The following is a statement released today by the Illinois State Rifle Association regarding the passing of Otis McDonald:
It would have been understandably easy for Otis McDonald to just kick back and enjoy his golden years. Nobody would have blamed Otis one bit for wanting to savor the intangible riches that a long and eventful life has to offer – time with family and a good chuckle or two with friends. It would certainly be fair for one to ask why the heck a man in his seventies would want to launch a challenge against the hallmark achievement of one of the nation's most powerful political organizations.
But, that's just the kind of guy Otis McDonald was. Otis was not the type of person who shied away when faced with something he believed to be wrong. Thus, it was only natural for Otis to say, "Now hey wait just a minute," to Chicago's long standing prohibition against civilian handgun ownership. Indeed, Otis stood up to the Chicago political establishment and carried his folksy, clear-headed message of doing what's right all the way up to the United States Supreme Court. In what many people believe to be something of a miracle, 4 Supreme Court Justices sided with Otis - striking down the most oppressive gun control regulations in the nation.
As might be expected, Otis instantly earned the distinction as being the man who released millions of Illinoisans from the bondage of gun control. But those around Otis knew that he would not be comfortable with his newly found fame. No, the unassuming Mr. McDonald did not want to be a folk hero; he just wanted to do what was right. The right that Otis did shook the foundations of the gun control movement and will shape public policy for many decades to come.
Although America lost Otis McDonald today, we have not lost sight of the fact that, with our Constitution behind him, one determined man wields more power than the most entrenched, self serving political machine. Tonight, as Otis embarks on the next leg of life's journey, he'll surely look down upon us, flash that trademark toothy grin, and get back to doing the things that guys in their seventies do.
The ISRA is the state's leading advocate of safe, lawful and responsible firearms ownership. For more than a century, the ISRA has represented the interests of millions of law-abiding Illinois Firearm Owners.