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 Tuesday, March 11, the 70th day of 2014. There are 295 days left in the year. 1864 -- 150 years ago: Much damage is being done by hogs that are running at large about town. The marshal will take them up and sell them if their owners do not contain them. 1889 -- 125 years ago: George Newberry, Daniel Strecker, Al Webb and James Dixon returned from a voyage down the Mississippi River as far as Memphis, Tenn., on a flat. 1914 -- 100 years ago: Augustana College was put out of the running for the state collegiate basketball title when defeated by Millikin. The Viking lineup included Sten, Samuelson and Swanbeck, forwards, and Holtgren, Johnson and Berg, guards. 1939 -- 75 years ago: The coronation of Pope Pius XII and preliminary ceremonies were broadcast by WHBF on the Mutual Radio Network. 1964 -- 50 years ago: Reactivation of a portion of the J.I. Case Co, plant in Rock Island as a supplier for component parts for the firm's manufacturing centers at Racine, Wis., or Burlington, Iowa, is under consideration. 1989 -- 25 years ago: Downtown Moline business owners will have a chance to help shape the city's future through a survey being done by the Bi-State Metropolitan Planning Commission.