September 27, 2017
Last Sunday in Las Vegas,
our nation witnessed the biggest mass shooting in its history. More than fifty dead and over 500 wounded. Once again this shocking slaughter of innocents had the media, politicians and the public all asking why it happened and what can be done to protect us from such horrors in the future.
Well, as far as finding the "why" of the lone shooter's actions, even if investigations find the catalyst for Stephen Paddock's violence was gambling debts or pent up anger at society or some kind of PTSD going back to a screwed up childhood with a psychopath father, at the root of it all Mr. Paddock was just plain nuts.
So, you might say, "Ahh, I see that's the problem." Just like a number of other mass shootings. The United States needs to keep better track of crazy people and take better care of them. This has been a popular "answer" batted around by Republicans after other shootings. (Although they never seem to come up with any funding.) And it is true. We do need to have more accessible, affordable mental health care available to everyone.
But, keeping track of every person who might be dangerously deranged? - In a country of over 325 million people (third largest in the world), that's impossible. Also, a person with dangerous mental problems doesn't always think he or she needs to seek help. And people acquainted with that person don't always recognize their need. From what we know so far, that describes Stephen Paddock's profile.
Beyond mental health services, it's glaringly clear that the easy availability of war-grade assault weapons to virtually any American must be addressed. So what can be done about this? According to the Trump White House and Congressional Republicans, I shouldn't even be discussing these questions. On Monday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, "There's a time and place for a political debate but now is the time to unite as a country." -- In recent years, this is language that is, not surprisingly, almost identical to statements that have been made by Republicans or their media apologists after virtually every mass shooting. -- So here's a thought: perhaps a good way to start uniting the country would be to find areas of this gun issue that the majority of Americans already agree on. Easy access to assault weapons is one such area.
Ms. Huckabee Sanders also said it would be "premature for us to discuss policy when we don't know all the facts or what took place last night." Well two days later, here's what we know. Stephen Paddock, an insane man, had over twenty assault rifles in his hotel room, purchased legally as semi-automatic weapons then converted to automatic. It's my understanding he purchased easy-to-use conversion kits sold legally on the Internet. This allowed him spray the plaza below his room with hundreds of high-powered bullets per minute. He randomly murdered dozens of human beings using the power of weapons that have no logical reason to be in a civilian's hands. Those facts should be enough to get any discussion started.
Yesterday, our senior Democratic Senator Dick Durbin spoke out strongly about the need to address this insane situation. He said he respected the Second Amendment but it wasn't written to be "a suicide pact." And Connecticut Democratic Senator Chris Murphy, a leading gun control advocate since the Sandy Hook Elementary shootings, summed thing up bluntly, "It's time for Congress to get off its ass and do something."
President Trump has called Sunday's shootings "an act of pure evil." He's right. It was evil. But such language is conveniently generic, as if what happened in Las Vegas was a phenomenon beyond our control. I mean, how do you eliminate "evil?" Evil acts will always be with us, but that doesn't mean we can't try to reduce the opportunities for them to occur. - Was Stephen Paddock himself "evil." His actions were -- but the man was almost surely out of his mind.
You want purer examples of evil acts? How about people who know what they're doing will harm many people but don't care. How about Congressman Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.) actively renewing his push to make it easier to buy gun silencers. (He backed off after Las Vegas.) Silencers have been nationally prohibited since 1934. Now, hunters say this would protect their hearing. (Ear plugs would too.) The NRA wants silencers despite the criminal and homicidal mischief they would surely bring. Rep. Duncan couldn't care less. That's evil.
And after the Sandy Hook shootings of all those children, their parents went to congressional offices to personally beg, face-to-face, for stronger gun laws. Members of Congress saw the parents' anguish. They knew something should be done. But the NRA's Wayne LaPierre said, "no." So the Republican controlled Congress ignored the grieving parents. - That's evil.
The time to start pushing every member of Congress to debate the issue of smarter gun laws is long overdue. In 2018, we can replace the Republican defenders of the NRA with Democratic candidates committed to gun law reform. We can help remove Republican incumbents like our neighbor, Congressman Peter Roskam. I believe the only way we will ever see a serious gun debate in Congress and the creation of intelligent gun laws is with a Democratic majority in the House and the Senate. As long as Republicans remain in control of Congress, the influence of the National Rifle Association will continue to erode the quality of life in every part of our nation.
