The Daily Eastern News

EDITORIAL: Is America doing enough to protect us?

Staff Editorial

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Is the state of Illinois doing enough to secure our safety, concerning gun violence?

We want you to seriously consider that question and the possible answers to it.

Has Illinois, or even the country, done enough to make us citizens feel safe attending a music festival, or even doing such commonplace things like going to our everyday job or going to school?

The shooting Friday would indicate that the answer may be no.

At a manufacturing plant Friday in Aurora, a suburb of Chicago, a man shot and killed five co-workers, while injuring six others.

Another day, another shooting scarring America and the people who were close to the victims.

Yet, with this shooting, there seems to be a small asterisk at the end of headlines announcing the shooting to bring up a highly contested political topic that is now the center of said shooting.

The suspect, Gary Martin, committed his attack with a gun that he should have had no possession of in the first place.

Why?

Because, according to the Associated Press, he had a background check done that failed to detect a felony conviction that would have kept him from being able to purchase the firearm.

On top of that, a second background check done months later revealed the convicted felony and prompted a letter telling him his gun permit had been revoked (his permit was revoked in 2014).

Then, how did it happen?

Martin never gave up the .40-caliber Smith and Wesson handgun he used in the attack, and no law enforcement ever enforced the revocation of his permit upon him.

The AP reported Sunday that investigators are still trying to determine what law enforcement agencies did after the letter was sent.

But the crux of the issue remains: For approximately five years, a person who did not legally own a gun was able to still have it and ended up using it to kill five people.

The AP reported that Illinois lawmakers in favor of more gun control point the cause to a flaw in a 1968 law.

The law requires residents to get a Firearm Owner’s Identification card (FOID) to purchase firearms or ammunition.

Purchasers must pass a background check, but the law does not mandate police to make sure weapons have been removed if a red flag is later raised.

In 2016, according to AP, legislation was introduced to require police to go to the homes of gun owners who have their FOID cards revoked and search for weapons, but it failed due to concerns that the legislation, if passed, would overtax police departments.

Now, the issue of if there is enough being done is brought back up, this time on a closer scale to us than a shooting at a music festival or at a school.

We ask again, is enough being done?

The Editorial staff can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].

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The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.
EDITORIAL: Is America doing enough to protect us?