that opposition to her speaking wouldn’t end there.  In a letter to Rutgers University president by student Donald Coughlan, he described “some students were disturbed by emails sent by faculty members encouraging them to attend a “teach-in” about Rice Tuesday and speak out against the former U.S. Secretary of State.  ‘Most students know these professors very well and these emails intimidated students who do not share the opinions of the professors,’ Coughlan wrote.”

Yesterday, we learned IMF president, Christine Lagarde has joined the disinvited elite, with her commencement ceremony address rescinded by Smith college.  It appears that some faculty and students don’t like IMF policies.  Getting disinvited is starting to be a badge of honor.

Home decorating is also becoming a battlefield.  The openly-Christian Benham Brothers were slated to begin a new series, “Flip It Forward” for HGTV.  However, the network summarily cancelled their show without a single airing, due to a report that the brothers were anti-gay, which they strongly denied.

Small town Gilford, New Hampshire, was also in the national spotlight when William Baer, the father of a 14-year old girl, was hand-cuffed and arrested at a local school board meeting, because he went over the “two-minute” comment period while protesting the sexually graphic and explicit content of a book assigned to his daughter for reading.  His daughter, following her father’s arrest for disorderly conduct, bravely spoke up before the school board.  Notice the dead silence in the room following her comments.

Drew Sterrett, accused of raping a female student while a student at the University of Michigan, is now suing the university for abridging  his due process rights guaranteed to him under the U.S. Constitution.  His lawsuit claims, “at no point during the call/interview was [Sterrett] given notice of the specific allegations which had been made against him.”  The University adjudicated the matter and expelled him.  No trial?  No jury? No problem.  The university can point to the latest kow-tow piece of political correctness legislation by the DOJ, the Title IX “Montana Agreement.”

This is what America has sunk to.  Individuals who express a viewpoint or dissent from a more liberal, progressive agenda are vilified and marginalized, and branded racists or worse.  A page out of the Saul Alinsky playbook.  Americans are already rethinking the risks of dissenting in public, (think Lois Lerner and the IRS), or because of employer behavior edicts (think Mozilla).  Recently, FEC Chairman, Lee Goodman, warned “there are some in this building that think we can actually regulate media,” which is especially troublesome if one is of the conservative persuasion.

And so it continues.  Watching a once vibrant, anything is possible nation, become a chasm of Americans slowly being cowed into silence. Dissent and discussion of differing viewpoints is held not in the boardrooms, classrooms, blogs and media, but instead over coffee and kitchen tables, where friends and family members who “think like us” have already been vetted.  As First Amendment rights are being trampled upon, the President assume and exercise powers that are the purview of Congress (think Obamacare delays and the quashing of the welfare work rules), what should be a vociferous outcry is instead slowly becoming more of a whisper.

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out–
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out–
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out–
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me–and there was no one left to speak for me.

— Pastor Martin Niemoller

 

What if 20 million Americans took to the streets in protest

While watching the live feed from Cairo yesterday it got me thinking, what if 20 million Americans came out into the streets of its major cities, or in the capital, to protest Obamacare, IRS abuses, Benghazi, immigration reform – another monstrosity of a Bill no one has read, an abysmally weak recovery, unemployment, and Presidential rule by executive fiat.   The last times I can remember huge mass populous rallies were the “million man march” in DC, if it truly was a million, and the civil rights’ gathering in front of the Lincoln Memorial where Dr. Martin Luther King gave his famous, “I have a dream” speech.  Sorry, Occupy Wall Street doesn’t nearly qualify.

Egyptian people take to the streets during the ouster of President Morsi (Amy Nabil/AP)

We’re told that our protest comes in the form of elections every two, four, six years depending upon the governmental body.  Unfortunately, being the cynic that I’ve become, these elections have become less demonstrable in effecting the changes we need to make in our government and policies if we’re going to still have a country around to celebrate another 237 years .

