Posts Tagged ‘Chicago’

Why Shouldn't Domestic Abusers and Stalkers Have Gun Rights?

Monday, January 26th, 2015



It is hard to believe but true. NRA lobbyists recently pushed a bill through the Michigan legislature that would have allowed gun permits for abusers in domestic violence and stalking cases, including those under court-issued restraining orders. Luckily Gov. Rick Snyder vetoed the incomprehensible legislation.


Those of us who live in Chicago are still haunted by the brazen Black Friday murder of 22-year-old law student Nadia Ezaldein at the Nordstrom’s on Chicago’s Michigan avenue by just such a person. Estranged boyfriend Marcus Dee, say police, used a .45-caliber semi-automatic handgun to murder Ezaldein in front of horrified shoppers following a string of domestic violence incidents.


This month in a north Chicago suburb, Elpidia Munoz-Garcia was similarly shot and killed by her boyfriend as was Detret Burley in Palatka, Florida!


Last month, also in the Chicago area, Allan Kustok was found guilty of fatally shooting his wife Anita “Jeanie” Kustok at their suburban home which the defense called a “suicide.” Instead of calling 911, investigators said Kustok waited for a period of time and then took his wife to the hospital, arguing that her death was a suicide. But, testified Dr. Hilary McElligott who conducted the autopsy, it “wasn’t possible for Jeanie Kustok to use her right hand to shoot herself on the left side of her face at such an angle.”


In 2012, Zina Haughton was killed by her estranged husband Radcliffe Haughton along with two other women in suburban Milwaukee, said police. Haughton had threatened to throw acid on his wife’s face and burn her and her family with gas if she ever left him according to news reports. He was under a restraining order. Haughton stalked his wife to a nail spa where she shot seven women.




According to psychologists and law enforcement experts, lethal domestic abuse is predictable and follows months or years of escalating threats and violence. Domestic abusers often become violent when their partner threatens to leave them as George Zimmerman’s recent police-related events suggest.

It is shocking to think the NRA cares more about the “rights” of violent domestic abusers than the women they kill but it is true. According to Marion Hammer, one of the NRA’s top lobbyists who is credited with drafting original Stand Your Ground laws, violent criminals have rights too. When 1,400 probable Florida felons were reported issued concealed weapon licenses including one charged with shooting his girlfriend in the head,  she actually defended their “rights.” “When you begin taking away the rights of people that you don’t like, that’s the slippery slope,” she said. Don’t like? Gun violence is a women’s issue and NRA its macabre sponsor.

National Gun Victims Actions Council is the U.S.’s largest gun victims group. Join our effort to get corporate America to take a stand against gun violence. When corporations want sane gun laws, we will have sane gun laws. Follow us! @GunVictimsAct









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Are You Patronizing A Gun-Friendly Business?

Friday, December 19th, 2014

Corporations know how dangerous guns are. Why else do they ban guns in their boardrooms and corporate headquarters?

Yet the same corporations that know guns are dangerous and protect their officers are okay with their customers and employees exposed to gun risks. They don’t even put up signs warning customers they are entering a gun zone.

As the “carrier” movement has taken hold, many businesses simply cave to the belligerent gun lobby, afraid of its well-demonstrated wrath. After concealed carry became legal in Illinois earlier this year, NGVAC asked top businesses on Chicago’s Michigan avenue if they would now allow guns and most said they would follow “local laws,” implying that they would not block guns under the new law. The answer was disingenuous since property owners and businesses can always pre-empt local laws.

The truth is businesses want to stay on the sidelines and not get involved. But to not get “involved” in the NRA’s guns-everywhere-all-the-time agenda is to support it. It is appeasement. It is like the joke about how to escape an alligator that is chasing you and your friend–you don’t have to run faster than the alligator, just your friend.


If an Illinois business does not put up a gun ban sign, chances are “carriers” are lurking among moms and children doing their Christmas shopping. Nice. These are the same businesses that ban cigarettes.

