In Springfield, it is easy to get caught up in partisan politics. But there are some issues that must transcend the political divide. Our children's safety should be more than a political talking point. Our nation must grapple with the terrible reality of school shootings time and again. One shooting where our children are killed and injured is one too many. That it happens every few months, with chilling similarities, in schools across the country is almost unfathomable. Who will be targeted next? The massacres at Sandy Hook and Parkland and elsewhere should bring us together, but have instead created bitter divides over gun policy. The latest frustrating example was the recent defeat of Senate Bill 1657 in Springfield.
I joined my colleagues in the House and Senate to support this common-sense legislation calling for state licensing of gun dealers. If we want to protect our children and families from guns getting in the hands of violent criminals and those determined to inflict harm, it only makes sense to create a system to know who is selling weapons within our borders and strongly punish those who break this law.
But common sense did not prevail here. We acted swiftly after the Parkland shootings on this bill, but Gov. Rauner vetoed it in the midst of a difficult re-election challenge. The measure died when we could not find enough votes to override the veto.
We must put policy over politics. During my time in Springfield, I have worked with Republicans to end the budget impasse and to find a way to compromise, when conflict reigns. I will never believe gun owners are evil, and I support a reasonable balance of ensuring gun owners' constitutional freedoms are protected without putting public safety in jeopardy. There is room in the law for everyone.
Rep. Anna Moeller