With the exception of a handful of politicians, many of whom were first elected to Congress in 2010, there has been little public outcry despite the continuing high unemployment, mostly due to Obamacare’s taxing mandates, ballooning national debt, an anemic recovery, and other recent scandals rocking the Administration.  We’re told by the media organizations, psychologists, politicians that this is the new “normal.”  No.  It isn’t.  Many of us know and remember what normal is from past recessions, and this isn’t “normal.”

Perhaps the only way to scare the h**l out of Washington, as in the likes of Boehner, Reid, Schumer, McCain, Pelosi, et al is to wage a 20 million person demonstration.  Remember Howard Beale’s “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore.”  If I’m noticing what 20 million people can do in Egypt, so are many of my fellow Americans.

To be perfectly clear, I’m not advocating for the overthrow or removal of any government body or official.  I’m advocating for an, “in their face” popular outcry that “you work for us” so start “listening to us.”  I’m paying the taxes that provide the benefits for the “undeserving” poor’s lifetime of welfare and the illegals pouring into this country, soon to bring their families to join them.  Meanwhile our veterans have to fill out an average of 613 forms across 18 federal agencies to get the benefits due them.  You don’t think that’s something to protest about.  Our moral compass’s needle is tightly fastened on South, when you hear the Left’s vociferous “war on women” prattle when it comes to right to destroy a viable baby at five months of life.  We saw a witness in the Florida v. Zimmerman trial, who at 17 years of age, couldn’t read the words on the paper in front of her.  A product of our public educational system.  You think that’s not something to protest about.

That photo above was taken in Cairo, but one day, it just may be the US.

D-Day – 1944 and 2013

They came from all across America.  Young and the not-so-young, employed, unemployed.  Boys from farms, small towns, big cities.  Rich and poor.  D-Day knew no demographics, we were all in it together.  Hitler, and everything that he stood for, had to be defeated, as he was a threat to mankind’s morality and the civilized world as we knew it.

They gave their lives for the love of their country, and the faith that they held that their sacrifice would make America and the world a better place.  What our soldiers suffered that day of infamy in 1944 was best remembered and told in this essay, first published in The Atlantic in 1960, by S.L.A. Marshall, a combat historian who recorded history on D-Day, June 6, 1944.  If you want to honor those who fought so many years ago for our freedoms today, the essay is worth reading  and remembering.  (h/t Scott Johnson, Power Line)

Iconic photo: General Dwight Eisenhower and the 101st Airborne before D-Day

As President Ronald Reagan said in his commemorative speech at Pointe du Hoc, on the 40th Anniversary of the D-Day invasion:

You all knew that some things are worth dying for. One’s country is worth dying for, and democracy is worth dying for, because it’s the most deeply honorable form of government ever devised by man. All of you loved liberty. All of you were willing to fight tyranny, and you knew the people of your countries were behind you.

Strengthened by their courage, heartened by their value [valor], and borne by their memory, let us continue to stand for the ideals for which they lived and died.

And now we fast forward to the America of 2013, 69 years after D-Day and today’s headlines: “Government is Tracking Verizon Customers’ Records“; “NSA collecting phone records of millions of Verizon customers daily“; “IRS employees: Washington IRS official Carter Hull oversaw targeting of conservative groups“; “A Middle East Tinderbox – without authoritative US action, a regional war will likely erupt over Syria.”

The irony of it all is rather striking, isn’t it?  If those men had been given the gift of precognition, would they have still charged up those Normandy beaches, stormed up the cliffs of Pointe du Hoc?.  I rather think, yes.  The grit, determination, and faith held by those American boys of 1944 are what so many of us still have inside us, although for many it lies dormant, or for some it has trembled or been castigated into silence.

I’d like to believe that these years since January 20, 2009, have been but a blip, albeit a painful one, in our country’s history, and that sooner, rather than later, as all the spying, taxing, targeting, finally sinks into the psyches of enough Americans, we’ll take it upon ourselves to retake our country and government and enjoy what Lincoln once heralded as, “a new birth of freedom,” so that these “honored dead shall not have died in vain.”

