To the Editor:
I join my neighbors and fellow citizens in praying for the souls of the victims of the latest act of senseless violence. However, prayer and mourning are simply not enough. This slaughter of first-grade children compels me to do more. Therefore, as a private citizen, I intend to take the following actions.
I anticipate introduction of strict federal gun control legislation outlawing the ownership of semiautomatic, automatic and assault-type firearms. I demand that my representatives, U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren and Sens. Mark Kirk and Dick Durbin, support this legislation and actively seek its passage. If they do not, I promise to use my time, energy and vote to deny them re-election, and I will support candidates who have the moral courage to take such action. I also promise to do what I can to offset any detrimental action taken by the National Rifle Association to punish those who demonstrate the courage to act.
I will continue to support my friends and neighbors who own firearms for hunting and personal protection purposes. But I will openly challenge them if they express the belief that semiautomatic, automatic and assault weapons are necessary for those purposes.
Mental illness contributes to our dilemma. But I will openly challenge those who hide behind that illness to avoid meaningful gun control. We do not yet possess the capacity to identify, accurately diagnose and treat all mental illness. But we have the ability to regulate gun availability.
I have a beautiful 7-month-old granddaughter. I owe it to Maggie, and to the souls of those little children who were brutally murdered, to take these actions.