Dear Attorney General Lisa Madigan,

Please do everything you can to keep the ban on concealed guns in Illinois. You work for Illinois, not California or any other state. The people of Illinois, like me and my family and friends, are not at all comfortable with people carrying any sort of gun in public. I do not want anyone walking into my religious establishment of peace and love with a gun. I do not want anyone carrying a concealed weapon into any level of school. This is not Texas, this is Illinois.

If you have a weapon like a gun, it is more likely to be used in a disagreement than peaceful negotiation or mediation or even a fist in a dispute of hot tempers. In the time when the U.S. Constitution was written and in the context of all the protections of rights desired, guns were to be used in defense of the colonies against an oppressive ruler, the King of England’s surrogates, and to defend the Europeans against the natives of this continent, to defend themselves against predatory animals, to hunt for food and furs.

The U.S. Constitution writers did not see guns for settling disputes but law, did not see theft but charity as the way to help the poor. There will be too many accidental woundings and fatalities with guns so easily accessible to children, teens, gangs, the mentally ill, thieves and the angry who lack self-discipline.

I would not feel safe anywhere from a violent person with a gun of any kind. I would not feel safe even in my home, knowing any person at my door or an intruder may have a concealed gun. This is not the “Wild West” of the 1800s. When guns are restricted, such as in Canada, England, and Australia, gun violence has decreased.

I would not deny a person in a rural area far from a police officer the right to defend his home and family. While being (almost) a vegetarian, I would not deny someone the right to hunt for food to feed family. But there is just too much violence on TV, in the movies and in our culture. Our federal government is too quick to support weapons manufacturers for their profits.

We need a real change in our culture. Those who keep peace and negotiate and mediate should be our heroes. Voting and courts of law, not war and carrying concealed guns, are the ways we resolve conflicts in this nation at the domestic level.

Leslie Roberts

Oak Park

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