No one knows the scourge of gun violence better than those of us who live in Illinois. In
a cruel sense if irony, Valentine’s Day 2018, turned out to be not a day of love, but a day
seared into our hearts for all of the wrong reasons.
In Chicago, police Cmdr. Paul Bauer was killed in the middle of the day, at one of the
busiest times of the day, surrounded by buildings that govern the city and state. The
suspect was found carrying a 9-millimeter handgun.
In Parkland Florida, a former student with an AR-15 assault rifle killed 17 people—including students and faculty— inside a school. The 19-year- old was able to
buy the gun even though he is not old enough to buy a drink.
At Northern Illinois University, it was the 10th anniversary of a campus shooting where
five students were killed and 17 injured by a gunman with a shotgun and three pistols.
Yesterday, President Donald Trump met with students, teachers and parents from
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and promised his administration would
emphasize background checks and mental health in an effort to deal with gun violence in schools.
“We’re going to be very strong on background checks, we’re doing very strong
background checks, very strong emphasis on the mental health,” Trump said at a White
At a Thursday news conference, Illinois attorney general candidate Sharon Fairley says
she will address gun violence in a comprehensive manner that not only promotes
commonsense gun legislation, but also works to get at the root cause of gun violence.
“Gun violence is a public health crisis that needs to be attacked in a comprehensive
manner. As attorney general, I will attack the problem on three fronts: 1) commonsense
gun legislation; 2) more proactive enforcement; and 3) a community-driven approach on
education, after-school programs and economic development,” explains Fairley.
Last year, a bill to ban bump stocks failed in the Illinois legislature following the mass
shooting from a Las Vegas hotel room killing 58 people and injuring more than 500
attending an outdoor concert. It is reported the lone gunman used the device to accelerate the firing power of his semi-automatic rifles. Authorities discovered the same shooter had booked a room in August overlooking Lollapalooza.
“Assault weapons are designed to kill as many people as possible as quickly as possible,” states Fairley. “Assault weapons and the high-capacity magazines that accompany them shouldn’t be readily available to those who intend to do harm. I will work tirelessly to ban them.”
As attorney general, Fairley plans to create the first-ever youth council to advise the
office. She believes young people's voices are vital to the health and safety of Illinois and to the very core of our democracy.
Fairley intends to work with other attorneys general to advocate for strong state and
federal gun control laws that protect the people of Illinois from gun violence of all kinds
in every corner of the state.