To the People of Kane County:
Gun violence is a uniquely American public health epidemic; while we know the remedies, public officials like Sheriff Ron Hain refuse to prescribe them. We are fighting every day for those remedies, so on one point we agree with what the Sheriff said in this Daily Herald headline: we are also embarrassed that Sheriff Hain has a “D” by his name.
The Protect Illinois Communities Act is not about politics, it is common sense public safety policy that will keep weapons of war out of neighborhoods and homes. It was publicly discussed at three subject matter hearings in December of 2022. If the Sheriff had cared to pay attention or check his facts he would have seen that several representatives from law enforcement spoke on the record in support of the bill at a hearing on December 20, 2022. But, much to the detriment of the people of Kane County, Sheriff Hain doesn’t care about facts, he prefers to spread misinformation and stoke the flames of controversy.
Families in our community have been loud and clear — enough is enough. There is nothing political about dropping your child off at school and fearing you may never see them again. No Kane county resident should feel unsafe celebrating at a parade, shopping at their local grocery store, or gathering in a park. Legislators in Illinois heeded the calls of our constituents and joined eight other states in banning the sale and possession of assault style weapons. We took action and we stand by our commitment to common sense gun safety.
Gun violence is a complex and multifaceted public health crisis and each piece of the puzzle deserves attention — from sustained investment in community violence intervention programs and, yes, mental health support, to job creation and addressing inequalities in our public schools. But for us to continue to pretend that the mass proliferation of guns isn’t the number one factor contributing to gun violence is to deny both basic common sense and empirical research in a way that is either embarrassingly naive or maliciously disingenuous. We do need a more comprehensive approach to mental health treatment, we need to expand access to opportunity, and we need to bridge political and cultural divides – but no serious approach to gun violence can ignore the ease of access to weapons of war.
Again, we ask Sheriff Hain to step back from public disputes and commit to working together on public safety policies that will benefit the people of Kane County. Our doors are always open for collaboration and he knows where to find us.
Senator Cristina Castro – 22nd District
Senator Karina Villa – 25th District
Representative Barbara Hernandez – 50th District
Representative Maura Hirschauer – 49th District
Representative Anna Moeller – 43rd District