Illinois to hold hearing on assault weapon ban

Illinois to hold hearing on assault weapon ban
AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

The state of Illinois may not be as notoriously anti-gun as California, New York, or New Jersey, but it also isn’t exactly Texas or Missouri.

It’s a state that has plenty of gun control on the books, but they’re generally open to still more.

Now, they’re set to hold hearings on Monday on a new measure that will, among other things, ban so-called assault weapons.

State lawmakers are proposing a series of new gun control measures Monday in the hope of curbing gun violence in Illinois.

Lawmakers will discuss the new gun safety legislation. The bill is called the Protect Illinois Communities Act. The goal is to ban assault style weapons.

The house Judiciary Committee will hold its first hearing on the legislation Monday.

Banning assault style weapons though is not the only thing the bill would do. It also includes plans to improve the state’s firearm restraining order law, raise the age to get a firearm owners identification card to 21 and also address illegal gun trafficking.

None of which, it should be noted, will actually do anything.

The bill is in response to the mass shooting at a July 4th parade in Highland Park. However, that happened in a community that already had an assault weapon ban in place. Clearly, it accomplished a great deal, didn’t it?

At some point, lawmakers in Illinois need to face the harsh truth that most of the state’s problems are the result not of too few gun control laws, but bad people willing to break gun control laws so they can more effectively break other laws.

These are criminals, for crying out loud. Why would anyone think they would suddenly be thwarted by any given law.

“But Highland Park…” someone will bellow.

Yes, it happened and these measures are intended to address that awful shooting. However, we also need to remember that mass shootings aren’t nearly as common as the media would like for you to believe. While Gun Violence Archive may claim there are hundreds and hundreds each month, most of those aren’t like Highland Park.

No, they’re more like the kind of violent crime we routinely see in cities like Chicago–gang warfare that leaves a large number of people dead or injured but otherwise have no similarities to what most think of as mass shootings.

Illinois will probably push through this nonsense, but no one should think for a minute that they’ve done anything to prevent mass shootings.

So far, the state is sorely lacking in any desire to address the root causes of mass shootings, violent crime, or much of anything else. They’d much rather restrict guns and pretend they’ve accomplished something, all while doing the bare minimum to feed into their self-delusion.

After all, that’s what gun control is really about, a way to tell yourself you’re doing something about the problem without actually having to get your hands dirty and do something about the problem. Illinois has always been bad about it and they’re doing nothing to change that reputation.