June 28th, 2010
08:28 AM ET

Monday's intriguing people

Otis McDonald

The 76-year-old retired custodian asked the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a 1982 municipal handgun ban so that he can protect himself in his inner-city Chicago home. On Monday, the high court ruled unconstitutional the Illinois city's ban on handgun
ownership, a potentially far-reaching case over the ability of state and local governments to enforce limits on weapons.

McDonald told the Chicago Tribune that he has lived in the same area of Chicago for 38 years. After thugs broke into his house three times, McDonald said he used his own hunting rifle to chase them away. In 2005, when Illinois lawmakers considered an assault-rifle ban, McDonald attended a gun rally.

"I was the only black guy that I saw," McDonald told the AARP Bulletin.

At the rally, he met Alan Gura, the attorney who helped to overturn Washington, D.C.'s handgun ban. Gura persuaded McDonald to become the main face of the Chicago lawsuit.

"It doesn't matter what anyone's motives were for picking me for this," McDonald told AARP. "I have my own motives, and they are so compelling and so heavy that to me this is worthy of my effort."

The Chicago law has been shown to reduce crime, according to gun-control advocates. Chicago Mayor Richard Daley is a powerful supporter of the ban.

"Maybe he could come there and spend the night, especially during the summer, and listen to what I listen to out my window," McDonald said. "Maybe he would understand where I'm coming from."

CNN: High court strikes down Chicago handgun ban

Chicago Tribune: The public face of gun rights

AARP: Chicago man stands up for right to bear arms

Vincent Warren

While top White House officials have expressed confidence that Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan will earn the respect and votes of senators during her confirmation hearings, which begin Monday, President Obama's choice for the highest court faces skepticism from both conservatives and liberals.

Warren, executive director of the Center for Constitutional Rights, issued a statement in May explaining that his nonprofit organization has fought "the dangerous growth of executive power, particularly as it concerns torture, detention, surveillance and racial profiling, areas where the government has flouted the law most blatantly over the last decade. I am sad to say that Solicitor General Elena Kagan's record indicates a troubling support for expanding presidential powers, something we must be vigilant about at this time. President Obama would appear to be seeking to appoint a Supreme Court judge who will endorse his policies and appease conservatives."

For seven years, Warren was a national senior staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union. He is known as a leading African-American voice for affirmative action.

CNN: White House confident of high court nominee days before hearings

Center for Constitutional Rights: Executive director critical of Kagan's nomination

Jessica Stern

One of the world's foremost experts on terrorism and post-traumatic stress disorder says one of the reasons she has succeeded in her field is because of a sexual assault that she faced as an adolescent.

"Why was I so interested in violence?" Stern says. "I realize now that I was trying to understand violent men, because I had been a victim of violence."

A Harvard-trained former National Security Council policy director, Stern told the Chronicle of Higher Education that she began confronting her own painful past in 2006 when she requested a copy of her 33-year-old police file.

On the night of October 1, 1973, Stern - 15 at the time - and her 14-year-old sister were home alone in Concord, Massachusetts, when a man armed with a gun raped them. Stern's investigation into what happened to the serial child rapist and the impact that the crime had on her life is the subject of her new book, "Denial, A Memoir of Terror."

Stern, who has traveled the world interviewing terrorists, was the model for the title character played by Nicole Kidman in the 1997 movie, "The Peacemaker."

Chronicle of Higher Education: A terrorism expert turns her gaze inward

Harper Collins: Jessica Stern

Arturo Rodriguez

The president of the United Farm Workers of America is challenging people who complain that undocumented immigrants are taking jobs away from U.S. citizens to do something about it.

The Texas Tribune reports that the UFW is launching a "Take Our Jobs" campaign, inviting citizens and legal residents to replace immigrants in the field. The campaign is encouraging members of Congress to refer their constituents to vacant farm worker positions in locations across the country. The union promises that experienced farm workers will train new recruits.

Rodriguez told the newspaper that he doesn't expect many citizens to take the offer seriously, because many workers earn about half of what nonfarm jobs pay. Instead, Rodriguez says, the UFW is more focused on drawing attention away from a deportation-only approach to immigration, which he said would decimate the agriculture industry.

"Somehow, undocumented workers are getting as much blame for our economic troubles as Wall Street, but missing from the immigration debate is an honest recognition that the food we all eat at home, in restaurants and workplace cafeterias, including those in the Capitol, comes to us from the labor of undocumented workers," Rodriguez said.

The Texas Tribune: UFW launches 'Take Our Jobs' initiative

Take Our Jobs website

Tim Scott

The 44-year-old candidate for South Carolina's 1st Congressional District, who defeated the son of the late Sen, Strom Thurmond in last Tuesday's GOP primary, could become the only African-American Republican on Capitol Hill.

