Sunday, July 7, 2013

Class Act by a classy Governor: Contributor Walt Zlotow

Class veto by a class Governor

Every Illinoisan should listen to or read Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn's veto of HB 183, Illinois' Carry and Conceal law, and be proud we have a genuine, decent and courageous Governor who does the peoples' business.

One reason Gov. Quinn doesn't have a high approval rating is that instead of pandering to a fickle, shallow and self centered electorate, he quietly does the right thing for the right reason at the right time.  His amendatory veto of HB 183 is a perfect example. This is a flawed bill which not only does nothing to improve the quality of life for a single Illinoisan, it makes it worse. It was passed for the simple reasons that a federal appeals court requires some form of a totally unnecessary carry and conceal law to put Illinois in compliance with the other 49 states, and to placate the NRA and their fanatical followers who think carry and conceal will make them safe. Unfortunately, the Illinois legislature rolled over so the NRA could have their way with senators and representatives to produce a bad bill crying out for a good Governor to veto it. Quinn didn't disappoint and was never so eloquent when he pointed out: 1. HB 183 must be amended to prohibit people from carrying guns into establishments serving alcohol. Quinn is right on when he says guns and alcohol don't mix.
2. HB 183 strips authority of home rule governments to ban assault weapons.
3. HB 183 allows guns to be carried into businesses if there is no sign posted prohibiting guns, when the legal presumption should be that no person can bring a gun onto private property without being given express permission.
4. HB 183 infringes on an employer's ability to ensure a safe, secure work place by prohibiting the carrying of guns into the workplace.
5. HB 183 allows multiple guns and unlimited ammunition clips to be carried and concealed. Quinn demands just one gun and one 10 round maximum clip.
6. HB 183 lacks clarity in requiring mental health reporting designed to keep guns from being acquired by the mentally unstable. 
7. HB 183 defines "concealed firearm" with the phrase "mostly concealed". This puts Illinois on the road to an open carry policy in Illinois.
8. HB 183 exempts the meetings and records of the Concealed Carry Licensing Review Board from the Open Meetings and Freedom of Information Acts. If any subject should be open to the light of transparency, it is the deadly business of carried and concealed firearms.  
9. HB 183 does not require a person carrying a concealed firearm from immediately disclosing same if asked by a law enforcement officer. That puts every law enforcement officer at unacceptable risk.

Whether Illinois legislators were trolling for NRA campaign contributions or simply buckling under NRA intimidation tactics is irrelevant. What is relevant is that there may not be another public servant extant besides good Governor Quinn to use the Veto Pen as the Founding Fathers intended. Bravo, Mr. Governor.

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