Chicago area mayors, Freeman-Wilson push Illinois ban on assault weapons
Sun-Times Media December 20, 2012 4:28PM
Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel, center, is flanked by Chicago area mayors and law enforcement officials to voice their support for stricter gun laws during a news conference at City Hall Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
Updated: January 22, 2013 6:32AM
Calling the Newtown, Conn., school massacre a “tipping point,” Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Thursday joined forces with Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson and a group of suburban Chicago mayors in the fight for an Illinois ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines and criminal background checks before every single gun sale.
“There are moments in time that sear to the public a debate and it’s a tipping point in galvanizing forces and bringing people together to find common ground,” said Emanuel, likening Newtown to the assassination attempt against Ronald Reagan that gave birth to the Brady Bill and to the aftermath of the assassinations of Robert F. Kennedy and the Rev. Martin Luther King.
A week ago, Adam Lanza, 20, killed his mother and then went to the school, where he killed 20 children and six adults before killing himself.
Joining Emanuel at Thursday’s City Hall news conference were Freeman-Wilson, Evanston Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl, Lynwood Mayor Eugene Williams and Maywood Mayor Henderson Yarbrough; Winnetka Village President Jessica Tucker and Westchester Village President Sam Pulia.
“One substantial step towards addressing this plague is a federal ban on assault weapons,” said Freeman-Wilson in a press release provided after the event. “This call should be joined by a wide spectrum of communities across America because we understand every day that there is no legitimate reason for the use of assault weapons by any law-abiding member of society. I am calling on President Obama and the members of the U.S. Congress to make this a priority.”
For Winnetka residents, what happened in Newtown was like reliving the nightmare of the 1988 shooting by Laurie Dann, Tucker said.
“We still grieve over 20 years later for little Nick Corwin. He was a second-grader at Hubbard Woods Elementary school, 8 years old, died of gunshot wounds when a babysitter went beserk and shot up the school,” Tucker said.
Of the 7,000 guns seized this year by Chicago Police, only 300 are assault weapons.