State efforts to toughen US gun laws are being thwarted by polarization: experts – National |

Not even some of the strictest gun control and red flag laws in the US can guarantee that high-powered assault weapons don’t end up in the wrong hands in the state of Illinois.

City wants to hear from residents impacted by large outdoor events in Calgary – Calgary | Canadian

The problem, at least in part, surrounds the state in virtually every direction.

Wisconsin to the north, Iowa and Missouri to the west, Kentucky to the southeast, and Indiana right next door, sharing not only the shoreline of Lake Michigan, but also a good chunk of America’s third-largest metropolitan area, Chicago.

Read more:

Highland Park Gunman Watching Second Shooting in Wisconsin, Police Say

The advocacy group Everytown for Gun Safety ranks Illinois sixth in the country for the strength of its gun laws, while each of the five states that border it receive failing grades.

Story continues below ad

America’s political and cultural mosaic is only a small part of what makes America’s gun problem so vexing.

Seven people were killed and 38 injured Monday in Highland Park, a leafy suburb north of Chicago, when a lone gunman, perched on the roof of a sportswear store and disguised as women’s clothing, used an AR-style rifle. 15 to open fire on the parade spectators, unleashing more than 80 rounds on the defenseless crowd.

“Illinois has pretty strict laws,” said EJ Fagan, a professor of political science at the University of Illinois Chicago.

Click to play the video:

‘This is gun country’: Philly mayor exasperated after shooting near 4th of July celebration

‘This is gun country’: Philly mayor exasperated after shooting near 4th of July celebration

“The problem is that Highland Park is, what, 10 miles south of Wisconsin? So even if Illinois has very strict laws, Wisconsin is largely controlled by the Republican party.”

Chicago, a city notorious for its gun violence, suffers greatly from its proximity to Indiana, which ranks 25th on the Everytown report card thanks to lax restrictions and a gun violence rate that has soared 57 percent in the past year. the last 10 years.

Story continues below ad

Neighboring states, of course, are far from the only problem in Illinois.

The suspected gunman, Robert Crimo, 21, who police say has admitted to shooting and is now facing seven first-degree murder charges, obtained his guns in Illinois after his father co-signed his application.

That’s despite the fact that police had come across Crimo twice before: once in April 2019 in response to a suicide attempt, then again in September, when a family member reported that Crimo had a collection of knives and that he was threatening to “kill everyone. “No charges or complaints were filed.

Read more:

2-year-old boy orphaned after parents killed in Highland Park parade shooting

Under red flag law, people with felony convictions, drug problems, or if they are deemed capable of harming themselves or others can be denied the purchase of guns, but only with court approval. That can only happen if someone files a petition with the court in the first place. In the case of Crimo, no one did.

In a brief telephone interview aired Thursday with ABC News, Crimo’s father, Robert Jr., insisted the encounters with police were minor and defended his decision to sponsor his son’s gun permit application.

“That’s all it was… a consent form to allow my son to go through the process,” he said. “They do background checks. Whatever that implies, I’m not exactly sure. And either they approve of you or they deny you.”

Story continues below ad

Which, of course, begs a different question: What good are the rigid gun control measures and red flag laws in Illinois if they couldn’t prevent the 4th of July massacre in the first place?

Even in red-flag states, authorities can only do so much when a responsible adult vouches for their child, said Alexandra Filindra, a UIC professor of politics who specializes in gun law.

“Apparently, it is very easy for cases like this to slip under the radar, and we will see this happen more and more,” Filindra said.

Click to play video: 'Highland Park shooting: Suspect to be held without bail after 7 counts of first-degree murder'

Highland Park shooting: Suspect held without bond after 7 counts of first-degree murder

Highland Park shooting: Suspect held without bond after 7 counts of first-degree murder

“With 400 million guns in civilian hands, the limited gun control laws we have can’t do much.”

At the federal level, political gridlock in Congress and the influence the gun lobby has over Republicans has made meaningful progress nearly impossible since 1994, when rising crime rates prompted both sides to impose a gun ban. 10 years on assault weapons that expired 10 years later. .

Story continues below ad

But after two deadly shootings in early May, the first in a BuffaloNY, supermarket that killed 10, then two weeks later in Uvalde, Texas, where 19 children and two teachers were shot to death _ a bipartisan core of US lawmakers came together to pass what some observers have called the world’s strongest gun legislation. significant in a generation.

It included $750 million for states to operate crisis intervention programs, including those operating under red flag laws, as well as for courts dealing specifically with veterans and drug and mental health issues.

Closed the infamous “boyfriend loophole,” which excluded intimate partners living at a different address from restrictions designed to deny anyone convicted of domestic violence guns.

The new law, signed by President Joe Biden last month, also encourages states to begin including juvenile records in the federal system for criminal background checks.

Even proponents of the bill have acknowledged that it doesn’t go far enough, particularly those calling for higher age limits and a restoration of the Bill Clinton-era assault weapons ban, which has since expired.

But it’s nothing, Fagan said.

Click to Play Video: 'New York Revisits Gun Laws After US Supreme Court Ruling'

New York reviews gun laws after US Supreme Court ruling

New York reviews gun laws after US Supreme Court ruling

“There seems to be some consensus developing that states should have more resources to get guns out of the hands of people who obviously shouldn’t have them,” he said.

Story continues below ad

“In fact, I think that should encourage us. It’s the most significant bipartisan legislation, essentially, in the modern era of gun laws.”

© 2022 The Canadian Press

Leave a Comment