The New York Times reports that Scott, a businessman who served 14 years in county government, was a poor high school student. But a man named John Moniz, the owner of the Chick-fil-A restaurant next to the movie theater where Scott sold popcorn, introduced him to what he describes as a conservative, Christian point of view.

After his mentor died at age 38, the newspaper reports, Scott, then 17, created a "mission statement" for his life: Before he dies, he would have a positive effect on the lives of 1 billion people.

"To know my story is to understand that there were people who had no reason to step up to the plate and help me, but who did," Scott said. "I want to serve the community because the community helped me."

According to the Times, Scott believes that President Obama is driving the country toward bankruptcy and socialism.

The New York Times: South Carolina candidate shrugs off history's lure

soundoff (97 Responses)
  1. texaslady2

    The pro-illegal alien Farm Worker's Union head is clouding the issue by offering people a chance to come do the farm work that illegals do. According to the US Census Bureau, no more than about 3% of ALL illegal aliens work in agriculture! Most illegals take jobs that Americans WOULD take if they hadn't been so downgraded in salaries and benefits by illegal aliens that Americans can't live on those salaries any longer! These are jobs in construction, roofing, drywalling, painting, road work, paving, restaurant work, janitorial work, meatpacking, and a host of other lower-skilled jobs that Americans WERE doing before the illegal alien invasion! American workers who are lower-skilled or entry-level need those jobs but can't live on the slave wages that illegals will accept. ! Send the illegals home and make the employers pay to hire Americans!

    June 28, 2010 at 9:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Kerri

      I agree with you, except the illegals seem to be living on those wages. I think the difference is that they live about 20 people in a rented house and send their money home or save most of it for later on.

      June 28, 2010 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
  2. James

    That is complete BS to say that "The Chicago law has been shown to reduce crime." There are no facts to back this statement up. CNN is being a bunch of lazy sacks of s–t to just rely upon what the gun-control zealots say vice actually checking the facts. If you aren't going to do your job right, then stop doing it!

    June 28, 2010 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
  3. rad

    CNN, do you mean illegal alien? I work with plenty of LEGAL aliens who do the same work I do so yes I could take their job as far as illegals, yes I would do their job if I had to. I think the people who write these articles might be surprised as what people and Americans will do if they have to.

    June 28, 2010 at 9:59 am | Report abuse |
  4. jesus

    im ilegal and lov this country everything if free hear we pay for nothin at all.

    June 28, 2010 at 10:17 am | Report abuse |
    • Mama

      I can tell you are not an illegal alien..

      June 28, 2010 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
  5. jesus

    my dauter just turn 18 and she have 3 kid and we liv for free. Americo if godd place kid goin to be smart and i lov welfore and educaton here now I dont have to work anymor. Mexico is stil best but ameria right it is land of fre and fre place

    June 28, 2010 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Leah

      This is obviously posted but some ignorant person who is pretending to be an illegal. Yes there are some that take advantage of the system but most are afraid of approaching officials for fear of deportation. They are not on welfare. What they do get for free is enrolling their children in public schools. For us, it is better to have them educated than not. Go to your local trailer park, where you will find plenty of caucasion people with no language barriers, no citizenship issues, but plenty of laziness and willingness to live off of the welfare. Lastly, if you are scared of losing your unskilled labor job to an immigrant, I wouldn't get angry, I would first be ashamed that of not having any skills to offer. Get an education or learn some trade to make you marketable. There is NO excuse for an american to lose a job to an illegal, if he has invested in himself.

      June 28, 2010 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Ali999

      Even people with COLLEGE educations are losing their jobs to legal immigrants and illegal aliens. You forget–about 40% of illegal aliens came here legally on NON immigrant visas such as student visas. They have educations, speak English and sometimes even have legal SS numbers, say, from working on campus. Or, three are illegal alien kids who have been raised here so can easily pass as American and start businesses or take jobs where they don't look too closely.

      As for welfare, illegal aliens can receive welfare on behalf of their Ameircan born kids. 30% of the welfare recipients in CA live in homes headed by illegal aliens. We have enough problems with our own welfare mothers. Why would we want to import MORE?

      June 28, 2010 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
  6. HLCM

    Before 1922 there was no such thing as "legal"or "illegal" . Everybody who could get here was an emmigrant. Quite a few people were "Transported" here from England because overcrowded jails in the 1700's. The state of Georgia was originally a penal colony. The designation of legality in immigration was a 20th century idea. How many of us "legal" Americans are here because someone was a criminal, or was about to be put on trial? Quite a few I think. I have an ancestor who ended up in this country because he was about to be arrested in Scotland in 1750. The pot needs to think about what they are calling the kettle.

