I had the distinct pleasure of meeting both David and Colleen Lawson in Pittsburgh at the NRA Annual Meeting. They attended the Second Amendment Blog Bash on Thursday night. I thanked them both for being plaintiffs in McDonald et al v. Chicago et al.
While I did speak a bit with David, I spent more time with Colleen. She is extremely charming and engaging. You knew from the get-go that she was passionate about concealed carry and about being able to protect her children. Part of the story the Lawsons relate below she shared with me in Pittsburgh. I find it hard to believe that she and David were the only two who wanted concealed carry in Rep. John D’Amico’s district.
If you live in Illinois and read this blog, please make the effort to call your representative as the Lawsons request below. It is important if you want a chance at the right to carry in the State of Illinois.
HB148 – A personal message from Colleen and David Lawson
Dear ISRA members,
As you may know, my husband and I were two of the four Chicago resident plaintiffs in the historic McDonald v. Chicago lawsuit that the ISRA and SAF successfully brought against Chicago’s draconian handgun regulations.
Unfortunately, that has not stopped our family from being victims of armed crime outside of our homes. Even with that legislation, all of our children have been victims of armed criminals; not once, but numerous times. Now that we can legally possess handguns in our homes, David and I are actively pushing for Right-to-Carry in Illinois.
Currently we have a Right-to-Carry bill in front of our state legislators. This bill is numbered HB-148 and is titled “The Family and Personal Protection Act”.
HB-148 is expected to be voted on in less than a week. As the only state in the entire country without any legislation allowing any form of right to carry provision for law-abiding citizens, David and I cannot stress enough how critical this vote will be for us and for you and your families.
This is the closest we have ever come to a possibility of having this civil right finally restored in our lives.
In order for the bill to pass into law, we must have a majority of 71 votes of “Yes!” from our State Representatives.
Governor Quinn has vowed to veto HB-148 if it should pass the house, though lately he has come away from that position and says he will give our bill its due consideration. With 71 yes votes, Governor Quinn’s veto cannot stand, and we who live in the only American state that guarantees its victims to be legally powerless against criminals – can finally remove that guarantee and defend ourselves and our families on the streets of Illinois.
How can we get these yes votes? There is only one way: And that is for YOU to call. And call again. And call again. It is no secret that Chicago area legislators are the ones who have consistently stopped RTC. But with the Heller and McDonald decisions, more Chicagoans than ever are waking up to the fact that RTC is a civil right, and a vital legislation, and that denying it to Illinoisans is wrong and harmful. David and I plead with you now: Don’t let Chicago’s wake-up call go unanswered.
At many of our 2nd Amendment speaking opportunities, Illinois gun rights supporters have promised to stand with us in our battle against Chicago’s anti-gun tyranny. Now is the time for us to call in those markers. We desperately need Chicago area state Representatives to hear from pro-gun constituents.
The lobbyists and volunteers from NRA, ISRA and IllinoisCarry have spent many, many hours working with pro-2nd-amendment legislators on HB-148. The lobbyists, volunteers and sponsoring legislators have spent further time talking with the representatives who are undecided. I personally spent two days in Springfield last week, speaking with as many senators and reps as I could reach, and from those who were undecided – or against – this bill, I heard the same two responses time and again.
1) I’m afraid it will bring the ‘wild west’ and
2) My constituents don’t want it.
You already know that RTC does not bring the ‘wild west’. Now please take the time to call your IL State Representative and tell him or her that you DO want RTC in Illinois – you DO want HB-148.
Our family resides in IL House District 15, which is the district for Representative John D’Amico. This district encompasses parts of northwest Chicago, Lincolnwood, and Morton Grove, and other communities.
Rep. D’Amico called me directly this week and told me that my husband and I are his only two constituents in favor of Right-to-Carry (HB-148) and that every other constituent is opposed.
He also told assured me that “no one is walking around carrying handguns in my district!” despite the fact that he and I had just minutes before discussed several instances where my family members were robbed at gun-point, directly across the street from D’Amico’s Chicago district office and before that, just one block east of his office.
I would like D’Amico to receive enough of your calls, on the record, that he cannot possibly say that he has never received a call in support of RTC. If you are in the 15th District, please call John D’Amico at (217) 782-8198.
For those in other districts, you can find your Representative at http://www.elections.il.gov/DistrictLocator/DistrictOfficialSearchByZip.aspx.
Remember to be polite, as you will most likely be speaking to an over-worked admin and also, you are all 2nd Amendment Ambassadors.
Now is the time to stand up for our 2nd Amendment rights as we only have a few days remaining before the vote will be called on HB-148.
Thank you so much,
Colleen and David Lawson