Two months ago, almost to the day, the SCUPE Congress stood outside in the still-cold Chicago air and publicly opposed conceal and carry legislation.
Proposed H.B. 148 would make it legal for a citizen to carry a concealed, loaded gun into almost every public space. The impact of this bill become apparent once you start to think about places where loaded guns would be allowed: parks, malls, hospitals, gyms, banks, restaurants, public restrooms, subway trains and buses… Loaded guns could quickly become as ubiquitous as app-laden smart phones (and make the i-gun app even more ridiculously redundant).
Or, maybe we can all just start carrying these around?
This morning SCUPE president Shanta Premawardhana and I were invited to attend Governor Quinn’s press conference. Standing with him at the podium were to twenty-some members of the Illinois Anti-Violence Commission… each of whom has experienced loss in their lives due to gun violence.
We were pleased to hear that the Commission had unanimously decided to oppose the current conceal and carry legislation. Though the context was political, the tragic human cost of violence was lifted up through moving testimonies by several members of the Commission including: Rev. Phil Blackwell from Chicago Temple, the new Illinois State Police Director Hiram Grau, and Jennifer Loudon (widow of slain Chicago Police Office Thor Soderber).
Citing the public opinion of a large majority of IL residents (65% by the most recent poll) Governor Quinn then stated his opposition to the bill and, most importantly, his willingness to veto the bill should it make its way to his desk.
Kudos to Governor Quinn for taking a stand!
This bill may be voted on any day now. Join us in standing against this dangerous legislation: