Look Whose Ox is Being Gored Now, by Erich Pratt

Look Whose Ox is Being Gored Now
by Erich Pratt

Americans were stunned.
They sat riveted, watching a sitting
governor being arrested and
led away in handcuffs.
That was the big news in
December. By the end of January,
Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich
(D) had been impeached and
removed from office.
The allegations of corruption
were quite varied, and even the
FBI agents involved were reportedly
“shocked” by the brazen
attitude that Blagojevich displayed
in his quest to sell the
vacant senate seat formerly held
by President-elect Barack
As outrageous as the governor’s
actions were, FBI tapes revealed
far more than just a senate seat for sale
to the highest bidder.
Reportedly, Blagojevich was also
threatening to block the sale of Wrigley
Field by the parent company of the
Chicago Tribune if certain editors who
had criticized the governor were not
This infringement of liberty rightfully
shocked the media. In its editorial of
December 10, the editors at The Washington
Post said that Blagojevich’s
squeezing the Tribune to fire its editors
“alarms us.” And an editorialist at the
Chicago newspaper labeled those same
charges to be “shocking.”
Yes, these revelations are shocking.
And it’s refreshing to see the media so
“alarmed” by this disregard of constitutional
But gun owners are left to wonder
about the media: “Hey, where have you
This type of abuse may be uncommon
when it comes to First Amendment
freedoms, but the restrictions placed
upon the Second Amendment are commonplace.
And when it happens, there
is hardly ever a peep heard from the
news media.
For example, during his tenure in the
U.S. House of Representatives, Blagojevich
was rated an F- by the Gun Owners
of America, and his record as governor
in the state of Illinois was not any
But where was the outrage against
Blagojevich who, even though he
owned a state issued Firearm Owners
ID card, did everything he could to
restrict the ability of average citizens to
own guns?
Where was the outrage when Shaun
Kranish, an Illinois resident, was arrested
for carrying a firearm in 2005 while
Blagojevich was governor? Kranish
was charged with carrying the gun in
his fanny pack, even though he was
legally carrying the pistol with the magazine
outside the gun. The charges
against this college student were eventually
dropped, but not before he had
spent almost $10,000 in legal fees.
Where was the outrage when another
Illinois resident, John Horstman, was
illegitimately prosecuted for similar
allegations? Those charges were subsequently
dropped as well, but there was
nary an outcry from the media.
These violations of our Second
Amendment freedoms are not limited to
Illinois. In recent years, gun owners
have been forced to endure countless
infringements of their liberties, but the
media has been virtually silent. Consider
the following:
• A Delaware woman was recently
denied the right to purchase a
handgun because she was too old
and — please be sitting down for
this — because she was a woman!
A subsequent investigation found
that the state police were using the
Brady check system to register and
record gun buyers, something
which is explicitly against the law.
• In California, newly-appointed
sheriff Sandra Hutchens has tried
to revoke concealed carry permits
in Orange County. In a letter to
hundreds of permit holders,
Hutchens warned that they could
lose their licenses unless they can
prove to her satisfaction that they
have a valid reason for carrying the
firearms. Can you imagine such a
similar request being made to the
editors of a newspaper — demanding
that they justify the reasons for
printing a story?
• It gets worse. Across the nation,
the Clinton and Bush administrations
used the Brady Law to revoke
the gun rights of roughly 150,000
military veterans who are suffering
from things like Post Traumatic
Stress Disorder. The message to
the veterans is, “Thank you for
your military service … sorry the
rigors of combat have stressed you
out … now give up your guns.”
Where has been the outrage?
The recent impeachment of Gov.
Blagojevich is yet another reminder that
politicians will frequently claim to be
acting in the public interest, when really,
they are thinking about no one but
Truth be told, the media’s yelping
about the infringements against their
liberties reveals a similar myopic attitude.
And now that their ox is being
gored, they can (almost) understand
what us gun owners live with on a daily
basis. ■
The media “gets it” when a sitting governor –– like
Rod Blagojevich (D) –– tries to get some newspaper
editors fired, but they don’t seem to mind when it’s
gun owners’ rights that are getting trampled.

by Erich Pratt


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