Being able to walk around with their guns is creepily important to gun lovers who are either scared to go where normal people go unarmed, devoid of an identity unless they can play a tough guy sheriff wannabe or both. “They’re not getting my money if they violate my rights” write gun lovers on NGVAC’s Facebook as if the public doesn’t have the “right” to be safe from lethal force when shopping or in a restaurant. And as if the Second Amendment protects “carrying” which it does not.

Yet when it comes to economic threats, gun advocates are all hat and no horse. In 2005, the NRA declared a boycott of ConocoPhillips because it dared to challenge the Oklahoma law preventing companies from banning loaded guns in employee cars.

“ConocoPhillips went to federal court to attack your freedom,” thundered Wayne LaPierre. “We’re going to make ConocoPhillips the example of what happens when a corporation takes away your Second Amendment rights. If you are a corporation that’s anti-gun, anti-gun owner, or anti-Second Amendment, we will spare no effort or expense to work against you, to protect the rights of your law-abiding employees.”

The NRA did make ConocoPhillips an example of what happens when a business stands up to the gun lobby: Nothing. Sales did not fall and there was no contrite ConocoPhillips statement–not even a mention on the web site. The consumer power of gun extremists was a joke. Three years earlier, a gun lover boycott of H&R Block was similarly underwhelming.

Gun extremists bellow loudly but they don’t have the money or the numbers to sway corporate America. That is why in the last few months Starbucks, Sonic Drive-In, Chili’s Grill & Bar, Chipotle, Jack in the Box and Target disinvited guns, joining other businesses like Peet’s, California Pizza Kitchen and Ikea.

There will be more as companies realize risking customer safety for the alleged “rights” of gun carriers doesn’t make much business sense.


Join our action to tell corporate America to get off the “sidelines” and take a stand against gun violence including the “can’t miss” sniper rifle sold to civilians. When corporations want sane gun laws, we will have sane gun laws.

Beware the Law-Abiding Citizen–Loving Boyfriend Kills Girlfriend on Black Friday

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014


Marcus Dee loved Nadia Ezaldein his sister told the press today. But he also had a “temper.” A law-abiding citizen, legal gun owner at one time and son of Chicago police officers , Dee became angry while armed and killed Ezaldein at Nordstrom’s on Chicago’s Michigan Ave on Black Friday. Dee not only threatened Ezaldein with a gun before, another woman sought an order of protection against him in 2007. Still, the NRA works to allow people to keep their guns while they are under orders of protection. Violent domestic abusers have gun rights–it says so in the Constitution!

Law-abiding boyfriends who kill when they get mad–it is why gun violence is a women’s issue.

Join our action to tell corporate America to get off the “sidelines” and take a stand against gun violence including the “can’t miss” sniper rifle sold to civilians. When corporations want sane gun laws, we will have sane gun laws.

Beware the Law-Abiding Citizen–Friendly Fisherman Shoots Two Deputies

Monday, October 20th, 2014


Scott B. Peters is described by neighbors as “quiet and friendly.” He was often seen “fishing at a
nearby lake.” There was no documented history of domestic abuse at his home. But last week, when police were called to his Holiday Hills home in suburban Chicago for a domestic disturbance, he greeted them by allegedly firing an assault weapon through the door while wearing a military style helmet and a ballistic vest. Two McHenry County deputies were shot. More firearms were found in the residence.

Friendly fisherman who shoots deputies through the door with an assault weapon–another reason to Beware the Law-Abiding Citizen.

Join our action to tell corporate America to get off the “sidelines” and take a stand against gun violence including the “can’t miss” sniper rifle sold to civilians. When corporations want sane gun laws, we will have sane gun laws.

