December 6, 2017
Last Monday, I attended the 33rd Annual Lincoln Awards Luncheon of the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence (ICHV). This year's award recipient was Democratic U.S. Representative Robin Kelly of the 2nd Congressional District. Since long before she was elected to the U.S. House, Congresswoman Kelly has been striving to find ways to reduce the tragedy of gun violence in our society. The ICHV Award recognized her efforts.
Among her comments, Representative Kelly spoke of her attempts to find common ground on the gun issue with Congressional colleagues from both sides of the aisle. For instance, right now there is a push by the NRA to make gun silencers legal. (They have been illegal for civilians for decades in the United States, along with the sawed-off shotgun.)
Hoping to find a Republican legislator who might have a personal perspective on this issue, she made an appointment to speak with Louisiana Congressman Steve Scalise. Representative Scalise was one of four congressmen shot while playing baseball with colleagues in Washington D.C.
Kelly was only given 5 minutes of the congressman's time but made the most of it. She immediately got into a discussion about silencer legalization. She pointed out that if Scalise's crazy assailant's gun had been equipped with a silencer a lot more shots could have been fired and people injured or killed before anyone knew what was actually happening. She added that the same could be said about the crowd in the Las Vegas shootings.
But even with such clear logic against silencers staring him in the face, Congressman Scalise told Robin that he will support the legalization of silencers. To me the congressman's response was mind-boggling. It reminded me once again of how firm the grip of the NRA has become on too many legislators, and how successful the "guns make us safer" propaganda has become as an NRA tool to influence voters.
Robin Kelly's anecdote also reminded me of a time when thing's were a bit more sane. Back in 2003, Wilmette still had an ordinance that prohibited Wilmette residents from keeping personal handguns in their homes. But in December of that year a Wilmette homeowner (defying that restriction) shot a burglar. The shooting made headlines. It also led to a number of letters to the editor of the Wilmette Life from citizens who insisted this was proof that more guns in our homes would make us safer.
Their letters led me to write a tongue-in-cheek letter to the editor praising the "guns make us safer" position. But my message suggested we go further.
I said that because I have a front and a back door in my townhouse I wanted a gun handy at each entrance, with a third gun available on my second floor. Away from home I wanted to always have a shoulder holstered gun on me as well as a gun in the glove compartment of each of our cars. I also expressed concern for the safety of our kids when they're away from their armed dad or our fortified home or auto. I advocated arming every crossing guard and classroom teacher. Once our kids reach 16, I suggested handing them their own personal weapon -- if they're old enough to drive they're old enough to pack a pistol. And as for Wilmette senior residents, made vulnerable by old age, I urged equipping every walker and wheelchair with a holstered handgun. --- I ended my letter by urging everyone in Wilmette to support such "common sense" steps so that together we can make Wilmette "The safest town in the USA!"
At the time I thought my satirical language, filled with goofy exaggeration, would point out the foolishness of believing that simply arming more people will make all of us more safe. - I thought that the gun-laden world I suggested was preposterous.
Boy was I naïve!
Today, fifteen years later, higher courts have ruled Wilmette's ban on handguns in homes is unenforceable. Today, concealed carry is now allowed in Illinois. (To our state's credit we were the last of the 50 states to allow this.) And today as I write this, schoolteachers in a number of states are on firing ranges practicing with the handguns they will bring to their classroom. -- Right now nine states allow teachers to carry weapons inside the classroom. Another nine allow weapons to be carried in school parking lots and kept in locked cars. Only 11 states in the country have laws that prohibit carrying handguns on school or university property.
I realize that repeated gun tragedies such as the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School have stoked public fear, leading us to where we now are. But the majority of Americans still do understand that reasonable gun laws need to be implemented.
The truth is, fear of the NRA controls too many congressmen like Steve Scalise. Their cowardice has blocked sensible laws that might have prevented Sandy Hook or if implemented now could guard against another such tragedy. Sadly, today finding any healthy compromise with these puppets of the gun lobby seems highly unlikely. --- Near the end of her comments, Congresswoman Kelly summed up what urgently needs to be done: "We've got to change who's in Congress."
NTDO member since 1973
P.S. In researching for this commentary, I came across some interesting facts in the a women's website named Romper. Here is an excerpt:
"The American Journal of Public Health reports that 'states with higher rates of gun ownership had disproportionately large numbers of deaths from firearm-related homicides.' They also reported that every time gun ownership rates in a state increase, the firearm homicide rate also increases."
A study done by researchers at Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and Harvard School of Public Health concluded that
states with the strictest gun control laws had lower rates of gun-related deaths."
I wish more members of Congress had the guts to legislate based on these facts.
Are your NTD annual dues up to date? You can only vote at the January 14 Endorsement Meeting if you are paid up. -- You can join the NTDO or renew your membership right now by clicking here.
Or now you also have the option of paying for your annual membership at the January 14 Meeting. New member too! (However, paying up right now does make things easier for us.)
And... if you would like to be a volunteer at the January meeting, your help would be welcomed. Contact the NTD office at 847-446-8030 and leave a message.