NTDO member since 1973
P.S. You may remember the stir that was caused last spring when outside money backing an ultra conservative agenda became involved in trying to upset New Trier's one-day discussion of race in America.
A short film was created called
"The Tip of the Spear,"
that revealed what was going on. Now the creator of that film has taken on a larger project, the creation of a full-length documentary on big-money conservative efforts to privatize for profit America's public education system. A Kick-starter program is underway to raise enough funding to get the project seen by producers who could make the film happen. Here's
to the kick-starter message. It is certainly a project with merit.
Are your NTD annual dues up to date? You can only vote at endorsement meetings if you're paid up.
Check with the NTD office if you're not sure when your "annual dues date" is.
To renew your NTD membership or to become an official member of the New Trier Dems for the first time,
. You'll see information on all your membership options.
Tickets are still available
For The NTDO Annual Dinner
(Or, you can purchase them at the dinner.)
With Illinois' Gubernatorial Race underway
and U.S. House investigations
of Russian election meddling going on,
this will be an NTDO Dinner
you won't want to miss!
Sunday, October 8
Reception at 5:00pm; Dinner at 6:15pm
Where: Maggiano's Little Italy Restaurant,
4999 Old Orchard Center,
Old Orchard Shopping Center, Skokie, IL
New Trier Dems host our 2017 Annual Dinner and fundraiser with Featured Speaker U.S. Representative Mike Quigley from Illinois' 5th Congressional District. Rep. Quigley is a Member of the influential House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, which oversees the activities of the entire Intelligence Community. He will address current national security issues and provide an update on the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. For more information about Rep. Quigley, please visit his website.
Daniel Biss, Chris Kennedy, J.B. Pritzker and possibly others will reveal their plans for Illinois.
Democratic gubernatorial candidates
make a reservation for our
Annual Dinner, please visit the New Trier Dems' ActBlue page.
Note: This year the Dinner is introducing a new category of
"Next Generation" tickets for Democrats under 40 years of age:
-- Just $100 each.
A message from New Trier 18th Dist. State Rep. Robyn Gabel:
Governor's Record on Women's Agenda
I was very pleased to see the Governor sign HB40 into law last Wednesday. I believe it is important to re-iterate that any medical procedure legal and available to the public should be part of any Medicaid or state employee health insurance coverage. That's the definition of basic equality and dignity.
I will continue to fight against the various social and legal roadblocks on the way to women's equality. There is a lot more work to be done, but I am happy to have contributed to making Illinois a state where women control what they can do with their own bodies no matter where they are on the economic ladder.
Thank you for your advocacy efforts and your conversations on this topic, we could not be where we are today without your work.
Please feel free to contact me or my staff with any issues of concern. I will continue to work on your behalf to make Illinois better.
All my best,
State Representative, 18th District
820 Davis St., Suite 103
Evanston, IL 60201
Monday, Oct. 16 in Evanston --
Join State Reps. Robyn Gabel and Laura Fine
at the Evanston Ecology Center
to learn more about important environmental topics
and what you can do to deal with them.
Other events of interest:
Tuesday, Oct. 17 in Evanston - A Reception in Support of Rep. Laura Fine for State Senate.
: Tuesday, October 17, from 5:30 - 7:00pm
: Terra & Vine, 1710 Maple Ave., Evanston
: Please join "Women for Laura" host committee (in formation) to support Rep. Fine's Senate Campaign!
Note: The NTDO Endorsement Meeting will not be held until January of 2018. Although Rep. Fine has been enthusiastically endorsed several times to be our State Rep., this event announcement is not a formal endorsement for Laura's State Senate candidacy.
Sunday afternoon, Oct. 22 in Northbrook -
See "The Pajama Game" - A Tenth Dems event.
Sunday, October 22, at 2:00pm
Northbrook Theater, 3323 Walters Ave., Northbrook
Join Tenth Dems at the Highland Park Players' production of The Pajama Game, winner of Tony awards for Best Musical and, 50 years later, Best Musical Revival. Set in the 1950s, The Pajama Game depicts the battle between a pajama factory's management and the employees and their union over a 7 1/2 cent raise. Classic Broadway songs include "Steam Heat," "Hey There," and "Hernando's Hideaway."
