While some like to argue that gun control isn’t a partisan issue, it kind of is. You generally know, as a gun rights supporter, you’re likely to get a better deal from the Republican candidate than the Democrat. Especially since so many Democrats have been pushing hard for gun control for ages now, while Republicans typically frame themselves as being pro-gun.
Yet that’s not always the case, of course.
Oh, most will say they support the Second Amendment, but there’s something very wrong with the world when people have to choose just how much gun control they want their candidate to back.
Incumbent U.S. Rep. Lauren Underwood and her opponent for the 14th Congressional District seat, state Sen. Jim Oberweis, went head to head on police reform, abortion, gun control and other issues during a virtual forum over the weekend.
Regarding gun control, Underwood said she supports both universal background checks to reduce gun violence, and the restoration of the 1994 assault weapons ban, which expired in 2004.
“No child should fear for their life at school, no worker should fear a mass shooting at their job,” she said. “Gun violence prevention is a public health issue, and it’s the responsibility of Congress to respond with a data-driven, evidence-based policy, like the bipartisan background check bill.”
Oberweis, who described himself as a “strong supporter of the Second Amendment,” said he also backs universal background checks, but generally doesn’t believe more laws are necessary. Instead, he said, better enforcement of current laws is needed.
“The best thing that we could do to protect our kids and adults would be to combine the five different databases that we have right now,” Oberweis said. “Because the background check doesn’t do any good if you’re checking one system, and somebody doesn’t show up on that system, but they’re in one of the other systems.”
Now, bear in mind, this is Illinois, but holy crap. This is what folks in that neck of the woods have as far as options?
You’ve got two candidates who are really only disagreeing with what degree of gun control to pass. That’s it. Oh, I get Oberweis claims he supports the Second Amendment, but he’s still going to back universal background checks if elected. Most gun rights advocates wouldn’t really call that supporting the Second Amendment.
That’s especially true when you look at how much of a cluster flop universal background checks tend to end up becoming.
Honestly, I’m more sad than anything. Pro-gun voices are kind of stuck having to back Oberweis despite his nonsensical position because it’s still better than his opponent who also backs a failed law that accomplished absolutely nothing except make life more difficult for law-abiding citizens. That’s the choice these folks in Illinois face.
It’s a sad state of the world.
What’s more, though, is that if Oberweis is elected, we face the possibility that a Republican would cross the aisle to back a piece of legislation that should never see the light of day.
Again, it’s a sad state.