The State of Illinois Hates Fun

With the passage of Senate Bill 1342, which takes effect in a couple of weeks, Illinois must have become officially the most fun hating state in the Union.  Senate Bill 1342 prohibits circus elephants.  Yes, that’s right—one of the most entertaining features of one of America’s dearest, cleanest, and most nostalgic forms of entertainment has joined the long list of fun stuff in Illinois that is now illegal.  Supposedly there is no humane way to train elephants or use them in circuses or traveling shows.   I don’t buy that, and I suspect that not very many others will either.

With the passage of this bill and its signature by our supposedly big government hating swamp Republican governor, the circus has joined a growing list of things that are wholesome, clean, decent, traditional, and illegal in Illinois.


The first thing that comes to mind is celebrating the Fourth of July with fireworks.  Any state that can’t tolerate celebrating the 4th with firecrackers and bottle rockets has a long way to go in understanding what that holiday is all about.  Thousands if not millions of Illinoisans manage to enjoy their 4th by traveling to Indiana, Kentucky, or Missouri to the fireworks dealers who make their living perched on the border with Illinois, and police seldom make an arrest for these “crimes” except in the most unenlightened and fun hating districts of the state.  Nonetheless, it is an offense against both fun and patriotism to ban them. 

It is illegal to hunt skunks at night from March through November.  Skunks are nocturnal.

Probably the jerkiest law on the books in Illinois was passed several years ago.  It reads:  No person shall operate any motor vehicle in such a manner as to cause or allow to be emitted squealing, screeching or other such noise from the vehicle’s tires due to rapid acceleration or excessive speed around corners or other such reason. 

No burnouts.  I’d really like to know what compelling interest the state has in preventing squealing tires.  Not speeding, mind you—nor reckless driving—there’s a stature for those.  This is just about squealing tires.  The adolescent male expression of joy is banned in Illinois. 

But I think of all the stupid petty laws in Illinois, the one banning circus elephants makes me the maddest.  And as far as the elephants go, where do you think unemployable work animals go?  The magic elephant rest home?  Sorry to bust your bubble, liberal snowflakes.  Those elephants have an appointment with the dog food plant.  That’s the facts.  OK, you don’t want to watch circus elephants—don’t go.  But you don’t have to spoil other’s fun. 

If a howling mob ever drags Michael Madigan and Rauner from their positions of privilege and hangs them in their own front yards, I hope at least one of those guys in that mob mentions the circus before those two swing.