The Illinois ballot this year contains a proposition for Rock Island County that reads, "Should the Illinois General Assembly protect a citizen's right to keep and bear arms as defined by the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution?"

Initially, I was inclined to vote "yes" on this proposition. Why would we not want Illinois state laws to conform to the U.S. Constitution?

After some research, I learned that the Rock Island County Republicans are responsible for putting this deceptively worded proposition on the ballot. Republicans claim (falsely) that Illinois state gun control laws are unconstitutional and want them repealed. These Illinois state laws improve background checks for all gun purchases, raise the legal age (and waiting period) to buy assault-style weapons, and ban sales of bump stocks and high capacity magazines. County Republicans hope to trick unsuspecting voters into voting for this proposition.

If the proposition passes, no Illinois state laws will change. But our county would be considered a "gun sanctuary" in Illinois, which could affect laws and policies implemented in our county. If enough Illinois counties adopt this proposition, Illinois state lawmakers could be influenced.

I cringe whenever I see American civilians dressed in combat gear openly carrying military grade assault weapons in public. There is no place in our democracy for such outrageous behavior.

We cannot control what happens in other states, but we can pass gun control laws in Illinois to protect our citizens. I urge everyone to please vote "no" on the Rock Island County proposition. Vote!

Richard Patterson



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