Foster, Senger talk guns, national security

  • Democratic U.S. Rep. Bill Foster and Republican state Rep. Darlene Senger are candidates for 11th Congressional District.

    Democratic U.S. Rep. Bill Foster and Republican state Rep. Darlene Senger are candidates for 11th Congressional District.

Updated 10/28/2014 1:39 PM

Democratic U.S. Rep. Bill Foster is questioning how strongly his challenger, Republican Darlene Senger, feels about gun control.

During a televised debate, Senger, of Naperville, said she is "already on the record" supporting universal background checks across the country when asked if she would favor any new gun restrictions.


"The gun bill that we crafted in Springfield included a lot of good things in making sure you have background checks, you weren't arrested on charges of addiction, alcohol," she said during "Chicago Tonight's" 11th Congressional District candidate forum last week on WTTW. "There's a lot of things in there I'd like to see implemented in Washington."

Senger was a co-sponsor of a statewide concealed carry bill and last year voted to override Gov. Pat Quinn's rewrite of the concealed carry law.

As for assault weapons, Senger said there are technicalities in describing what an assault weapon is, but she favors getting "the most dangerous weapons out of individual's hands."

But Foster, also of Naperville, said Senger has an A rating from the National Rifle Association, which he believes a candidate cannot receive "with the sort of things that my opponent just presented."

According to the NRA website, an A rating is given to "solidly pro-gun" candidates who have supported NRA positions on key votes in elective office or candidates with a demonstrated record of support on Second Amendment issues.

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Foster received a D rating from the NRA. The grade is given to "anti-gun" candidates who support restrictive gun control legislation and oppose pro-gun reforms.

Prevention of gun violence, Foster said, is one of the major issues in the 11th District campaign. He said he would approve a ban on assault weapons without hesitation.

"I support common-sense measures like universal background checks to prevent guns from falling into the hands of criminals and the dangerously mentally ill," he said.

Aside from gun laws, Senger said she would like to see more national security policies in place that are "on the offense" instead of being a reaction to certain issues that develop across the globe.


"We've got to keep on the offense here and it's troubling to see the current administration's policies putting us at risk," she said.

During a Daily Herald endorsement interview, however, Senger said she supports the strategy that is being implemented in regard to the Islamic State. She said she would have voted for President Barack Obama's plan to arm and train rebels in Syria to fight the Islamic State.

"I'm glad to see the policies and approaches that we are taking right now and I hope we continue with this mindful sort of process and consideration in regard to protecting our citizens and our allies," she said in the endorsement interview.

During the "Chicago Tonight" appearance, Foster said he believes there is "a serious threat from radical Islam" that needs to be addressed.

"We have to address the root causes of it and we also have to act very strongly, with appropriate military force, when they come to a place like Syria, like Iraq, to actually try to capture and hold territory," he said.

In his Daily Herald endorsement interview, Foster said he supports Obama's approach of trying to organize a predominantly Sunni Muslim coalition.

"We cannot do nothing," he said. "On the other hand, I have been a strong opponent of our involvement in the war in Iraq for a long time. I do not believe that American boots on the ground are an appropriate solution."

The 11th District covers parts of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall and Will counties, including Aurora, Naperville, Bolingbrook, Burr Ridge and Joliet. The election is Nov. 4.

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