Video Weekend, Part II: Todd Vandermyde

Todd is the NRA State Liaison for Illinois, and is thus tasked with implementing the 7th Circuit’s edict, which demands Illinois pass a constitutional carry scheme by June 9th. A few days ago, there was a hearing of the House Judiciary Committee before which Todd testified. The subtitles are my own, special addition, where I translate politicianese into ordinary language.

A lot of folks have been asking about why NRA doesn’t just run the clock out, and we’ll have Constitutional Carry for everyone after the court deadline passes. That is not really in the realm of reality. Reality is we don’t know what the Court’s further course of action will be. Will they enjoin Illinois? As Todd mentions in the video, NRA will move for that if the deadline passes. Will the Court do it? Or will they just extend the deadline?

Secondly, there’s no reality where the Illinois legislature is going to allow the situation to go from no carry to Constitutional Carry. They will pass something to try to satisfy the courts, so the choice is to stand back and let the politicians in this video try to pass something on their own, or participate in the process and try to get a good shall-issue bill. Todd has been working on this issue for years, and has come within a razors margin several times. The ruling by the 7th Circuit on carry offers the possibility of picking up the extra needed votes, in addition to the possibility of getting a better bill than would have been possible in the past.

Working with the current ruling to get a good shall-issue bill is the best course of action going forward. Anything else is trusting in the courts and politicians to do the right thing, and when they don’t, having to go back to the federal courts and re-litigate.

h/t to Chris from AK to pointing me to the video. Chris has the unedited version, which includes all 3 an a half hours of testimony.

23 thoughts on “Video Weekend, Part II: Todd Vandermyde”

  1. My guess is they will pass something that sounds good, but uses all sorts of ambiguous weasel-words like “good character” to define who will qualify for a permit; and leave a lot to the discretion and definition of local officials. The would enable the locals to drag their feet and essentially do nothing, as each point was hashed out in court by some unfortunate challenger.

    1. You mean Democrats will go back to the same tactics they used in the South, for the same reasons?

      Good bet. The only thing that party has changed is its rhetoric.

  2. Hmm. I thought Illinois was going to push it all the way to SCOTUS, thus buying more Time.

    1. AFAIK it is still possible for Illinois to appeal the case the the U.S. Supreme Court. The question is, do they have the balls to run that risk? Will they take the chance that they will still lose anyway, but at the Supreme Court level which a loss would also directly expand carry rights across the entire United States? Will they pull the same kind of boner that Washington D.C. did in appealing the Heller case?

      I think yes!

      1. That is my most fervent wish is for them to do exactly that! How dare the peasants challenge the Emperors or Kings of their private fiefdoms! Once challenged, King Daley and Emperor Fenty were so offended and blinded by their own hubris that they defied the advice of thei advisors to back off and adjust slightly rather than lose completely. And did they ever lose!

        These are the two people I thank the most. I want to keep using that weakness against these people. Never interrupt your enemy when they’re making a mistake, especially against their own interests! Sit humbly, concerned, reserved and thank whatever Deity you believe in for the arrogance that blinds such men to greater and better things. Such petty scheming and perceived self-importance and using them for our advantage is our greatest weapon.

  3. Does anyone find it obnoxious that its a crime for an honest citizen to not tell a police officer that he is carrying a gun, BUT not illegal for a prohibited person carrying a gun not to tell an officer?

  4. Andy,

    The bill being discussed from the past couple years, and actually had the votes to pass, was a very solid modern shall-issue bill. It only lacked the 6 or so votes needed for the super-majority to override Chicago’s home rule, so the backers pulled it to avoid a loss on that issue.

    Going all the way backwards to a bad “may-issue” result under the circumstances is not really a realistic concern in my view. It’s mostly a case of keeping additional location restrictions being added and such at worst.

  5. Great video but I noticed it is “unlisted” on YouTube. Please consider listing it so others may find it by search.

  6. That was my second time in front of the committee and I was doing rebuttal. the anti-gun chicago types are tryign to pull out all the stops since they lost the en banc petition.

    We will be having a show down on Tuesday on the issues. It looks like we have a majority to prevail but we will see where all the votes fall. They are going to throw all kinds of amendments at us to carve up everything and carve out anything they can think of. . . .here we go

    1. You did an excellent job, Todd! A lot of those guys are just unbelievable. Really just mind-blowing how frightened and intolerant they are.

      Talking about gay marriage was a great move; I’ve found that an even better one is abortion. Just ask if the same restriction would fly for abortion. They will inevitably sputter about guns being dangerous requiring more restriction or local discretion, and then you can say that SCOTUS already shot that argument down and that the NRA will be happy to litigate another case on the subject.

      1. Yes, the liberal establishment’s intolerance of disagreement on the “private matters” of abortion and sodomy is breathtaking.

        I can’t help but think how much money is going to be piled into all these legal challenges. You’d think we should be talking about more laws which mandate the “loser pays” to help keep some of these disgusting gun laws in check.

        I hope we have lots of pro-2A attorneys that are interested in some pro-bono work in the coming years…

  7. mike123 – I find it obnoxious than anyone able to walk freely in society could be arrested for merely carrying a weapon. It’s obnoxious and insulting to require folks to apply for a state signed permission slip to exercise a Right. (btw, look at all the “crimes” that can get you prohibited sometime)

    So y’all can imagine that I don’t buy the argument that it’s better to participate in the process to keep a more horrible situation from developing. Besides, this is Illinois – possessing ammo inside your own home with an FOID is a jailable offense. There’s no provision for carry outside the home (except to & from a range & hunting grounds). A bad “may issue” law would be a pragmatic improvement, so trying to play it “safe” with a “shall issue” law instead of going for constitutional carry seems short sighted (as has been typical with the pro gun strategy to date – minor exceptions excepted of course).

