Governor JB Pritzker and City of Highland Park Police Commander Chris O’Neill and I had the opportunity to speak one-on-one with President Biden before the event. President Biden agreed with us that the Act is a first step to reducing the carnage, diminishing the fear, and alleviating the suffering of the American public -- but we need to do more. As President Biden said, “With rights come responsibilities. We also have a right to live freely.” The conversation regarding Second Amendment rights needs to return to a point where common sense prevails and our values are reflected. The safety and security of the American people cannot wait. While we cannot eliminate every threat, we do have the ability to take action and eliminate weapons of war from our neighborhoods.
We will not be defined by the 309 mass shootings in 2022. Guns are the number one killer of children in the United States. As the Mayor of Highland Park, I am horrified that our town, like so many others, has been added to an ongoing list - a list that should not even exist. We need a Federal Assault Weapons Ban. Combat weapons have no place on our streets.
President Biden stated that we need to “match thoughts and prayers with action.” Perhaps this will mean that the list of towns, cities, and villages can end. We agree with him, “inaction has taken too long and created too great a toll” and this is not the America we know. It is time for Congress to bring back our nationwide ban on assault weapons and make it even stronger.