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Posted: 5/22/2002 1:59:44 PM EDT
This was sent to me today...Maybe light at the end of the tunnel...Trucker

CONTACT:  Alison Barkley, Esq., Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence, (847) 425-6103

CHICAGO, May 21, 2002 - - Citing a recent high-profile murder, the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence is recommending that the Illinois
General Assembly make immediate and sweeping reforms to the state’s gun laws.

On May 3, 2002, a 33-year-old Chicago woman was murdered in her home by her estranged husband.  Despite the fact that a restraining order had been sworn out against him, the victim’s assailant kicked down her door and shot her to death in her bedroom.

The murder was made all the more tragic by the fact that the victim had placed 3 frantic calls to 911 in the minutes before her murder.  
Inexplicably, the Chicago Police Department delayed in responding to the calls until well after the victim was dead.

For many years, various groups have pushed the notion that it is better for citizens to rely on the government for protection from criminals
than it is for them to keep guns in their homes.

The May 3rd tragedy points to the shortsightedness of that philosophy.  The victim in this case followed all ‘the rules’ by first securing a
restraining order against her assailant.  Then, when he violated that court order, she again followed ‘the rules’ and called 911.  
Unfortunately, the consequence of her trusting the system is that she is now dead.

In response to the tragedy, the City of Chicago offered copious apologies and suspended several low-level employees.

Apologies and employee suspensions are not the cure for criminal violence.  Rather, this case illustrates the pressing need to empower
Illinois citizens so that they might effectively defend themselves against the criminal element.

Specifically, the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence is calling upon the Illinois General Assembly to do the following:

-  Immediately reconsider SB 604.  If it had passed earlier this year, SB 604 would have provided an extra level of protection to women who,
like the May 3rd victim, had sworn out orders of protection against violent males.  Under SB 604, such women would have been allowed to carry defensive firearms just in case their tormentors ignored the restraining orders.

- Immediately pass HB 482 - statewide firearm preemption legislation.  Firearm preemption would overrule the Chicago ordinance that denied the May 3rd victim the choice of whether or not to keep a firearm in her home to protect herself from her violent spouse.

- Immediately pass HB 401, the Family and Personal Protection Act.  The Family and Personal Protection Act would allow qualified Illinois
citizens to carry defensive firearms for the purpose of protecting themselves and their loved ones from criminal violence.

The May 3rd victim did not deserve to die.  But, the politics of gun control made her death a near certainty.

- - -
ICHV educates the public about the epidemic of handgun violence victims and works to reduce death and injury by increasing the accessibility of firearms for self-defense in our society.

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