At Thanksgiving, we find ourselves blessed if we are able to gather with loved ones for a delicious meal and the simple gift of being together. It is also a time to think of and pray for those among us who struggle and for those gatherings that have been cruelly altered by loss. This awareness gives deeper meaning to the occasion and provides renewed purpose to strive on against challenges yet overcome.
This year and this month, our nation should be especially mindful of those gatherings altered tragically by gun violence across the country. It is not a new problem, obviously, especially in our area, but the failure to reduce these tragedies is a tragedy of our own making. We have enacted important measures but more is urgently needed to curb the flow of guns to our streets and save innocent lives.
But I am not deterred. In the spring, the Illinois Senate approved my legislation to reduce gun violence by licensing gun dealers. I have introduced legislation similar to this every year for 15 years since I first came to elected office. We had hoped the House of Representatives would approve the measure in early November during veto session, but now predict that vote will happen early next year. Change is overdue and required, but with 15 years of striving behind me, I am not discouraged by a few more months.
Partners with me in this call for action — grassroots activists, moms, dads, pastors and neighbors — are coming together demanding common-sense gun safety legislation as never before. Some have been fighting with me for a long time. I am thankful for the tremendous partners and volunteers that have contributed to this effort. That hard work and commitment is paying off, and the atmosphere is changing. The Senate approved my legislation with bipartisan support. I believe the House will do the same.
No matter how long it takes, we will get there. When that day comes, we will be humbled by years of senseless and preventable loss, but also, thankful.
Answer Book 2017
To view the full print edition of the Wednesday Journal 2017 Answer Book, please click here.
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