Tomorrow Evening in Wilmette!
Thursday, December 14
at the Wilmette Wine Cellar
A Holiday Party with the New Trier Dems
Thursday, December 14th from 6:00pm to 8:00pm
Wilmette Wine Cellar, 1100 Central Avenue, Wilmette
New Trier Dems will provide the hors d'oeuvres, and drinks will be
available for purchase. This event is not a fundraiser.
It's just an opportunity to have fun and meet other area Dems.
In addition, we will be collecting non-perishable canned and
packaged food, useful paper goods, and toiletry items to
donate to the New Trier Township Food Pantry. Anything you can
donate is greatly appreciated!
A message from State Rep. Laura Fine: The deadline to sign up for the Affordable Care Act is December 15.
There is a navigator available every Friday through December 15, from 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM at the Evanston Main Library Newberry Conference Room (Second Floor). They can provide enrollment assistance and information about health insurance options. To speak with a navigator or to set up an appointment, contact Laura at 312-898-8864 or email@example.com Drop-ins are welcome, but appointments are preferred.
Additionally, I along with Rep. Robyn Gabel and the Illinois Department of Insurance are hosting a table at the Evanston Main Library (1703 Orrington Ave.), this Monday, December 4th from 6:00pm-7:00pm to answer any questions you may have about the enrollment process. Please stop by if you require assistance.
Note: The NTDO Endorsement Meeting will not be held until January of 2018. Until formal endorsements are made, fund raising events announced in the NTD News concerning candidates competing in Democratic Primary Races do not represent a formal endorsement by the NTDO.
Other events of interest:
This Thursday night, Dec. 7 in Chicago - a Fritz Kaegi Holiday Celebration and Fundraiser
Thursday, December 7, from 6:00 - 8:00pm
Catalyst Ranch, 656 W. Randolph, 3rd Floor, Chicago
A holiday celebration and fundraiser in support of Fritz Kaegi, a Democratic candidate for Cook County Assessor.
Saturday, Dec. 9 in Chicago -
Conversation with Gubernatorial Candidate Chris Kennedy
Saturday, December 9, from 4:00 - 6:00pm
Manny's Deli, 1141 S. Jefferson, Chicago
The People's Choice Coalition presents an individual conversation with Chris Kennedy, a Democratic candidate for Governor of Illinois. Discussion questions will be taken from the People's Choice platform on the issues that are most relevant in returning this state to solvency and one that works for all people across the state, not just the one percent.
Next Sunday, Dec. 10 in Libertyville -
The Stevenson Center Presents: "Trump, Obama, Iran and the Nuclear Deal - Is war back on the table?"
When: Sunday, December 10, at 2:00pm
Where: Stevenson Center on Democracy, 25200 N. St. Mary's Rd., Mettawa (Libertyville)
What: Trita Parsi, Founder and President of the National Iranian American Council, will speak on Trump, Obama, Iran and the Nuclear Deal - Is war back on the table? Coffee and conversation will follow the presentation.
Tuesday, Dec. 12 in Glenview - A Phone Bank for Congressman Brad Schneider
Tuesday, December 12, from 5:00 - 8:30pm
Democrats of Northfield Township, 1926 Waukegan Rd., Suite 310, Glenview
Join Team Brad to call supporters and invite them to Brad's Holiday Party on December 16th. Please bring a charged laptop and cell phone.
Sunday, Dec. 17 in Deerfield - The Tenth Dems Annual Awards Dinner presenting Jill Wine-Banks
Sunday, December 17, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Hyatt Deerfield, 1750 Lake Cook Road, (I-294 at Lake Cook) Deerfield
Join the Tenth Congressional District Democrats for our Annual Awards Dinner presenting Watergate prosecutor Jill Wine-Banks.
During the Watergate hearings, attorney Jill Wine-Banks played an integral role in questioning the events surrounding Richard Nixon's secret tape recordings. An MSNBC commentator, Wine-Banks provides viewers invaluable insight into how a case can be built against a President and his aides, whether Nixon in the 1970s or Trump today.
Here is a list of the local and statewide Democratic candidates seeking your vote in the 2018 Primary Election. You have several months to get acquainted with the positions and qualifications before the Democratic Primary this spring and the NTDO Endorsement Meeting in January.
Because some web browsers will not accept e-mailings with a large number of Internet links, they have been erased from this candidate list.
To see all the available links, visit our NTDO website at ntdo.org.
Daniel Biss, State Senator 9th District
Illinois Attorney General:
Jesse Ruiz, Board of Commisioners, Park District
Kwame Raoul, IL State Senator13th District
Nancy Rotering, Mayor of Highland Park
Aaron Goldstein, 33rd Ward Committeeman
Scott Drury, IL State Rep, 58th District
Illinois State Representative -
Mary Rita Luecke
Cook County Assessor:
Frederick (Fritz) Kaegi
Cook County Commissioner - 13th District
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.
Have you visited Senator Biss' website "The Road Back" --
click on the link to his video -- then, throughout the year 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.
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.