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Gun Ownership Advocates Intentionally Pack Panel

Boisterous members of the Illinois State Rifle Association filled the auditorium at the New Trier Democrats panel Sunday, often yelling at speakers. A mass email urged them to show up early so that their supports dominated the crowd.

Gun ownership advocates intentionally packed Sunday’s gun control panel by the New Trier Democrats, as pro-gun advocates — who were encouraged to come from across the state in a mass email from the Illinois State Rifle Association (ISRA) — argued and yelled at panelists throughout the program. 

“Remember, this is our Lexington, this is our Concord,” the email read. “Be prepared to teach the gun controllers a lesson in liberty.”

The email also encouraged attendees to arrive between an hour and half an hour early, to “ensure that there are more of OUR people there than THEIR people,” according to the email. That resulted in venue at the Glenview Police Station auditorium filling up, with many would-be attendees turned away at the door.

The majority of the crowd — around 2/3 — were wearing NRA and ISRA paraphernalia, and holding American flags and signs, such as “Shall not be infringed” and “Pro-second amendment.”

While all of the speakers faced outrage and yelling from the crowd — with many being called a “liar” or “loser” as they spoke — none seemed to anger the crowd as much as Lee Goodman, of the Stop Concealed Carry Coalition.

Goodman, who was booed as he came to the podium, started out on the wrong foot with the audience, commenting, “[The Illinois State Rifle Association] email said to dress nicely and be polite — and I’d like to say that you’re all dressed nicely.”

Goodman then read an op-ed piece he had written for an unnamed newspaper on concealed carry laws, noting that it was “about the babies.”

“It’s about babies,” Goodman read. “Dead babies and babies shot up so bad, they’ll live, but never like they would have. It’s about babies not kissing their moms goodnight anymore, babies not in any more class pictures. … It’s about tiny babies and babies all grown up. … It’s not about someone’s right to bear arms.”

The speech on babies especially riled up the crowd, with audience members yelling out about abortion and women’s rights.

“What about women’s rights to defend from being raped?” one audience member yelled out. “Are you for those women’s rights? No!”

Another member of the crowd yelled, “Has anyone in your family had an abortion? Because that’s murder!”

“No one cares what you think!” someone else added.

“The panel did a good job side-stepping the questions,” attendee Dan Heylin, of Chicago, who came to the event because he saw the ISRA email and wanted to support gun rights said. “They tried to manage the argument to be more emotional than fact-based.”

“It’s hard for people,” said Judy Mandel, New Trier Democrats membership chairwoman and moderator of the panel. “We’ll have that when you have a high emotional issue.”

Sully January 26, 2013 at 04:59 PM
Amy, I've been known to overly assert myself on these boards at times, but I do know when certain posters are not worth it. Case in point- Roy. You gave the neanderthal exactly what he wanted!
John D January 29, 2013 at 02:58 PM
Amy- Taking guns away from law abiding citizens will do nothing. How do you not see this? It has done nothing in Chicago, it has done nothing in New York. In fact, I dare you to find one place where safety has increased due to gun control legislation. Criminals will do criminal things to commit crimes. Taking away the right of a person to defend themselves will only increase violent crimes as it has in Britain and Austrailia. A legal, law abiding firearm owner is nothing like yelling fire in an crowded theater. That presents a danger to everyone, whereas a firearm owner only presents a danger to the criminals that try to hurt him. In addition to that, there is no license for any other ammendment in Illinois, only the second. In a case like this, where a disgusting man tries to spew hate speech relating gun owners to Baby killers, there probably should be. The "discussions" that the VP has to curtail violence are with all anti gun groups. Pro gun people were not even invited. A second meeting was in place for them and the topic was not controlling violence, but all about gun control. The legislation they are planning to put in place bans virtually all semi-auto firearms which limits a persons ability to defend his self, and his country. We should have a topic on how to control violence, gangs, and improve the mental health system long before a talk on gun control.
Deadcatbounce January 29, 2013 at 11:07 PM
Hey Jane,, like your comment. As Alan Keyes said ... If we accept the view that the American people cannot be trusted with the material objects necessary to defend their liberty, we will surely accept as well the view that the American people cannot be trusted with liberty itself…. By disarming, we will confess to our government that we no longer aspire to sovereignty, and wish our rulers to take up this burden in our stead. We will be signaling with great clarity that we wish to be comfortable slaves — and slaves, at least, we will soon become.”
Deadcatbounce January 29, 2013 at 11:10 PM
Ha,, Ha! Yes, I'd like to see that statistic too.
Deadcatbounce January 29, 2013 at 11:19 PM
The problem with Amy and people of her ilk is that they see guns and gun owners as the real enemies, not the criminals and sociopaths.

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