Monday, September 15, 2008

During Today's Travels...

I noticed a few things:

99.9 FM switched formats. It WAS the one station to which I actually listened. I knew this was coming as they bored me with Police songs all weekend. Now they are "the buzz". Yippee. Alternative rock. After 10 minutes I was searching for a CD. Radio, for the most part, now sucks in Peoria again. Which begs a question: What the hell is alternative rock? Is there really enough straight forward rock and roll these days that we need a branding of alternative rock? Is there alternative pop? How about alternative rap? Alternative country? I know, alternative opera. At least I know Brett Michaels of Poison fame is going to be filming an episode for his show sometime this week at Big Als. More yippee. Thank God Marc Broussard's new CD is released tomorrow. Something decent to listen to since Peoria radio just started sucking again.

I was in many places today. In one of them, and I can't think of which, I saw at the register a gift card you could buy for $50 to Outback Steakhouse. Outback hasn't been in Peoria for 3-ish years? I guess it would be a nice gift if you knew someone who lived where there was an Outback.

I love the billboard on Washington Street right before you merge onto Adams. It is for the new museum and advertising an IMAX theater. Did they get this billboard cheap? Seems like an odd place to advertise to get people to donate $$ to the new museum. I guess they thought this billboard would pay for itself and generate extra donations? Really?

Jeffrey Alans has its CHRISTMAS stuff out!!! WTF? It is getting earlier every year!! Next year just leave all the shit up. Save some labor.

Peoria has the lamest selection of tropical fish. Thank God for Charlie's in Pekin.

Supposedly Houston, TX gas stations are completely out or very near being out of gas and people are lining up to get a few precious drops. The law of supply and demand says that they could be charging $10.00 a gallon and get it, right? Their precious few drops are less per gallon that what Peorians are currently paying. Guess it is time to get out another petroleum based product.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Teddy Jackson and a Gun Control Rant (UPDATED)

They have made an arrest in the Teddy Jackson murder. Jackson was a security guard at the Rock Entertainment Center in Peoria when he was shot and killed on Aug. 31. I don't know the guy; he could have been a saint, he could have been the worst gangbanger in Illinois. Really, it makes little difference as how he was killed was tragic.

But this is what gets me. If this truly is the shooter:

Police have arrested 20–year–old Devear L. Lewis of Peoria on charges of Aggravated Discharge of a firearm, and First Degree Murder. Lewis was picked up Tuesday evening by police. Court records indicate that Lewis was indicted in both 2005 and 2006 on weapons charges...once for carrying a sawed off shotgun and another time for carrying a gun in a car.

First, this would have made him 17 or 18 on his first offenses. If 17, he would not have been old enough to purchase a shotgun, let alone a handgun. So, where did he get them? Second, if he was indicted BOTH times for carrying guns and once in his car, did he see prison time? Third, he was to have said to have pulled two handguns and fire them into the crowd at the Rock. You have to be 21 to legally purchase a handgun in the State of Illinois. He's 20. Maybe his parents bought them for him? What are those odds?

Now I'm up on my soapbox. As frequent readers know, I am against further gun control for law abiding gun owners. Tell me how tighter restrictions on law abiding citizens would have prevented Mr. Jackson's death. I'm willing to bet Mr. Lewis was not the legal owner of the two guns he previously was accused and indicted of possessing. And if that statement is true, in my opinion, he should be sitting in a cell somewhere wondering what his life will be like in 2031 when he gets out of prison for possessing an illegal firearm. If illegal possession laws were this tough, Mr. Lewis would not have ended Mr. Jacksons life. Obviously, the police did their job TWICE (thanks, guys!) with Mr. Lewis so why is he out shooting up Peoria like the wild west?

You want to end gun crimes, make the time so long for illegal possession that no one would want to do that much time.

When I see this guy turned loose after two (probably felony) firearms violations and read the story about the kid who was convicted of burglary and possession of a stolen firearm and got two years PROBATION, it is no wonder they have no fear of getting caught again and again and again.

Instead of spending zillions of dollars on gun laws that limit clip round capacity, gun type, trigger locks, etc. the federal government needs to make one law. Any possession of an illegal, stolen or wrongfully possessed firearm gets you 25 years in prison. No early release, no parole, no good behavior. And if you are under 21, you don't get out of juvvie...go straight to the "big house" to continue your sentence.

It won't take long for a few to go away and the rest to figure out the lawmakers, police and judges are playing with them anymore.

(UPDATE) I found the following. I'm not really for this type of reporting, but since it was staring me in the face: "Lewis was convicted on weapons charges in 2005 and twice in 2006. In 2006, Lewis was sentenced to two years in prison for unlawful use of weapons. He also was convicted on a charge of marijuana possession in 2007."

So he was convicted of a weapons charge when he was +/- 17, TWICE again at 18 which garnered him a two year sentence, but obviously was out in less than a year to have a drug conviction against him in 2007 at age 19. THREE firearm and a drug related convictions and he is out walking the streets. Why?