Gov. Pritzker, 11 Governors Urge Federal Action to Address the Gun Violence Epidemic

Gov. Pritzker, 11 Governors Urge Federal Action to Address the Gun Violence Epidemic
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Gov. Pritzker, 11 Governors Urge Federal Action to Address the Gun Violence Epidemic

Governor JB Pritzker and 11 governors from across the country are urging President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to enact sensible gun legislation to help protect the American public from the gun violence epidemic.

Since the federal assault weapons ban expired in 2004, Illinois communities have mourned fatal mass shootings at a DeKalb university, Chicago hospital and Aurora manufacturer, among other tragic shootings. With an influx of guns from other states, Illinois communities are also suffering from painful gun violence that is often ignored in national headlines but that leaves lasting damage and tragedy in cities throughout the state.

Across the country, Americans have seen gun violence in hundreds of locations – including places of worship, offices, stores, movie theaters and schools. Gov. Pritzker joined the governors of California, Connecticut, Delaware, Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Washington in the Sept. 10 letter, which reads as follows:

Police car, this one from Chicago. Photo courtesy WIkipedia

Police car, this one from Chicago. Photo courtesy WIkipedia

To: The President of the United States, Donald J. Trump

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Cc: Senate Majority Leader, The Honorable Mitch McConnell

Our country continues to mourn the tragic events in Gilroy, El Paso, Dayton, Philadelphia, and Odessa. These five unnecessary and horrific tragedies took at least 34 lives, wounded dozens, and caused emotional trauma to countless others. Unfortunately, these losses account for only a fraction of recent gun-related deaths. In 2019, over 10,000 people have been shot and killed, and 570 people were killed by a gun in the past two weeks alone. Thoughts and prayers won’t fix this disturbing trend. Enough is enough.

Public safety is the first and most important responsibility of government, and the failure to act to protect the public is a failure in leadership. As Governors, it is our responsibility to listen to our communities’ calls for action. However, a patchwork of state laws will never be a substitute for coherent national policy.

The federal government has a history of acting on gun reform when the American public demands it. In 1934, the federal government regulated machine guns. In 1968, the federal government banned mail order gun sales. In 1994, the federal government implemented a 10- year ban on assault weapons. Americans are again calling on their government to act, and it’s time to listen.

Putting an end to the gun violence epidemic is not a Republican or Democratic issue, it is an American issue. Gun deaths do not have to be the norm. The time is now to break the cycle by enacting four common-sense measures. We implore you to work with Congress to pass sensible gun legislation that includes the following four policies that a majority of Americans support:

• Pass Extreme Risk Protection Order legislation, commonly referred to as Red Flag laws, preventing individuals who pose a risk to themselves or others from purchasing or possessing a firearm;

• Pass universal background checks closing the private gun sales loophole;

• Outlaw assault weapons and high-capacity magazines; and

• Establish stricter reporting requirements to prevent those deemed by a mental health professional to be a danger to themselves or others from purchasing a firearm.

The American public supports action. So do we.

Governor Andrew Cuomo
State of New York

Governor Gavin Newsom
State of California

Governor Ned Lamont
State of Connecticut

Governor John Carney
State of Delaware

Governor JB Pritzker
State of Illinois

Governor Gretchen Whitmer
State of Michigan

Governor Phil Murphy
State of New Jersey

Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham
State of New Mexico

Governor Kate Brown
State of Oregon

Governor Tom Wolf
State of Pennsylvania

Governor Gina Raimondo
State of Rhode Island

Governor Jay Inslee
State of Washington

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Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania is an award-winning columnist, author & former Chicago City Hall reporter (1977-1992). A veteran who served during the Vietnam War and the recipient of four SPJ Peter Lisagor Awards for column writing, Hanania writes weekly opinion columns on mainstream American & Chicagoland topics for the Southwest News-Herald, Des Plaines Valley News, the Regional News, The Reporter Newspapers, and Suburban Chicagoland.  

Hanania also writes about Middle East issues for the Arab News, and The Arab Daily News criticizing government policies in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

A critic of mainstream news media bias, Hanania advocates for peace & justice for Israel & Palestine, & the empowerment of Arabs in America. 

Click here to listen to Ray's Political Podcast. 

Hanania's columns are archived on his personal website at RayHanania.com. Hanania was named "Best Ethnic American Columnist" by the New America Media in November 2007, and is the 2009 recipient of the SPJ National Sigma Delta Chi Award for column writing.

Email Ray Hanania at rghanania@gmail.com.
Ray Hanania

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