I mentioned yesterday that Pike County, Illinois would consider a resolution last night opposing legislation that infringes on the Constitutionally guaranteed fundamental human right of the individual to keep and bear arms. Great news--the Quincy Herald Whig tells us that it passed, and even better, Brown County has adopted a similar resolution.
Gun control laws not welcome in Pike CountyAre the days of Chicago über alles running out?
PITTSFIELD, Ill. — The Pike County Board adopted a resolution Tuesday opposing any legislation that infringes on the right to keep and bear arms.
"What we are trying to do here is protect rights we already have," board member Robert Kenady said.
A standing-room-only crowd of mostly gun enthusiasts applauded several speakers and the 7-2 vote on the resolution, which will be forwarded to state legislators and all other counties in Illinois. Neighboring Brown County already has adopted a similar resolution.
"We have to stand up," said board member Mark Mountain, who proposed the resolution. "We have to voice our opinion. As an individual, it doesn't mean much. As a county, it means more. As three or four counties, it means a lot."
"You gentleman have just made history here," said Pike-Adams Sportsmen's Alliance President Richard Metcalf.
Resolution supporters claim that pending state legislation would ban many common firearms used for hunting and threaten rights guaranteed under the Constitution, the enjoyment of safe forms of firearms recreation and its economic benefits to the county.
"This is about freedom," Metcalf said. "This is not a political issue. I'm not here as a conservative, a liberal. You're not here as a Republican, a Democrat. We're here as Americans."
Others questioned whether the issue of gun control reached beyond what the county should address.
"I've carried a weapon 30 years of my life, ... but I'm not sure there's a time and place to address this issue on a county level," said board member Mike Lord, who voted against the resolution.
Board Chairman Scott Syrcle said the county level "is where it starts." He said county officials are "elected to voice our opinion to legislators for change or to keep things from happening." He usually votes only in the case of a tie, but wanted his vote in favor of the resolution on the record.
"You're going to ban a lot of guns if this thing happens," county resident Lee Ator said. "Definitely, the people of Pike County are interested in this. Everybody's here because they're opposed to gun legislation."
Board member Don Peebles said the county should be focusing on other issues instead of the "hot-button, politically divisive" issue of gun control.
"I've spent a lot of time in the last month reading House bills, Senate bills and shell bills. Some of them I agree with. Some I disagree with. I would have a difficult time with an across-the-board resolution," said Peebles, who voted against the resolution.
"I've hunted all my life. I enjoy firearms, ... but there are things that need to be controlled."