By Photo providedSecond Amendment activist Valinda Rowe of Enfield expresses her displeasure at being advised by the Illinois State Police to carry a hair comb as a personal defense weapon. Rowe, spokesperson for IllinoisCarry.com , spoke to a standing room only crowd recently in upstate McHenry County.
Wed Feb 10, 2010, 06:25 AM CST
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Lakemoor, Ill. -
Illinois is one of only two states left that prohibit the carrying of firearms for personal protection, leaving citizens to follow advice posted on the Illinois State Police website encouraging the use of hair combs and car keys to ward off violent attacks.
Pundits say the issue of carrying a firearm for self-defense is a geographical issue in Illinois, limited to the more rural downstate area. Some upstate legislators deny the need for a carry law and argue Illinois citizens north of Interstate 80 have no interest in the right to carry a firearm for self-defense.
Without a doubt, they were proven wrong last week when a standing room only crowd of 500-plus citizens from all over McHenry County turned out in support of Right to Carry in Illinois.
The town hall meeting had White County connections. Second Amendment activists Valinda and Mike Rowe of Enfield assisted in the organizational phase of the meeting. Mrs. Rowe, the spokesperson for IllinoisCarry.com, was one of the speakers at the event.
Women and men crowded into the packed Lakemoor Banquet Hall in Lakemoor to show their support for the right to carry and to learn what they can do to push the Illinois legislators to pass a right to carry law in Illinois. Those in attendance voiced their displeasure with being denied the same rights that law-abiding citizens have in 49 other states. Forty-eight states have some form of concealed carry law, and open carry is recognized in the state of Wisconsin, leaving Illinois as the only state with no provision at all for the carrying of a defensive firearm. And Illinois considers it a felony to do so.
The hugely successful town hall meeting was the kick-off event for the newly formed McHenry County Right to Carry Association. The MCR2CA is a non-partisan group dedicated to advancing the right to carry for citizens of Illinois.
The group partnered with IllinoisCarry.com to bring the issue of right to carry to the people of McHenry County. Speakers for the event included the president of the new organization, Lou Rofrano; Lee Lexow, vice president of the McHenry County Sportsman Association; Valinda Rowe; Mike Weisman, first vice president of the Illinois State Rifle Association; Julie Chiabe, president of the McHenry IPSIC Sport Shooters; Nick Provenzano, candidate for McHenry County Board District 3; Joe Walsh, candidate for U.S. Congress (8th District); and McHenry County Sheriff Keith Nygren.
The idea for the town hall meeting began when one man decided to get involved. Lou Rofrano contacted Valinda Rowe and asked what he could do to advance right to carry in Illinois. Having conducted many successful right to carry town hall meetings in southern Illinois, Mrs. Rowe worked with the group throughout the planning process.
Additional right to carry town hall meetings are being planned for the immediate future in St. Clair, DuPage, Will, Kane and Vermilion counties. Mrs. Rowe said more information and an opportunity to support these efforts is available on www.IllinoisCarry.com