I’ve changed my mind about the “assault” rifle ban; looking at the historical political ramifications of the current proposals, I realize I need to get 100% behind politicians supporting this, and push with all my might!
1996 was the first time Gallup polled Americans on the “assault” rifle ban, finding 57% support for the ban, with 42% opposed. In 2011, the table has turned, with only 43% now supporting a ban, and 53% opposed. This is not entirely unexpected, as gun ownership is at the highest level it’s been in my lifetime. Basically, the country has experienced a 20% increase in support of the 2nd Amendment in just a couple of decades.
The gun ban crowd decided to use the Sandy Hook shootings as a windfall to strip Americans of yet more rights. I view their timing as despicable; I don’t believe for an instant they had some sort of revelation on December 14th – they felt the same way before the election, but were too cowardly to loudly and proudly campaign on their long-held gun ban agenda. Since these cowards stepped out of the shadows, NRA membership has grown dramatically. The cowards have kicked the sleeping dog.
Gun owners seem to be reluctant voters; but in spite of their minority status at the time, the passage of the dismally ineffective 1994 “assault” rifle ban was the last great act of defiance for the 103rd Congress, as gun owners were finally motivated to get out and vote: Democrats got shellacked in 1994, and lost both the Senate and House (which they had controlled for over forty years!). Although President Clinton was re-elected in 1996 (with a minority of the popular vote), he acknowledged even the 2000 presidential election loss hinged on gun control. It’s hard to predict the havoc a vastly increased group of motivated gun rights activists can wreak in 2014 and beyond.
Gun banners, you now have me as your ally! Senators Kirk and Durbin, Representative Bustos, Governor Quinn, and others, if you really want to lash yourselves to the mast of the gun-ban ship, I will cheerfully volunteer to tie your ropes, as I want to ensure you can’t wiggle out of this one.
“Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have the exact measure of the injustice and wrong which will be imposed on them.” Frederick Douglass
Raw Milk Regulation Unwarranted
Editor’s Note: The following letter is to the Division Chief of the IL Dept. of Public Health Division of Food, Drugs and Dairies.
Dear Ms. Lamb,
I strongly urge you to immediately discontinue pursuing the new regulations proposed by the Raw Milk Steering Committee to restrict the sales of raw milk which are absolutely unnecessary. You are doing a huge disservice to thousands of residents of our state, both consumers and producers, to whom raw milk has been a true blessing.
I am the local Dixon area chapter leader of the Weston A. Price Foundation www.westonaprice.org which is dedicated to restoring nutrient dense foods to our diets based on the research of Dr. Price. A primary campaign of the foundation is working toward universal access to safely produced raw milk. My family and I have been purchasing raw milk from local farmers for around 7 years, and we would not go back to drinking pasteurized milk...ever.
One cannot overstate the health benefits of raw milk. According to www.realmilk.com it has a “five-fold protective system destroys pathogens in the milk, stimulates the immune system, builds healthy gut wall, prevents absorption of pathogens and toxins in the gut and ensures assimilation of all the nutrients.”
The above site also states the following: “So powerful is the anti-microbial system in raw milk that when large quantities of pathogens are added to raw milk, their numbers diminish over time and eventually disappear.” This innate system can be overwhelmed however, therefore it is not recommended to obtain raw milk from confinement dairies, or raw milk that is produced under unsanitary conditions. Keep in mind that pasteurization was instituted in the 1920s to combat inferior milk due to poor animal nutrition and dirty production methods, the KEY here and why I mention it is that modern methods make pasteurization unnecessary for public protection if one chooses to consume it.
Because of these abandoned production methods and problems from the early part of the century, health officials are highly biased against raw milk. Published reports reflect this, which leads to the public having negative preconceived views on raw milk. I believe this bias leads to unfair treatment of raw milk. All food consumption inherently carries some degree of risk. Many foods are implicated in foodborne illness including pasteurized milk. Incidently, leafy vegetables accounted for the most illnesses and poultry accounted for the most deaths (19%) in this recent publication http://www.cdc.gov/foodborneburden/attribution-1998-2008.html
Very often raw milk is blamed for an outbreak of illness without proof. Many would argue raw milk is actually safer than pasteurized milk. I feel that the health benefits far outweigh the risks and I am willing to accept responsibility for that choice. More importantly it is my right to make that choice.
The current regulations in IL regarding raw milk are sufficient. Nothing is broken here. I am uncertain why the IDPH is pursuing this, but looking at those who comprise the Raw milk Steering Committee makes me wonder if public health is their true agenda. Raw milk sales are growing, while conventional milk sales are dropping. Is it possible this is a motive for some to push for restricting raw milk sales?
These regulations will not make raw milk safer, it will only make it more difficult and expensive to attain, as well as putting needless burdens on small farmers who add to or make their living this way. Let us not forget the burden on taxpayers to finance the increased regulations.
Why can’t officials have an open mind, read the studies, listen to anecdotal evidence and let this alone? Aren’t there bigger fish to fry? My mind keeps coming back to a book title by Joel Salatin: Folk’s, This Ain’t Normal! Throughout history traditional societies have consumed and reaped the benefits of unadulterated, unpasteurized milk, that is normal!
As the hundreds of bills roll through the system, I often marvel at the far reaching effects many have directly on you, the citizens of this great state. After eleven years I have a pretty good handle on the types and complexities of bills representatives sponsor. I’m thankful for my computer, great staff and lobbyists, as each entity helps in a specific and unique way.
My friend and predecessor Ron Lawfer once told me, in fact, he gave me a plaque that is stowed somewhere reading, “No citizen is safe when the Illinois General Assembly is in Session”. It’s humorous but you the citizen must rely on your elected representative and senator to be there on your behalf.
A bill HB2649, sponsored by my good friend, Luis Arroyo (D-Chicago), which I was not familiar with popped up on the voting board yesterday on third reading.
The first thing I do when a bill appears on the board is to scroll down on my computer to see who supports it and who is opposed. In a fast moving bill that can speak volumes. If business groups or agriculture oppose the bill, that sets off numerous bells and whistles for me.
I rapidly read the analysis of the bill which, again thanks to a great staff, can speak directly to the issue. HB2649 paragraph three reads, “Allows for individual liability, in addition to employer liability for any officer of a corporation or agent of an employer who knowingly permits the employer to violate the provisions of this act. The individual will be held liable for all violations and penalties.” Now paragraph four is a one sentence paragraph that states, “An initiative of the Department of Labor.” Paragraph five reads, “Illinois Chamber of Commerce, National Federation of Independent Business, Associated Builders and Contractors, and the Home Builders Association are opposed. Labor Supports.”
I immediately hit my speak light and I and many others debated the bill for nearly an hour. Unfortunately it did pass, but just barely. Now it’s up to the Senate.
Here is why the bill is so invasive and why one party rule in any system of government is so scary. This bill “pierces the veil of corporation protection.” A corporation is created to protect the individual. As the owner of a corporation, that is exactly why one is created. Perish the thought of any lawsuit ever. However, this bill leaves the individuals completely liable. Welcome to business friendly Illinois.