By John Gregory/Illinois Radio Network
CHICAGO – There have been 45 school shootings in the U.S. this year, but U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin said gun control measures are blocked by what he called a “death grip” by the National Rifle Association.
“Stunned and frightened and sometimes ashamed,” is how Durbin described the reaction to last week’s fatal shooting of nine people at a community college in Roseburg, Oregon. He blamed the NRA’s influence for holding back stricter gun control measures in Congress and hoped voters will pay extra attention to who argues against those proposals.
“I’ve rejected the premise that we should no longer try,” Durbin said. “We’ve got to bring these measures to the floor. We’ve got to bring them to a vote, and the people of the country have to decide when it comes to their members of Congress and United States Senators, they can look at that vote, and if the issue of gun violence is important to them, they can make a decision in the next election.”
Durbin blamed the NRA for blocking one particular gun control measure which could help Illinois: requiring background checks for private firearm sales, like those at gun shows. Without a federal requirement, Durbin said guns used in shootings in Chicago often come in from gun shows held across state lines in Lake County, Indiana.