An Illinois state senator representing the south side of Chicago who recently announced he would seek the Congressional seat vacated by former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. was arrested at O’Hare airport Wednesday when TSA personnel found an unloaded .25-caliber pistol and a loaded magazine inside the garment bag he was taking through the security checkpoint.
Democrat State Sen. Donne Trotter was charged with felony attempt to board an airplane with a weapon. Trotter told authorities that he had worked a night shift for a security company the night before and had not realized the pistol and magazine were in his bag when he left home on his way to meetings in Washington, D.C. He was held in custody pending a bond hearing.
Now that we have dealt with the facts in Associated Press style fashion, let’s take a closer look at Sen. Trotter’s record. To say that what we have here is a case of exquisite hypocrisy would not be an overstatement.
In 1995, Trotter voted “no” on narrowly-defeated legislation to allow Illinois residents to carry concealed firearms. Illinois is the only state in the nation where citizens have no concealed carry rights. Two years later, he voted “present” on a measure that ultimately passed both the Senate and the House that would have reduced the penalty for getting caught with a concealed firearm. That bill died through amendatory veto by then Gov. Jim Edgar.
There’s more. While police sources said that Trotter did have a valid firearms owner’s identification card, (FOID), it listed his Springfield office as his address, in apparent violation of state law requiring the card carrier’s residence be provided. It will be interesting to see if that pistol was registered in Chicago, as required by city ordinance.
When Trotter’s arrest made the news in the Windy City, one wag posted that “Traditionally, Congressmen from the Second District are arrested AFTER the election.” Indeed. We also recall that President Obama during one of the presidential debates in response to a gun control question talked about “handguns” being a problem in his home city. Who knew that one was being carried by a State Senator and would be Congressman? You can’t make this stuff up.
We eagerly await more news from Chicago.