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Remarks of Mayor Nancy Rotering to the Lake County Board (Aug. 9, 2022)

August 9, 2022 -- Mayor Rotering delivered the following remarks to the Lake County Board on Tuesday, August 9, prior to the Board adopting a resolution supporting both state and federal laws that ban assault weapons and large-capacity magazines:

Good morning, Chair Hart, and members of the Lake County Board.

I appreciated the opportunity to speak with you last Friday about what happened in Highland Park on the Fourth of July and how we must work together to stop gun violence in our state and in our country.

I am here again today to thank you on behalf of the residents of Highland Park, and our neighbors throughout Lake County for recognizing that now is the time to stop the senseless murders of people from all walks of life by adding your voices to the conversation to ban assault weapons and large capacity magazines.

The official passage of a resolution supporting both state and federal law that ban assault weapons and large capacity magazines sends a message that by working together, we can save human lives and keep other cities from enduring the pain and grief we feel in Highland Park.

As we remember and honor the seven individuals who were taken too soon, and keep all those injured, so many still trying to physically recover, and their families in our thoughts, we recognize their pain and suffering and urge continued action.

We owe it to those impacted on the Fourth of July, we owe it to those who experienced horror in our town, and most of all, we owe it to our children. They deserve to enjoy the same freedoms that we once did.

Assault weapons are military-grade weapons. Their sole purpose is to kill as many people as possible, as quickly as possible. And large capacity magazines are designed for the sole purpose of allowing a shooter to fire repeated shots without having to reload. These are combat weapons and do not belong in the hands of everyday people.

The debate is not about whether we are burdening lawful gun owners with new regulations. The debate is whether we are taking common sense steps to save even one life from gun violence. Restricting access to assault weapons and large-capacity magazines does not stop all gun violence but banning weapons of war is one common-sense step we can take. It is worth it even if just one life is saved.

Your action today is another step forward for commonsense gun laws and for safer communities. But it cannot be our only or last step together. I look forward to working with you as we pursue legislative initiatives with other governing bodies because we know that a single city, county, or state cannot protect its residents. They are not islands and are only as safe as what is permitted by the gun laws nearby.

Our country deserves better. Thank you for trading thoughts and prayers for saving lives.