Well here’s one for the books my friends. The above picture was taken as I was entering a building. Was the building a courthouse? No. Perhaps I was walking into a special government office? Alas, I was not.
Ladies and gentlemen, this sign awaits visitors who are entering the……………wait for it……..
L I B R A R Y
Yes, a library. A building of books, barcodes, and the former dewey decimal system. Bewilderment is a rather appropriate descriptor for my feelings about this. A little taken aback? Yes, I certainly was and saddened by the very fact the library felt it necessary to post such a ‘warning’, as it were.
“Pursuant to 430 ILCS 66/65” is the caption under the sign. There is nothing else posted, so I took the liberty of looking up this caption. What I found was a piece of legislation issued by the State of Illinois. It was a lengthy document but in a nutshell it notes that you cannot ‘knowingly’ bring a firearm into a list of building types and spaces; libraries was subsection 18.
If you have been visiting The Chicago Files for a while now, you will already be aware I love to write about all kinds of observations and findings here in Chicago, from the silly to the serious; clearly, this post is the latter.
I’ll step up onto my soapbox for a moment: I pray for a world that does not require such signage when one is checking out a book on kindness, kites, or kittens. I pray for a world that allows one to calmly enter a building to borrow a DVD on “How to Ballroom Dance”, or “Build Your Own Bookshelf”. I pray for a world when one can attend a lecture about poetry writing without worrying that the person next to me is packing more than a nervous sweat when called upon to recite their Haiku. I pray for a world that allows tiny kiddos to sit cross-legged in a circle listening to Miss Mary share exciting tales of space travel and purple dinosaurs, without apprehension of mayhem.
Yes, these are the things I think about when I am greeted by a glass door bearing a gun picture with a line through it.
These are the points I ponder for a world in which the intentions of those for peace will understand.