Beware the Law-Abiding Citizen–Legal Gun Owner Fires at Chicago Commuter Train

Monday, October 13th, 2014


The call came in just before noon last Thursday. A man with an assault rifle was firing at a Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) Blue Line train at the busy downtown station of LaSalle Street and Congress Parkway. The suspect had 60 rounds of ammunition. Chicago police arrested Lorenzo Jones, 25, preventing what might have been Chicago’s own Long Island Rail Road Massacre in which 6 were killed and 19 wounded in 1993. Jones, they said, had an extensive arrest record but also a valid Illinois Firearm Owner’s Identification Card (FOID) making him “eligible to possess and acquire firearms and firearm ammunition.” Whether Jones was issued a FOID card despite his arrest record or authorities fail to revoke his FOID card as his arrests piled up, he was a “law-abiding citizen” in the eyes of the law!

Join our action to tell corporate America to get off the “sidelines” and take a stand against gun violence including the “can’t miss” sniper rifle sold to civilians. When corporations want sane gun laws, we will have sane gun laws.

Religious Leaders Supporting a Pro-Gun Candidate? It's Happening in Chicago.

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

Guns have killed over 10,000 in Illinois in the last ten years and in Chicago, it is a daily blood bath, especially in minority neighborhoods. Yet five weeks ago, two prominent religious leaders from crime ridden communities, Larry Trotter of Sweet Holy Spirit Church and Pastor Corey Brooks, Sr. of New Beginnings Church endorsed a senate candidate who is, amazingly, against universal background checks!

Jim Oberweis, an Illinois Republican State Senator from the 25th District who is challenging Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin actually told the Chicago Tribune editorial board this week that he has not seen “evidence” that background checks would reduce crime. Since guns sold without background checks represent 40 percent of all gun sales, Sen. Oberweis must have been kidding.

Unfortunately, Oberweis made two other comments at the editorial board meeting that show him unfit to be a Senator in a country that has 30,000 gun deaths a year. First he, like most gun advocates, wants to use gun violence statistics to prove that gun laws “don’t work” while pretending that gun trafficking doesn’t even exist.

According to the Associated Press, Oberweis told the Tribune, Chicago’s gun violence problem exists despite Illinois having some of the “nation’s toughest gun laws.” What? The City of Chicago has issued clear statistics that many crime guns are unabashedly trafficked from Wisconsin, Indiana and Mississippi, states with looser laws. Does Sen. Oberweis want to pretend crime guns stop at state borders and city limits? And he wants to be a Senator?

Secondly, Sen. Oberweis buys into the NRA/gun lobby paranoid fiction that a database of gun owners is a prelude to confiscation, tyranny and black helicopters overhead. “People don’t believe the government should have access to too much information,” he told the Tribune, as if he is not trying to be part of the federal government. Which side is Sen. Oberweis on?

The same question can be asked about the NRA. While claiming to be patriotic, it has made sure the ATF lacks basic law-enforcement resources like computerized files thus assuring that “bad guys” and “bad dealers” are not caught. Thank you, patriots.

Recently gun advocate “patriots” heckled beloved Catholic Priest Michael Pfleger who was leading a demonstration at Chuck’s, a suburban gun shop that has provided as many as 1,500 crime guns in Chicago since 2009. The Illinois State Rifle Association actually compared Father Pfleger, a the man of God, to ISIS.Fr. Pfleger leads rally against 'bad apple' gun dealers | abc7ch

Speaking at a Chicago event on Wednesday, Sen. Durbin thanked Father Pfleger, who was also present at the event, for “reclaiming Chicago neighborhoods” through his work against gun violence and especially crime gun-linked dealers like Chuck’s. “You are our hero,” said Sen. Durbin.

But Sen. Durbin also asked whether the religious leaders who have backed his opponent even realize Sen. Oberweis has taken a very pro-gun stance. As trauma units and morgues in Chicago continue to fill with gun victims and churches continue to fill with their bereaved families, it is a good question.

