It’s unsurprising that Illinois lawmakers would look at what happened at Highland Park and think about an assault weapon ban. Truth be told, the most surprising thing is that Illinois didn’t already have one.
Now, though, they’re talking long and hard on the subject, increasing the likelihood that the anti-gun state will jump at the opportunity to pass such a law.
And yes, they’re using Highland Park to justify it.
Representatives held a Public Safety and Violence Prevention hearing on gun control searching for more routes to prevent another tragic mass shooting.
This was the first hearing after the Highland Park mass shooting in northern Illinois earlier this month that killed seven people and wounded dozens.
In the week after the Highland Park shooting, Democratic legislators have reawakened a bill banning semi-automatic rifles
In addition, the Cook County Board of Commissioners approved a resolution Thursday urging both the Illinois legislature and Congress to ban selling semi-automatic rifles.
“Everyday gun violence is ripping apart families here in Cook County and across the state of Illinois, and the General Assembly must take immediate action,” Kathleen Sances, president of the gun control advocacy group G-PAC, said. “The human toll of gun violence will only continue to climb if we don’t see immediate action taken to address this public health crisis.”
However, despite all the rhetoric that we see and expect to continue seeing, some in Illinois really do grasp the issue.
The same article continues:
But one gun store owner said semi-automatic rifles like the AR-15 share many similarities with handguns.
“They are no different than any firearm that’s been available for the last 100-140 years now,” Scott Pulaski, owner of Piasa Armory in Alton said. “It’s one shot per pull of the trigger. They don’t fire any special or different or more deadly ammunition.”
They really don’t.
Now, an AR-15 fires a rifle round as opposed to a pistol round, but contrary to what some lawmakers claim, it’s not a particularly powerful rifle round. Other semi-automatic rifles are more powerful, of course, but they’re also common hunting weapons.
Not all semi-automatic weapons are AR-15s.
So why focus on such rifles?
The answer is that they’re scary looking. They look like what the military uses, and that means they’re terrifying to people who don’t know anything about firearms. It’s why the whole “weapon of war” label has been able to stick despite not a single military on the planet fielding them.
But the thing is, I don’t think these Illinois anti-gunners are really thinking this through.
You see, while they’re debating an assault weapon ban, they’re forgetting about the Bruen decision. It makes it pretty clear that you can’t ban a category of weapon, particularly one in common use, and with 24 million AR-15s in private hands, I’d say they’re in common use. Couple in the millions more that aren’t modern sporting rifles and there’s no way this survives.
Instead of debating an assault weapon ban, they could be talking about ways to actually impact mass shootings. They could be talking about helping fund research into why mass shootings happen, as to what drives some of these people to take human lives in job lots.
But no, they’re so laser-focused on curtailing people’s rights that they can’t think beyond “assault weapon ban.”
Of course, Highland Park had one. Clearly, it didn’t work.