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Let Illinois towns pass assault weapons bans

A newly assembled AR-15 rifle. | Charles Krupa/AP file

It is time for the Illinois General Assembly to pass Senate Bill 2314, allowing communities to exercise their constitutional rights to ban assault weapons if they so choose. Numerous communities have recently performed legal gymnastics in their efforts to regulate these weapons because of continued state preemption. Since the constitutionality of a local community’s decision to ban assault weapons has already been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, the General Assembly should allow municipalities that option.

Five years ago, Highland Park exercised a temporary right to ban assault weapons. Our community supported the ban, the majority of those in opposition were not our residents, and we passed the ordinance. That same opportunity for other cities is long gone, and the General Assembly’s continued prohibition diminishes their rights.

When the constitutionality of our ban was questioned, Judge Easterbrook (U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit) recognized that assault weapons are the weapons of choice for mass violence and justified individual communities banning them in an effort to limit that violence. With the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to deny hearing our case, our assault weapons ban was allowed to stand, limiting the Second Amendment.

Last month, the Illinois Senate Judiciary Committee approved Senate Bill 2314, allowing individual Illinois communities to ban assault weapons if they so choose. The bill now awaits a vote in the Illinois Senate.

Federal or state action is not imminent. As such, we ask the General Assembly to allow locally elected officials to address the unique public safety interests of their individual communities. They may choose to ask the question. They may not. At least allow them the debate, as Highland Park did in 2013.

Mayor Nancy Rotering, Highland Park

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Greedy lawmakers fail to curb gun violence

Another shooting. Another shooting. Another shooting.

The problem is we have become dismissive with our violent behavior, and a lot of it has its roots in a right-wing or fascist form of capitalism. I believe you should do your best, but doing your best doesn’t include destroying your neighbor.

What about being a best friend, best supporter, best encourager, best at leading by example, best at keeping secrets, best at forgiving, best at putting others first, best at keeping in touch, best at giving your time to others, best at lettings things go?

We have had many bad leaders who have not led by example but have led for the purpose of self-promotion, money and power. And we have made excuses for them because they call themselves Christians, great leaders, businessmen — whatever — but where is the proof?

I’ve seen a lot of wars, threats, violence and destruction of people’s hopes and dreams. Our country celebrates the greedy. Oh, that’s right I forgot our No. 1 proverb from Gordon Gekko, “Greed is good.”

It does matter how you run the race. It does matter why you do what you do. Is it out of love? Or out of greed

Jack Jones, Palos Heights