Just hours before the Illinois General Assembly voted Tuesday to override Gov. Pat Quinn’s veto of a bill legalizing concealed weapons, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel called gun control the “weak link” in the city’s public safety chain.
Emanuel repeated his call for stiffer sentencing, pre-purchase background checks and a strengthened assault weapons ban, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
A bloodbath over the Fourth of July weekend prompted the mayor’s call to action. The Chicago Sun-Times tallied 38 shooting incidents over the long holiday weekend – from Wednesday evening through Sunday afternoon – including 10 homicides.
“Our police are doing an effective job,” Emanuel said. “They need to do better. But, they are doing an effective job. We are investing in our kids by making sure they have the type of after-school programs and summer jobs at an unprecedented level. Each year, we’re growing each of those investments for our kids to be in a safe, secure area. We also challenge our parents to do the right thing. The city of Chicago, to further drive its shooting and homicide rate down, needs a number of things.”
During the first six months of the year, the mayor said, there were over 100 cases that would have put the perpetrators in prison if Chicago had stiffer penalties for gun violence.
“They tried to create a bill that represented the whole state. I think it’s essential . . . they understand that Chicago is different than Downstate,” Emanuel said of concealed carry permits. “And we had a stark reminder of that this weekend. So, we have to have a way to protect our citizens. That doesn’t mean just on concealed carry. I would hope that the Legislature goes back to work and gives us a three-year minimum for anybody committing a gun crime.”
The mayor referred to a recent shooting of a 5-year-old, saying the shooter would have been behind bars if Chicago had the type of sentencing in place in New York City.
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