Debates on gun rights continue in Springfield

The chairman, State Rep. LaShawn Ford (D-Chicago), questioned Scott Pulaski, a gun dealer from Alton. (WJBC File Photo)

By Dave Dahl

SPRINGFIELD – Even though Highland Park’s Fourth of July massacre was just a few weeks ago, it was far from the dominant theme of Thursday’s meeting of  the Illinois House Public Safety and Violence Prevention Task Force. The chairman, State Rep. LaShawn Ford (D-Chicago), questioned Scott Pulaski, a gun dealer from Alton.

Do you say we should wait until we enforce all laws and not pass any new laws to protect the Second Amendment?” Ford asked.

“We have plenty of laws already in existence,” answered Pulaski, who says he favors “working to enforce those laws rather than adding new on top, which tend to burden law-abiding gun owners rather than the criminals, who are ignoring the existing laws.”

Other takeaways from Thursday: guns are used in far more suicides than homicides; the state can’t account for many FOID cards which have been revoked; and, despite stories of guns coming in from Indiana, more crimes are committed with Illinois-purchased guns than you may think.

Dave Dahl can be reached at


Labor Day – Expanding voting rights for all

By Mike Matejka Because of COVID, there is no Labor Day Parade this year.  It’s always a great event for our everyday workers to march proudly down the street and enjoys the festive crowd. If there had been a parade, this year’s Labor Day theme was to be “150 years of struggle: your right to vote.” …

Is federal mobilization the answer?

By Mike Matejka As President Donald Trump threatens to send federal marshals into Chicago, over the objections of Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, recall another Illinois Governor who protested the incursion of armed federal personnel into the city.   Those federal troops, rather than calming, escalated the situation, leading to deaths and violence. Illinois poet Vachel Lindsay…

In these troubled times, to my fellow white Americans

By Mike Matejka Our nation is at a unique watershed in human relations. African-Americans have been killed too many times in the past before George Floyd, but the response to this man’s death is international and all-encompassing. I was a grade-schooler during the Civil Rights 1960s. I watched Birmingham demonstrators hosed and the Selma – Montgomery…

Workers’ Memorial Day – Remember those whose job took their life

Looking around our community, when we say employer, most will respond to State Farm, Country, or Illinois State University.   We too often forget those who are building our roads, serving our food, or our public employees. COVID-19 has made us more aware of the risk.  Going to work every day for some people means…