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 Sunday, May 19, the 139th day of 2013. There are 226 days left in the year. 1863 -- 150 years ago: The Rt. Rev. Harry I. Witherspoon, D.D. Bishop of Illinois, willpreach in Trinity (Episcopal) Church, in this city this evening. 1888 -- 125 years ago: At 1 o'clock yesterday afternoon the Mississippi River flooded itsbanks at Rock Island, destroying the warehouse of the Rock Island Lumber companyand damaging the Lumber Company and arsenal power plant. Total loss isestimated at $100.000. 1913 -- 100 years ago: Residents of South Rock Island township are circulating a petitionfavoring the annexation of that area to the city of Rock Island. 1938 -- 75 years ago: Mrs. Thomas Ackles, of Rock Island, has been elected president ofthe Playcrafters for the next season. She succeeds Warren Leonard. 1963 -- 50 years ago: Some 8,000 people filed through the gates of Rock Island Arsenal on Saturday to view a display of a part of the nation's armed strength. The occasion was theannual observance of Armed Forces Day. 1988 -- 25 years ago: Willis Kuschmann, of Moline, who already has won his laurels as oneof the most artistic men in the Quad-Cities area, has a new hobby. He is deeply involvedin miniature railroading. At the age of 88, when many other seniors are dozing in theirchairs or sitting before the television, Mr. Kuschmann is planning and working on hiscollection.