FILE - In this Nov. 17, 2010 file photo, then-Rep.-elect Joe Walsh, R-Ill., speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington. The Chicago Sun-Times reports Thursday, July 28, 2011, that Walsh's ex-wife, Laura Walsh has sued her ex-husband for more than $117,000 in what she says is unpaid child support and interest. Laura Walsh filed the claim in December in their divorce case. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)
Tea Party Congressman Joe Walsh told a crowd in Huntley, Illinois that guns were the last line of defense for people against their government.
“The most important amendment in that Bill of Rights is the Second Amendment,” Walsh said, sound every the concealed carry enthusiast. “It protects every other amendment. It is the last line of defense between us and our government.”
Illinois is the last state in the country to not have a concealed carry law, and Walsh would like to see that change. He promised to become a "cheerleader" for gun rights.
But his comments have drawn fire from anti-gun activists The Brady Campaign, who are worried the his quip about using firearms as a defense against government sends the wrong message.
"The people of Illinois deserve an explanation from Joe Walsh. Is he saying Illinois needs to legalize the carrying of hidden, loaded guns to allow residents to threaten violence against the government?,” asked Brady Acting President Dennis Henigan. “If this what he means, who in the government is he talking about? The elected officials the concealed carriers disagree with? Law enforcement officers engaged in protecting public safety? This kind of radical rhetoric has consequences. It is truly chilling to hear an elected official appear to justify violence as a political remedy for individuals dissatisfied with the results of our democratic process."
Concealed carry was shot down by the Illinois legislature this May, and Illinois Governor Pat Quinn has vowed to veto it if it ever does pass.