Join our action to tell corporate America to get off the “sidelines” and take a stand against gun violence including sniper weapons sold to civilians. When corporations want sane gun laws, we will have sane gun laws.

Cowardly Chicago Suburb Will Allow Gun Shop Near Schools and Parks

Thursday, September 25th, 2014

In July, the Chicago suburb of Niles approved a special use permit to allow the opening of the Sportsmanʼs Club, a gun shop and indoor shooting range, 1,000 feet from New Hope Academy and close to five other schools including Niles West High School. Opponents of the gun shop and range say it violates a Cook County ordinance prohibiting deadly weapons dealers within a mile of public or private schools or a public park.

Even the Sportsmanʼs Club’s management raises safety questions. The manager will be Michael Darga who managed Shore Galleries, located in the Chicago suburb of Lincolnwood, which Chicago Police say flooded Chicago with 483 crime guns between 2009 and 2013.

The gun shop and range “is not necessary for the public convenience, since Niles already has a store that sells guns and a firearms training facility,” says a flier from People For a Safer Society which has led the opposition.

After meeting with Chicago police and other Chicago officials about the problem of suburban-obtained guns fueling Chicago gun violence and providing crime guns, Niles Mayor Andrew Przybylo called for an eight-month moratorium on future special permits for gun-related businesses. The permits would automatically be rejected while the village examines current gun-related laws.

The good news is the moratorium was approved this week. The bad news is: it will not invalidate the Sportsmanʼs Club permit and the business will proceed as planned!

Here is what NGVAC’s CEO Elliot Fineman wrote in a letter to Niles Mayor Andrew Przybylo and the Village Trustees.

“Of course you know the heightened level of risk you are willfully imposing on the Village, its people, its children. And, if you were asked if you were willing to be accomplices to the killings and assaults that will surely result, your response would be ‘We can’t control people buying and selling guns’ as if you are not explicitly placing every man, woman and child in the Niles community in harm’s way by granting a special use permit for a gun store and shooting range in their neighborhood.

When the horror happens—as you surely know it will—the lives lost, the families forever devastated, the people handicapped for life—all of it will be on each of you. We all know what is going to happen as a consequence of your granting this special use permit and National Gun Victims Action Council will do everything in our power to hold you each personally responsible. You’ll not be able to say that there was no way to anticipate the horror, no way to have known such a thing could happen—that defense will not be available to you.”–Elliot Fineman

Tell corporate America to get off the gun violence “sidelines” and take a stand against gun violence. Join our action against Hallmark, the only major corporation that has publicly sworn it will never support anti-gun initiatives. When corporations want sane gun laws, we will have sane gun laws.

Beware the Law-Abiding Citizen–Model Employees Kill

Monday, September 15th, 2014


Today the Chicago and northern Indiana area is mourning the death of Merrillville Police Officer Nick Schultz, 24, killed in the line of duty last week. The suspect, Michael Hrnciar, was wearing police-style body armor when he ambushed the young officer. Hrnciar was such a gun lover, say police, he actually moved to Indiana from Illinois so he could legally carry a handgun! Yet, he was a “law-abiding citizen” who worked at an Illinois chemical business for ten years without incident and bought the weapon that ended Schultz’ life legally.

Recovered from Hrnciar’s residence were flammable and toxic chemicals from his love of making explosives, say police. It was reminiscent of the apartment of Aurora shooter James Holmes which was filled with homemade napalm, thermite and gasoline. Holmes also bought his guns legally.

Earlier this summer in Chicago, Tony DeFrances also forgot he was a law-abiding citizen. He served as chief technology officer for ArrowStream, in a Chicago Loop high-rise, for decades. But he got mad at the CEO and ceased to be a model employee. Instead, he shot Steven LaVoie in the head and stomach.

Peaceful employees until someone makes them angry–it is another reason to Beware the Law-Abiding Citizen.

