Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, telling the House and Senate to stay in session to address Chicago’s gun violence, called gun control the “weak link” in Chicago’s efforts toward public safety on Tuesday.
He repeated his desire for a three-year minimum sentence for gun crimes that would require perpetrators convicted to serve at least 85 percent of their sentenced time, a stronger “assault weapons” ban, and comprehensive background checks for those buying guns.
Gun control… is the weak link in the chain of public safety for the city of Chicago. Our police are doing an effective job. They need to do better. But, they are doing an effective job. We are investing in our kids by making sure they have the type of after-school programs and summer jobs at an unprecedented level. Each year, we’re growing each of those investments for our kids to be in a safe, secure area. We also challenge our parents to do the right thing… The city of Chicago, to further drive its shooting and homicide rate down, needs a number of things.
According to the Chicago Sun Times, there were 38 shooting incidents during the Fourth of July weekend, with 10 people killed.
Emanuel’s speech came only hours before the Illinois General Assembly overrode Gov. Pat Quinn’s veto of a bill. Quinn wanted to limit the number of guns, limit the amount of ammunition for gun owners to carry, and make it illegal to carry a concealed weapon in public places serving alcohol. Because Quinn was overridden, the ban on gun owners carrying guns in public places, which was unique to Illinois, will be jettisoned.
Emanuel, calling for harsher sentences for gun crimes, pointed out that there were more than 100 cases during 2013 where the victims of gun crimes or their attackers would have been in prison if harsher sentences had been meted out in the past.
The most recent case was the individual who shot the five-year-old in the park. If we had a three-year minimum and an 85 percent truth in sentencing, just like New York City has, that person would have been behind bars rather than out shooting into a crowd in one of our parks.
Emanuel said of carrying concealed weapons: “They tried to create a bill that represented the whole state. I think it’s essential… they understand that Chicago is different than Downstate. And we had a stark reminder of that this weekend.”
“So, we have to have a way to protect our citizens,” he claimed. “That doesn’t mean just on concealed carry. I would hope that the Legislature goes back to work and gives us a three-year minimum for anybody committing a gun crime.”