Rally for gun rights in the Loop

July 11, 2008 3:10:37 PM PDT
Proponents of gun rights gathered in the Loop Friday to push legislation legalizing concealed weapons in Illinois. Among the speakers at the rally was a Texas state representative whose parents were among 23 people gunned down at Luby's cafeteria in 1991. Recent rallies at the Thompson Center have been demands for gun control laws following fatal shootings of Chicago children. Thursday, the plaza was full again, but the message was from those demanding the right to bear arms.

In a show of support for responsible gun ownership, about 200 chose the plaza of the Thompson Center for what they called a Second Amendment freedom rally. The rally comes after a recent decision by the Supreme Court Allowing handguns in Washington D.C.

"With the U.S. Supreme Court decision we are celebrating here today, I see those days of fear and helplessness coming to an end," said Valinda Rowe, IllinoisCarry.com.

"The truth is, a gun ban doesn't work; criminals don't obey gun laws," said Mike Weisman, Illinois State Rifle Association.

Support for the right to carry handguns comes from diverse groups including a gay organization.

"People who carry firearms are in places you never expect. You can find support for the Second Amendment all across the country," said Doug Krick, Pink Pistols.

"Self-defense is a basic human right," said Dr. Paula Bratich, Second Amendment Sisters.

The plaza has been site of several anti-gun rallies this year. Thursday, speakers encouraged the right to concealed weapons. Some shared their personal experiences when they did not have their weapons.

Dr. Suzanna Hupp, from Texas, recounted an incident in 1991 when a gunman crashed into the a restaurant where she ate with her parents. Then the gunman shot her parents and 21 others. She was not armed.

"The only thing the gun laws did that day was prevent us in that restaurant from protecting ourselves," Hupp said.

Several Chicagoans are challenging Chicago's ban on handguns. They hope the Supreme Court decision opens the doors to more gun owner rights here.

"If we win this case, we win for every single person here," said Colleen Lawson, lawsuit plaintiff.

The lawsuit against the city challenging the handgun ban was filed the same day as the Supreme Court's decision. The complaint had named Mayor Daley. A city spokeswoman says the judge has dismissed the mayor from the complaint and has removed certain allegations in the complaint already. The City of Chicago has until next week to respond.


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