Even if voters in Rock Island and Henry County say "yes" adamantly and overwhelmingly to concealed carry on Nov. 6, it will not become the law of the land. But it will send a loud and clear message to lawmakers in Springfield that voters here believe strongly in the Second Amendment and the right it protects for qualified applicants to carry a weapon. We support a strictly drawn law granting Illinoisans a right that already is legal in every other state in the union. Only the General Assembly can make it so. State Reps. Pat Verschoore, D-Milan, Rich Morthland, R-Cordova, and Don Moffitt, R-Gilson, and state Sen. Mike Jacobs have supported legislation to approve concealed carry. The problem isn't here, however, it's in metro areas, especially Chicago, where politicians have never met a gun restriction they didn't like. Gov. Pat Quinn, too, is dependably anti-gun. That position might be harder to maintain, however, if the Chicago Democrat see what the rest of the state thinks regarding concealed carry. And if he vetoes a bill creating concealed carry, lawmakers will need a super-majority to overturn it. Successful advisory campaigns here and elsewhere might serve to convince enough fence-sitters to sign onto a carefully crafted measure to protect it should the governor decide to reject it. If you believe as we do that Illinoisans should have the Constitutional rights guaranteed elsewhere, we recommend Rock Island and Henry County voters say yes.
Today is Thursday, April 17, the 107th day of 2014. There are 258 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: Journeymen shoemakers of Rock Island struck for higher wages yesterday morning, asking 25 percent increases. Employers have acceded to their demand. 1889 -- 125 years ago: Lighting struck wires of the Merchants Electric Light Co. during a furious storm, and many Rock Island business houses were compelled to resort to gas as a means of illumination. 1914 -- 100 years ago: Members of the First Church of Christ, Scientist, decided to erect a new edifice at a cost of about $60,000. 1939 -- 75 years ago: Willard Anderson, junior forward for the Augustana College basketball team, which won 17 out of 22 contests, was elected captain of the quintet. 1964 -- 50 years ago: John Hoffman, Moline, president of the Sac-Fox Council of Boy Scouts, will be honored for his 50 years in scouting by members of the council at a dinner Thursday evening. 1989 -- 25 years ago: The Quad-Cities has what is believed to be the area's first elite-class gymnast. It's the stuff upon which Olympic competitors are made. Tiffany Chapman, of Rock Island, not only has earned the highest possible gymnast ranking, she won the honor at age 11.