Pistol-packing lawmaker deserves a high-caliber nickname

Donne Dangerously as a security guard? He might as well have said he was city sewer inspector, Ferris wheel mechanic or fry cook. But that's his story and he's sticking to it.

As the nicknames poured in, Donne Dangerously stood in Cook County Central Bond Court at 26th and California, his hands behind his back, still nattily dressed in a suede tan blazer and slacks.

He'd spent the night in the Jefferson Park Police District lockup, where he was one of the few guests. During his stay there, he was offered Chicago's finest hospitality: a sandwich.

What kind?

"We only have one kind of sandwich," said a source. "It's turkey bologna."

Trotter politely declined the offer and just sat there, without eating. No wonder he keeps so trim.

I wondered if he thought, during all that time alone in his cell, about his congressional campaign, which will coincide with his criminal proceedings.

Hours later, in court, it was a circus. Dozens of reporters waited for him in the gallery, and a mob of cameramen hovered outside in the corridor, blocking any escape.

Cook County Judge Israel Desierto issued a bond of $25,000. Trotter had to pay 10 percent of that, and was told to turn in any other guns he may have. He was also ordered to report to court Dec. 12 for a preliminary hearing.

Donne Dangerously was out by 1:30 p.m. Reporters scrambled after him. Prior to his release, Trotter's attorneys said they would take his family home.

"We don't care about his family," barked a TV guy as if he'd found a heretic for boiling. "We want him!"

But Trotter didn't want them. So he let his attorney do the talking.

"We're not going to talk about the facts of the case right now," said criminal lawyer Joshua Herman. "We've had a long two days. Looking forward to getting home."

Then Donne Dangerously turned and left the building.

"Are you still running?" shouted a reporter when they got outside. "WHEN ARE YOU GONNA SAY SOMETHING?" cried another. "Are you going to talk?" said yet another.

Dangerously gave them his back, still crisp even after a night in the lockup.

When next he surfaces, he's bound to be asked about his long-standing opposition to concealed-carry provisions, which would allow law-abiding citizens to carry guns for their personal protection, just like state senators moonlighting as security guards.

In 1995, he ridiculed concealed-carry legislation and said it would create a mob who'd feel they were "stronger, they are badder, they are tougher because they have this nine-shooter on their hip."

Whether he was referring to himself, we'll never know. What we do know is that the .25-caliber Beretta was also beloved by suave British superagent James Bond.

Sadly, the fictional Bond had to relinquish the gun when his superiors demanded he carry more firepower.

But Donne Dangerously kept his Beretta. And I can just imagine what he'll say when he meets someone and they ask his name:

Dangerously.

Donne Dangerously.

jskass@tribune.com

Twitter @John_Kass

CHICAGO

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