Gun control – Chicago style (or bring a bat to the fight)

In the midst of gun control legislation offered by various Senators, from an assault weapons ban and magazine limits, to the now pre-eminent gun control bill in the Senate, Manchin-Toomey, I thought I would share with you gun control, Chicago-style, a.k.a. bring a bat to the fight.

The City of Chicago has some of the toughest, strictest gun laws in the country.  In 2010, the City Council still under the aegis of Mayor Richard M. Daley, hastily passed [emphasis mine] “The Responsible Gun Ownership” ordinance (h/t The Reader):

The “Responsible Gun Ownership” ordinance allows any adult in Chicago with a clean record to register one handgun a month for self-defense at home—but only one gun at a time can be “assembled and operable,” and the owner can’t take it out of the home, even into the backyard. The weapons have to be registered with the state and city, and their owners must be trained and fingerprinted. Guns in homes where minors live have to be locked away or equipped with trigger locks. And anyone convicted of a gun offense is required to disclose the information in a publicly accessible registry modeled after those for convicted sex offenders.

The keywords here are “self-defense at home.”

The April 9 surveillance tape below was taken at the Logan Square neighborhood gift shop, Quizhpe’s Gifts and Sports.  The tape reveals the robbery and shooting of proprietor, Luis Quizhpe, who despite being shot in the thigh, refused to give in and fought back his assailants with a baseball bat, swinging for his life.  Yes, you read right.  A baseball bat against two gun-armed thugs.  Quizhpe’s brother, also present during the robbery and who fought alongside his brother, remarked that the shooter “ran out of bullets because he stopped shooting at us.”   The police found 10 shell casings on the ground.  You think those robbers had FOID cards?

So as the pols in Washington push for broader universal background checks, and stiffer penalties for criminals and others who fail to comply with the law, let’s consider Chicago as the microcosm epicenter of gun control, and how it’s working out.  As The Reader’s columnist reports,

“But only a small portion of gun owners have jumped through all the hoops. About a year after the new law went into effect, 3,153 people had completed the city’s permitting process, a mere 3 percent of the Chicagoans who’d completed state firearm registration.

Things haven’t improved much since then, according to new data from the police department. By the end of February, 7,750 people had successfully applied for city firearm permits—just 6 percent of the 130,000 Chicagoans who have FOID cards. Though not everyone with a FOID card owns a gun—and some gun owners, including police and security guards, are exempt from permits—it’s evident that thousands of firearm owners still aren’t adhering to the city law.”

Number of people shot in Chicago, 2012:  2670

Number of people shot in Chicago as of March 25, 2013:  369

Number of homicides in Chicago, 2012: 535

Number of homicides in Chicago as of April 11: 93

Senator Pat Toomey has stated that his legislation would not have stopped a Newtown shooting. but a universal background check system will be implemented in part to keep firearms out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill.  Except Adam Lanza’s mother was not mentally ill.

“Another key part of the city’s 2010 firearm ordinance was the creation of a gun-offender registry. The idea was that parolees would be required to register with the police department as sex offenders are. Police would then have a database to help them keep track of felons likely to be mixed up in violence.

But even now the registry consists of just 490 names, a fraction of the former gun offenders in the city. In 2011 alone, 1,700 people were paroled after serving time in Illinois prisons on weapons offenses, the vast majority for gun crimes in Chicago. Thousands of others were paroled for gun-related murders, burglaries, and robberies.” (The Reader)

Luis Quizphe, through his quick thinking and refusal to be a victim survived this incident.  But how many more like him do not.  Had Quizphe had a firearm on premises (long guns are permitted by Chicago ordinance), would it have made a difference.  Possibly.  We don’t know.

While gun control legislation makes great political theater and gives some a feel good, we’re taking action kind of moment, is more gun control legislation the answer?  Or, should we start enforcing what’s already on the books.

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