This one took a lot of pressure to get pushed aside. We still do not trust that it will not be brought back for vote when no one is looking.
Proposed Cook County Assault Weapon Ban DOA
Wednesday, September 14, 2005
By The Leader-Chicago Bureau (firstname.lastname@example.org)
COOK COUNTY - It is not particularly surprising that Cook County Commissioner Larry Suffredin (D-Evanston), a virulent anti-gun advocate, has advanced a proposed ordinance to ban so-called assault weapons in Cook County.
It is the chilly reception the proposal is receiving from a County Board comprised of 12 Democrats and 5 Republicans that is the surprise.
Suffredin’s proposal was referred to the Board’s Health and Hospitals Committee for review. IllinoisLeader.com has learned that the Suffredin’s ban, thought to be an agenda item at the Cook County Board’s September 20 meeting, will not be called in committee.
According to a source in county government, Committee Chairman Commissioner Jerry “Iceman” Butler has no interest in calling the ordinance preferring to let it die in committee. Butler is reportedly upset that the political hot potato was referred to his committee as opposed to the more logical choice of the Law Enforcement Committee.
“He thinks Suffredin is trying to sandbag him and he doesn’t want any part of it,” according to one county government observer who spoke with IllinoisLeader.com on the condition of anonymity.
Suffredin’s proposed ban would augment the list of banned firearms in Cook County. According to Suffredin, the assault weapons ban, as it stands in Cook County, only pertains to those weapons listed by name or type. His proposed amendment to the existing ordinance retains the list, but updates it to include specific models of weapons not found in the existing ordinance.
Proponents of the Suffredin proposal argue the need for the broader ban locally in the absence of the federal assault weapons ban which expired in September 2004 and was not reauthorized.
ISRA suggest Suffredin make his case in New Orleans
Opponents, like the Illinois State Rifle Association (ISRA), disagree. Last week ISRA President Richard Pearson called on Suffredin to take a trip to New Orleans to garner support for tightening the restrictions on private firearm ownership.
Pearson was referring to images that the world was treated to of people in New Orleans defending their property and their lives with firearms from looters in the wake of the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina.
"I think it would be fitting if we could lift Suffredin and his posh Evanston home and drop it smack in the middle of New Orleans' flood-ravaged lower Ninth Ward," said Pearson. "I can just see Larry now, sitting on his veranda, trying to fend off looters and 'gators with green tea and granola bars. Yes, it's a silly visualization, but it illustrates just how out of touch Larry Suffredin is with the world lying beyond his cobblestone street."
"I'd like to see Larry Suffredin go down to New Orleans and try to convince homeowners to give up their guns," Pearson added.
Vote counting on the board
Even if Suffredin were to muscle the proposal out of committee, the vote would be a close one.
Commissioner Tony Peraica (R-Riverside) has been leading the GOP opposition to the ordinance, including keeping moderates like Commissioner Gregg Goslin (R-Northbrook) in line.
Additionally, Commissioner Joan Murphy (D-Crestwood), an early co-sponsor of the proposal, flipped and now opposes the proposed ban. Commissioners Mario Moreno (D-Chicago) and Roberto Maldonado (D-Chicago) are also reportedly less than keen on the idea.
Suffredin reportedly has the support of Commissioners Forrest Claypool (D-Chicago), Mike Quigley (D-Chicago), Deborah Sims (D-Chicago), Bobbie Steele (D-Chicago), John Daley (D-Chicago) and County Board President John Stroger (D-Chicago).
Were the proposal to come to a vote of the full board, its success or failure would likely turn on the votes of Commissioners Earlean Collins (D-Chicago) and Butler, according to a county observer familiar with the political jockeying occurring around the Suffredin proposal.
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Common sense is a wonderful thing...it's just not common.