    June 28, 2010 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
  7. jesus

    no longr work in field more america suport me. else wher can get fre food educaton and home for family for fre. mexico you work her fre and fredom. new life lov best and fre.mexcio you hard work and get nothin and her you dont work get everythn fre

    June 28, 2010 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
  8. whatsinaname

    I think it's unfortunate that it isnt being a farm laborer that illegal workers are "taking" from legal residents and citizens, its many other types of jobs. This is just a publicity stunt to try to get "typical white america" to not show up to take hard labor farm jobs and try to make a point that "white americans" wouldn't demean themselves to such labor. Sure its very hard work and the pay is low. Its hard to survive on a low wage in this country. Maybe the question whether we really do need Unions to keep the employers in check and not take advantage of workers whether they are farm laborors, plumbers, grocery clerks or computer programmers being replaced by lower paying Indian workers who are legal but work for such a low wage we resdient American's can't afford to match the wages. Who stops the coroprate greed?

    June 28, 2010 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
  9. Jadedrose

    I'd bet the ban is pretty laughable when only the criminals have weapons.

    June 28, 2010 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
  10. Rick McDaniel

    That old argument that illegals do the jobs Americans don't want, is BS. The real situation is, the employers want to pay less so they deliberately set low wages, to discourage Americans away from those jobs, so they can justify hiring illegals, as the "only ones who want the jobs".

    The truth is, that's all the employers, want to hire.

    Additionally, Americans are discouraged from those jobs, because none of the illegals they would have to work side by side with, speak any English. Anyone who has worked in that kind of environment knows that having to listen to two different languages being spoken, all the time, can drive you bananas.

    This is all just BS to justify allowing the illegals to keep coming, and the employers to keep hiring them, so profits remain high. It is about money, on the part of employers, and that needs to be stopped.

    June 28, 2010 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Wendi

      Rick-you are so right and that is what needs to be articulated here. It is white v blue collars. Because professionals have licensing requirements, degree requirements they are insulated from this invasion. They still think of the farm hand and I think
      disingenuously. They MUST know that the best best paying jobs short of a degree, usually construction,are threatened.
      Tv Anchors, politicians and such do not have their jobs threatened

      June 28, 2010 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Jessica, Grand Rapids MI

      Except large corporations are now bring in LEGAL immigrants via work visa's to replace those "white collar jobs"...you know the ones that take degree's and stuff. It turns out, other nations have Universities (shocking, I know!) and they are actually decent at teaching them what they need to know (even more amazing) and they are really cheap (not possible, right?) and then they come here for extremely depressed wages – because its WAY MORE than they could make in their home country. Except, then they get here and realize how expensive it is to just LIVE here and on top of that, then they realize they are making pennies on the dollar compared to their "american counterparts" and resentment starts to build. And then 5-10 years down the line, the employer has found even more desperate people in some other part of the world...and well, Sorry Mr. Singh, it was great working with you, but your visa is up and well, we need to go another direction. Sorry you have to go back to India.
      And we already have a problem with people not leaving at work visa's expired. Think its going to get worse?

      June 28, 2010 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
  11. Cherry Washbelly

    ??who was in this country 1st? Where did those ppl come from?

    June 28, 2010 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
  12. Joe

    Well done !! Arturo Rodriguez, that is just the plain truth whether some ignorants try to deny it. It is the reality now. Don't come back saying that my grand parent or my parents worked on the fields, that was before its not happening now. And don't comeback saying that is because of the Illegals are under paid either, they get paid what a low skill job deserves. You cannot expect get paid $20 an hour picking fruits and vegetables, its just nonsense.

    June 28, 2010 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Lesley

      Actually collecting food stamps or taking tax payer money while sitting in jail for a non violent crime comes out to about $20.p/hr. Would we dare to have these people work for a living? Some will say they have babies and can't work- strap the bundle of joy to your back- instead of ours! All the juveniles who are locked up (again non violent) work will teach good ethics.

      June 28, 2010 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
  13. DH

    Gee....who is Mr. Rodriguez REALLY speaking for? His Position as head of Farm Workers of America would lend us to think he was hold American Citizens in his interest....but his "Familia Name" makes him ALLEGIANT to Mexico....and more than a name, it's in his Quote.

    June 28, 2010 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      So anyone with a 'foreign' sounding name is really has their allegiance to another country? You do realize how insane that sounds right? It's probably also worth understanding that California, New Mexico, Arizona and so forth were all Spanish territories at one point. Do you think we kicked out all of the Rodrigeuzes, Diazes, and so forth when we annexed those regions?

      June 28, 2010 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
  14. Wendi

    The "immigrant-in-the-field is an old story. It is white collar v blue collar. Politicians, news people, tv anchors
    jobs are not threatened therefore they do not care. The illegals have pushed out many in the higher paying construction jobs
    not the fields. Once the professionals jobs get threatened watch the tune change...

    June 28, 2010 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
  15. O WHAT A WORLD

    i am sure the naitives felt this way before the illegals showed up from england

    June 28, 2010 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
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