Illinois Governor Pat Quinn (D), in a difficult battle for Illinois Governor (Quinn was elevated from Lieutenant Governor, replacing the disgraced Rod Blagojevich) against Republican Bill Brady (currently on the state senate) has made clear that he intends to maintain the status quo in Illinois, of prohibiting the carrying of defensive firearms in public. From the Springfield State Journal-Register:
“Governor Quinn believes in the Second Amendment and in common-sense restrictions upon it,” said campaign spokeswoman Mica Matsoff. “He is not in favor of legalizing conceal and carry. Gov. Quinn believes in keeping the most dangerous guns, such as assault weapons, off of our streets.”
Hmm . . . where to begin? I suppose it would be silly of me to point out the problem with claiming one “believes in” a Constitutional amendment that explicitly states that the right it protects shall not be infringed, while simultaneously believing in “common-sense restrictions [infringements] upon it.” Don’t even get me started on so-called “assault weapons”–not trying to write a book here. It’s the fact that Quinn remains in favor of keeping peaceable Illinois citizens and visitors disarmed and defenseless while in public, that I want to focus on here.That’s because Quinn’s mandated defenselessness is even more egregious than one might think, by virtue of the number of violent criminals Quinn has released from prison early. From State Senator Kirk Dillard:
In just the past three months, Pat Quinn has released more than 2,000 prisoners under a discretionary early release program that he claims to have stopped “cold” last December. That far exceeds the number that was released before the program was supposedly suspended.
“Since late July, Governor Quinn has allowed these convicted felons to leave prison early under the controversial MGT or Meritorious Good Time program,” said State Senator Kirk Dillard (R-Naperville). “In fact, on the very same day that he began running a commercial claiming to have shut the program down ‘cold’ he released 22 felons.”
This is something we’ve looked at here before, and it’s about as stark an example of governmental malpractice as one is likely to see. This fiasco was, as one might guess, quite an embarrassment for Quinn, as reported in an Associated Press story carried by the Dekalb Daily Chronicle:
Early release nearly cost Quinn his job in the primary election last winter after The Associated Press reported that more than 1,700 inmates, hundreds of them violent, were granted months of good-conduct time immediately upon entering prison and released, sometimes within days. Quinn suspended the program, and he does not intend to resume it.
Still, though, Quinn says that’s not going on anymore–that he stopped the program “cold.” From ABC7 News Chicago:
“That is totally false,” said Quinn.
Quinn insists the MGT program was suspended last November.
Quinn then quickly changed the subject to more yammering about “assault weapons.”
The thing is, thanks to a new law (legislation introduced, by the way, by Quinn’s gubernatorial opponent, Bill Brady), we can see that prisoners are still being released early, on the website run by the Illinois Department of Corrections. It should be noted that the web page contains a disclaimer:
The awards for meritorious service were approved prior to the program’s suspension on January 15, 2010. The IDOC Electronic Detention program has been suspended since January 5, 2010.
Note that the program was suspended this past January, rather than “last November,” as Quinn claims. Also, Senator Dillard, Illinois State Representative Dennis Reboletti, and Jim Simmons (Second Vice President of the Illinois chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police) point out in Sen. Dillard’s press release that the state is not bound to follow through with even those releases that were previously approved. This being a discretionary program, those releases could be unapproved, if Quinn were truly serious about keeping dangerous felons locked up.
“This is a discretionary program and as both the Governor’s own MGT investigatory panel and our own legal review have concluded, the state is under no obligation to continue to release prisoners early simply because they happened to be in prison last December,” Dillard said.
That press release also points out that since the early release disclosure law didn’t pass until this July, we don’t know how many were released between the time the programs was supposedly stopped “cold,” and July 19.
“We simply do not know how many prisoners received discretionary good time from December, when the Governor claimed he halted the program, until July 19,” Reboletti said. “If we assume the pace was about the same during those months, the number released would exceed 6,000.”
And Quinn does not want citizens to be able to carry a defensive firearm in public, or to keep an AR-15 in the home, with which to defend themselves against the brigade’s worth of criminals released early.
- Illinois releasing criminals early; law-abiding citizens’ ability to defend themselves still not supported
- Release Criminals Early to Save Money?
- Color Me Shocked
- Parolees on Parade
- Illinois Department of Corrections buying ammo on (not very good) credit
- Illinois Crime Control
- Broke Illinois Department of Corrections releasing, losing violent parolees
- IL Gov. Quinn Releases MORE Felons