Metro-East News

Durbin says ‘common sense dictates’ more gun-control legislation

Sen. Durbin seeks gun control in wake of Orlando massacre

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin on Tuesday went after his colleagues for failing to pass any gun control measures. He also attacked Republicans for failing to criticize GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump and his comments on the mass shooting in an Orla
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U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin on Tuesday went after his colleagues for failing to pass any gun control measures. He also attacked Republicans for failing to criticize GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump and his comments on the mass shooting in an Orla

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin on Tuesday said Congress needs to “listen to the pleas across America” and pass more strict gun-control legislation.

Durbin’s statement came two days after a mass shooting that killed 49 people at an Orlando gay nightclub.

“Common sense dictates that we as a Congress listen to the pleas across America to stop this gun violence. What happened in Orlando was heartbreaking. But what has happened in the city of Chicago since the first of the year is heartbreaking, too — over 1,000 gun violence incidents, over 200 people killed in that great city,” said Durbin, a Democrat who is Illinois’ senior senator. “It breaks my heart to have people in neighborhoods all across that city scared to death of firearms.”

What happened in Orlando was heartbreaking. But what has happened in the city of Chicago since the first of the year is heartbreaking, too — over 1,000 gun violence incidents, over 200 people killed in that great city. It breaks my heart to have people in neighborhoods all across that city scared to death of firearms.

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois

Durbin, during a press conference with fellow Senate Democrats on Capitol Hill, called on his Senate colleagues to act immediately to keep guns out of the hands of felons, the mentally unstable and individuals with ties to terrorism. The shooter at the Orlando nightclub pledged allegiance to the Islamic State in a 911 call during the attack.

Valinda Rowe, spokeswoman for IllinoisCarry.com, said Tuesday she believes gun-control legislation, as well as “gun-free zones,” would not stop mass killings or prevent “violent” or “mentally unstable” people from hurting others with firearms.

“If we look at where all of these mass killings are taking place, they are in gun-free zones that already do not allow people to carry a firearm to protect themselves with,” Rowe said. “It does nothing — absolutely nothing — to prevent someone intent on doing harm.”

If we look at where all of these mass killings are taking place, they are in gun-free zones that already do not allow people to carry a firearm to protect themselves with,” Rowe said. “It does nothing — absolutely nothing — to prevent someone intent on doing harm.

Valinda Rowe, spokeswoman, IllinoisCarry.com

Since the Orlando shooting, Rowe said she has been overwhelmed with questions and comments. Rowe said the website she represents has 10,000 subscribers as well as members of the forum.

“It’s on my heart as well as Illinois Carry and all of our members. Our hearts go out to those who lost their lives, and we wish there had been someone allowed inside that facility who could have possibly helped defend those people,” Rowe said. “But again, these perpetrators, these violent criminals, they target those locations where they know that they will meet the least resistance.”

Durbin also criticized Republican leaders for failing to speak out against Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s “offensive, anti-Muslim” language. Durbin said Trump, in the wake of the Orlando shootings, “congratulated himself for his bigotry toward Muslims, and wasted no time blaming President Obama” for the deaths.

“Do we have the guts to stand up and do something as a Congress? Or are we going to cower, afraid of the National Rifle Association? I hope we have the courage to do something,” Durbin said.

Rowe said she is an active, “very proud” member of the NRA.

“When he says we need to stand up against the NRA, he’s saying we need to stand up against the American people, because the NRA is made up of the membership of law-abiding citizens,” Rowe said.

Kaitlyn Schwers: 618-239-2526, @kaitlynschwers

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