HILLSIDE, Ill —Residents in Hillside met with Congressman Danny Davis Wednesday at a town hall meeting to discuss a number of issues, but top of mind was the national scourge of mass shootings and the weapons often used to carry them out.
Voters at the meeting demanded action from congress and told Davis to push for a ban on assault weapons in the wake of the horrific mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio.
“I came here to listen more than I came to talk,” Davis said.
A vocal group of Hillside neighbors called “Hillside Forward,” led by Roger Romanelli, told the congressman they believe there’s an obvious solution to limit the death toll and that is re-instating the federal ban on military-style weapons.
“When we look at what’s happening in America over the past 20 years from Columbine to what’s happened this weekend, we need a permanent ban on these military-style assault weapons,” Romanelli said. “These weapons have no place in our society. We have handguns and rifles that are suitable for people. These assault weapons these military-style weapons have no place in our society.”
The assault weapons ban was in place for ten years from 1994 to 2004 and Davis was an original sponsor of the legislation.
“We’re going to eventually get these weapons of destruction out of the hands of people who should not have them,” Davis said.
The powerful gun-rights lobby, led by the NRA, has opposed all ban the weapons and said it would infringe on the second amendment of the U.S. constitution.
Republican lawmakers including President Trump say the problem of mass shootings has more to do with mental health, and violent culture than with easy access to military-style weapons.
“The Second Amendment allows people to have rifles, and handguns which are automatic handguns to protect themselves,” Romanelli said. “I am not allowed to possess or own explosives, massive fireworks, nuclear material. There’s a lot of materials that we ban in order to protect each other.”
WGN News asked the Illinois Rifle Association for comment, however they have not yet responded.