Ives votes in defense of Second Amendment rights; joins bipartisan action on common-sense ban of devices that transform legal firearms into ones that function like automatic weapons

Yesterday the Illinois House of Representatives took a number of votes related to the regulation of guns.  None of the bills are directly related to making schools safer, government more accountable, or addressing the problem of disaffected and troubled people intent on committing atrocities.

The Parkland shooter was a troubled teen with numerous behavior problems that schools ignored, local law enforcement ignored, and even the FBI dropped the ball on despite being provided specific credible threats about the shooter, which they failed to investigate. 

Our natural reaction in the wake of a tragedy is to take action. Action can and should be taken to better protect our schools and to keep guns out of the hands of those who suffer from mental illness. I believe we can do so without infringing upon the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding gun owners in the State of Illinois. There must be a greater emphasis on access to mental health services and intervention by family and law enforcement agencies BEFORE a tragedy occurs. School safety must also be our utmost priority.

Legislators should look to local solutions to keep students safe.  A Shelbyville, Indiana school has recently made news about the investment they have made to secure their school.  Read more at the link HERE.

Our schools are encouraged not to discipline youth or report certain incidents.  Our police are routinely criticized for doing their job.  And nobody wants to discuss the breakdown of the family or abysmal education systems.  Until we work on the root causes of crime and support efforts to effectively combat criminal activity in youth and address mental health, then we are kidding ourselves that regulating law-abiding gun owners will accomplish anything.  Criminals don't read our laws or abide by them.

Here in Illinois, there will be more bills coming in the near future trying to ban particular guns or limit the magazine capacities, but the right to bear arms is a right provided by the Second Amendment as a right to protect oneself.  In a recent example – from Oswego, Illinois –hero Dave Thomas saved his neighbor’s life by grabbing his AR-15.  You can read the story at the link HERE.

None of the legislation the Illinois House voted on Wednesday specifically addresses the gun violence epidemic prevalent in Chicago. Constructive ideas such as stiffer penalties for gun crimes (just this WEEK there has been 19 shot and wounded in Chicago), more police in high crime areas, better reporting on carjacking (the latest violent crime that is spilling into the suburbs and is largely carried out by teens) are all being ignored.

Lastly, I would like to respond to the criticism regarding yesterday’s vote by the House of Representatives to approve legislation banning so-called “bump stocks” and “trigger crank” devices, House Bill 1467. A bipartisan majority of Republicans and Democrats, including many who like me are steadfast supporters of defending our Second Amendment rights, voted to ban any device that turns a semi-automatic weapon into one that functions similar to an automatic weapon. This is common-sense, as automatic weapons have been banned by law for decades. Our action is in line with President Trump who has announced his intention to sign an executive order at the federal level to outlaw such devices. The National Rifle Association also signaled their agreement in support of such a ban months ago in the wake of the mass shooting in Las Vegas. This was the one bill on which there was broad agreement on all sides of the gun debate. I voted No on all other gun control bills Wednesday because they will never solve the scourge of gun violence in our society.

I am a strong supporter of the Second Amendment as well as a wife and mother who cares deeply about school safety and the tragedy of violence that has destroyed far too many lives across our state and nation. The solution is not to infringe on the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Illinoisans, but rather to focus on mental health, toughen criminal penalties for gun crimes, support and strengthen families, and hold law enforcement agencies accountable to ensure that adequate protocols are followed to follow-up on reports of potential threats to prevent future mass shootings. 

No comments :