    I would argue that the Right to own & carry weapons is absolute; that there’s no useful difference twixt concealed or open carry; that requiring a permit to exercise a Right is degrading at best & injurious the rest of the time; & that a Right delayed is a Right denied, so the court should have granted immediate relief instead of giving the legislature 6 months to come up with a new scheme since their old one is flagrantly immoral.

    I’d build a strategy from that – making sure the methods work towards realizing all of the above as best as possible. Immediately offering a compromise (i.e. “shall issue”) doesn’t seem to jive with those goals being realized, not in the short or medium term that I can see, & probably not in the long term.

    Our enemies have been waging a long term offensive against us for some time now. When possible, we should stop playing the short term defensive games we’ve been playing & go on the offensive long term. Illinois seems like someplace where we could continue this counter-attack with minimal risk.

    But that’s just me, & as you’ve probably noticed I’m pretty busy worrying about my own state at the moment.

  8. My job is the possible not perfect. The sooner some 2A supporters understand that in states like Illinois, we will take more ground.

    Youmma not like it, but when comtrolled by chicago anti-gun dems, its the best we can get

  9. People who say that going for an achievable “shall-issue” first is some sort of negative compromise rather than a realistic strategy need to re-read their history.

    Just 30 years ago we had no-carry or may-issue in most states, that started to change in the early ’80s and Florida really kicked the wave off in ’88.

    Montana got “shall-issue” in ’91, Alaska and Arizona in ’94.

    By 2004 Alaska started the modern “Con Carry” wave, with AZ following in 2010 and WY in ’11, with several other states very close as we speak.

    The point is, rolling back years of incremental infringement won’t happen overnight, the general public isn’t really hostile to carry in most places, but we have to turn the water up slowly and get them used to the idea. Sure reality sucks for the folks who want it all for themselves right now, but we are in a generational battle.

    I’ve spent my whole life in Alaska. Alaska was still no-issue when I turned 22, but we had shall-issue the next year in ’94.

    There are adults born that year who grew up with the idea of a “carry permit” being no big deal, and reached 21 right after we went Con Carry. Their kids will be reaching adulthood wondering why some other states still require a permit at all.

    That’s the battle we are fighting to win across this country. It won’t happen at the same pace in every state, some may never reach it based on their culture, but freedom is addictive and once we get a big state, a “Florida” equivalent, for Con Carry I predict another wave like the “shall-issue” trend of the ’90s.

    1. I think if we hadn’t made that compromise, we’d be getting our asses handed to us right now. Shall-issue fundamentally changed the game when it comes to gun rights in this country. Now you have a reason a large number of people interact with guns that isn’t hunting, and it is from that base that Constitutional Carry was successfully pushed in Alaska, Arizona, and Wyoming, and may soon pass in Montana.

      I absolutely agree that licensing is not compatible with a right, but we’re going to have to lead the court there step-by-step. It’s going to take a while. It’s going to take inevitable abuses of licensing, and changes in the makeup of the federal bench to include judges who take the right seriously.

  10. I find it repugnant that the court finds a law to be unconstitutional, but then gives the government 6 months to change it, and then when the law isn’t changed, gives them even more time. If the law is unconstitutional, it is VOID, because the government never had the authority to pass the alw in the first place.

    1. The court will always, due to how our govt is designed, give the legislature, which in theory represents the will of the people, the opportunity to correct their error using the legislative process, which takes time.

      That is a feature, not a bug, of our system. Imagine an anti-rights court summarily dismissing laws you like, that protect rights you like, allowing the executive to immediately begin screwing you over with no time to resist.

      The system protects us, even when it is inconvenient.

  11. If you want to argue that a “shall issue” law is the only way to get constitutional carry I’d be willing to listen. But I’ve seen too many places where con carry was opposed by those in favor of a “shall issue” scheme. Not just the range instructor who would lose cash from the classes not being mandated, but allegedly pro gun orgs. The fact is, any permit system is gun control, & folks tend to lose sight of that & end up trying to save the bridge instead of letting it fall into the Kwai as it should.

    But as I tried to say, Illinois is a special case – they have NO carry provision in the law what so evs. A court said that was unpossible & it must be changed. So what is there to lose by going for constitutional carry? The carry situation can’t possibly get any worse there (unless they outlaw thinking about carrying).

    the possible instead of the perfect? That’s tired. I’ve been hearing that the proper treatment of a Right is “perfect, therefore unachievable” for ages, with no concrete reasoning to back it up. The sooner pro gun folks, & especially pro gun orgs, realize that mediocrity shouldn’t be a goal, that compromise should be a last resort, not a default plan, the mo’ better progress we’ll make.

    Now it could very well be that there is some realistic impediment to negate constitutional carry in Illinois. I’ve been real busy with my own state & haven’t kept up with the situation up there lately. But all I’ve heard is either vague assurances that one day – just not now – there’ll be constitutional carry, a la the “shall issue” first plan, or that it’s just not possible so “shall issue” is what to shoot for. (Also there’s the folks who think “shall issue” IS the epitome of freedom, but we shan’t speak of them).

    So what would be the downsides of going for constitutional carry in Illinois? & as importantly, if constitutional carry is somehow unachievable, what’s the plan to use some other means, such as “shall issue” type gun control, to achieve constitutional carry in the future?

    (& as an aside, Todd, I know it ain’t easy trying to make reasoned arguments with asshats masquerading as public servants hurling condescension at ya like it’s a snowball fight & you’re someone’s little brother. So you have some appreciation for dealing with that as well as ya did. Don’t mean imma split my lotto ticket with ya or anything, but thanks for doing that much.)

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