Ticket price in honor of next year's election: $20.18, (less than the box office price.) There will be a moderated conversation after the show.
Saturday, Oct. 28 in Glenview -
The Democrats of Northfield Township Fundraiser Luncheon
with U.S. Reps. Schakowsky and Schneider.
Saturday, October 28, from 12:00 noon - 2:00pm
The Glen Club, 2901 W. Lake Ave., Glenview
The Democrats of Northfield Township hold their annual Fundraiser Luncheon featuring remarks from Congressional Representatives Jan Schakowsky and Brad Schneider; and Resistance Recognition Honorees Action for a Better Tomorrow - Northern Suburbs, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, United Advocacy, and Northbrook Working Families Coalition.
Luncheon proceeds support field efforts to keep Northfield Township blue and our primary and general election Township mailings.
FYI: The NTDO Events Calendar
for the rest of 2017
Oct. 8 2017 NTDO ANNUAL DINNER
Maggiano's Old Orchard, Skokie, 5 pm-9 pm
Nov. (Date & Place TBA)
"HEAD START FOR 2018" CONFERENCE
All North Shore Democrats Invited
Have you visited Senator Biss' website "The Road Back" --
click on the link to his video -- then, throughout the summer follow his plan's development on the website.
Daniel explains a lot about how Illinois got where it is today and how we can begin the journey on the road back toward achieving our state's tremendous economic potential.
who represent New Trier Township in
Washington, Springfield and Cook County
You'll be hearing a lot from these exceptional public servants. --
And they want to be hearing a lot from you.
The fact is, they need to hear from you and want to hear from you in order to represent you most effectively. So, the first thing you can do is get to know who these people are. The links below to their campaign websites are a good place to start.
, 9th U.S. Congressional District Representative
and Chief Deputy House Democratic Whip. The new Ninth District boundaries include all of New Trier except for Glencoe.
, 10th U.S. Congressional District Representative which includes a number of precincts in Glencoe.
Julie Morrison, State Senator for Illinois' 29th State Senate District
State Senator for Illinois' 9th State Senate Distric
t.The Ninth District includes all of New Trier Township.
. The district includes New Trier's northernmost precincts.
IL 18th District State Representative
. The 18th District includes much of New Trier up to Hazel Avenue and Dundee Road.
, IL 17th District State Representative.
The 17th District includes the East Glenview and West Wilmette areas of New Trier Township.
IL 58th District State Representative.
The 58th District includes the northernmost precincts in Glencoe.
Larry Suffredin, Cook County 13th District Commissioner. The 13th District includes all of New Trier, Evanston and Niles Townships.
Dear Fellow Democrats,
If you are not already an NTDO member, and enjoy our Newsletter, we hope you consider joining us as a dues-paying member. NTDO is a not-for-profit political action organization. We depend on our membership dues to support our Democratic causes and candidates.
There are two options for dues payments: by check or credit card.
By Check: Make check payable to NTDO and mail to our office:
800 Oak St., Suite 112
Winnetka, IL 60093
By Credit Card: visit our website by clicking here
Click on the "Join/Contribute" button
Find the link for "contribute with ActBlue"
or go directly to ActBlue by clicking here.
|Still not a member of the New Trier Dems? Your participation in grassroots political action will make a difference. -- Come join us.
When you're a member of the New Trier Democratic Organization, you have an active role in affecting the political process; participating in grassroots campaigns, staying in touch with elected officials, playing a role in deciding which candidates are endorsed. You'll also gain free admission to select forums and events throughout the year.
Come be a part of New Trier's grassroots political community.
The New Trier Democratic Organization is made up of hundreds of grassroots volunteers dedicated to advancing progressive ideals through the political process. We welcome your participation.
Dean T. Maragos, Committeeman New Trier Township
We are located at 800 Oak Street, Suite 112, in Winnetka, IL. Ph: 847-446-8030
*This Internet communication paid for by the New Trier Democratic Organization and not authorized by any federal or state candidate or campaign committee. A copy of our report filed with the State Board of Elections is available for purchase from the State Board of Elections in Springfield, Illinois.