Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn must appeal the order of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to force Illinois to enact legislation permitting Illinoisans to carry concealed handguns.

Today I sent a letter to Illinois Governor Pat Quinn urging him in the strongest of terms to appeal the decision of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to mandate the Illinois legislature to enact legislation permitting the people of Illinois to carry concealed handguns.

In my letter to the Governor, I said "We are at a time in our history when it is apparent to all that the plague of handgun violence must be addressed and steps must be taken to reduce the number of handguns and assault weapons that currently infest our cities and towns and which contributes to the number of premature deaths of our statewide family members.  Permitting Illinoisans to carry concealed handguns will guarantee a deadly surge in the “Rambo mentality,” thus insuring a drain on our law enforcement agencies, hospital emergency rooms and offices of our medical examiners. 

Permitting Illinoisans to carry concealed weapons will contribute to a loss of jobs in our states because small business owners will close their shops because of the higher cost of insurance and force their employees on the unemployment rolls.  Our state economy cannot afford this.

As a catholic bishop, I unconditionally beg you to also consider the moral and ethical obligations our elected officials have to protect the welfare and safety of our state wide community.  I have had to hold the hands of too many parents and spouses who have lost their loved ones to handgun violence and I have no desire to have those numbers increase because of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.  The morticians and undertakers of our state will always have their clients and I believe that the only positive outcome of this mandate would be an increase in their business.   Every person born into this world has the right to a life of possibilities and not destined to be a statistic in the book of victims. 

Many years ago, I stood with you in front of the Prudential Building in Chicago in the dead of winter fighting for those who were about to have their electricity shut off.  I said to you that “I hope that we here might make a difference.”  Your response to my statement was “We are obligated to protect the health and welfare for the people.”

For the sake of all Illinoisans I beg you to embrace those words and to fight this mandate in the United States Supreme Court.  I pledge to you all my help and support in such a fight.”

I fear that I need to begin to brace myself for the worst to come.

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