Tell corporate America to get off the gun violence “sidelines.” Join our action against TrackingPoint’s sniper weapons and Hallmark, the only major corporation that has publicly sworn it will never support anti-gun initiatives. When corporations want sane gun laws, we will have sane gun laws.

Beware the Law-Abiding Citizen–Carriers Attempting to Board Airplanes

Thursday, August 21st, 2014

It has happened twice this month at Chicago’s Midway Airport. Carriers sought to board aircrafts with their loaded lethal weapons. On August 8, John Hart of Aurora, IL allegedly tried to board a flight to Birmingham with a Lorcin Arms .380 caliber pistol and six live rounds in his carry-on bag. Hart told investigators he “forgot” about the pistol. This week, Kevin Champion of Georgia allegedly tried to board a plane with a loaded 9 mm Desert Eagle pistol. He was arrested for a misdemeanor and released on his own recognizance. What?

Carriers attempting to bring lethal weapons onto planes and getting a slap on the wrist. It is another reason to Beware the Law-abiding Citizen.

Tell corporate America to get off the gun violence “sidelines.” Join our action against Hallmark, the only major corporation that has publicly sworn it will never support anti-gun initiatives. When corporations want sane gun laws, we will have sane gun laws.

Guns Are Not a Medical Problem Yell Advocates As Taxpayers Pick Up Gun Violence Costs

Monday, March 17th, 2014

Like other extortionists, gun advocates are never satisfied. The Supreme Court affirmed their Second Amendment rights in 2008. They have Concealed Carry laws in all 50 states. They defeated all federal legislation after Sandy Hook and no federal gun laws have been passed for almost 20 years. There is no registry, no limits on military style weapons or magazine capacity, no regulation of gun show and private sales, no mandatory reporting of stolen guns and no requirement of insurance. (We, the taxpayers pick up most of the cost of gun homicides and injuries.) If the NRA has its way, even a mental health or domestic battery conviction won’t stand in the way of a someone’s “right” to own a gun. Hey, this is America.

But even though they storm public meetings and heckle gun survivors, even though they stalked unarmed mothers against gun violence outside a mall in Texas last year, even though they threaten journalists and lawmakers, gun advocates feel persecuted. Their rights are being violated and they are victims!


I can’t take my gun into a library in Illinois? You’re trying to confiscate my guns. Background checks for all gun buyers? You’re trying to confiscate my guns. Mandatory reporting of stolen guns? You’re trying to confiscate my guns. How many gun advocates does it take to change a light bulb? You’re trying to confiscate my guns.

This paranoid, black and white thinking also flatters gun advocates that they are important enough to be marked by the authorities. It is exciting to feel persecuted and a victim of a conspiracy theory. In fact their fear of confiscation is reminiscent of another C-word fear identified by Freud which is characterized by “overwhelming fear of damage to, or loss of” certain anatomical parts.

The gun lobby’s agenda would be funny if it weren’t deadly. Its insatiable demands are their own satire. Mandatory gun ownership? Yes said the town of Nelson, Georgia. No training for anyone who wants to walk around with a loaded lethal weapon? Yes says South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley. Bring guns into mental health facilities where mentally ill and violent people are housed? Yes said Illinois gun advocates as they lobbied to loosen the new carry law this month in Springfield. Nullify federal gun laws and arrest federal agents? Yes say secession-minded states.

Now gun advocates are gunning for Dr. Vivek Murthy nominated for Surgeon General. Dr. Murthy’s recognition of gun violence as the public health problem it is has put “him squarely in the sights of pro-gun advocates like the Washington Times‘ Emily Miller and a possible 2016 presidential candidate, aka Senator Rand Paul,” says a Huffington Post piece.

The NRA’s Marion Hammer has also meddled in medicine, trying to make it illegal for a doctor to ask if there is a gun in the home. Gun violence is none of a doctor’s business says the NRA yet it is doctors who patch up the thousands of gun shot victims it creates. Is that none of their business too?

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