Gun control needed

The long overdue Brady Bill, which calls for a five-day waiting period and background check for individuals wishing to purchase handguns, jumped its first hurdle on the way to becoming law.

The bill passed the House by a 238-189 margin, but it’s made it to this stage before. Chances look pretty good for an OK from the Senate this time around although the Senate has killed the bill in the past. President Bill Clinton has already made it clear that he will sign the Brady Bill if it makes it to the White House.

Fortunately or unfortunately, however one chooses to view it, Rep. Dennis Hastert was on the losing end of the Brady Bill vote, along with six other Illinois Congress members.

More than 15,000 people were murdered from firearms last year alone. Nearly 400 of those victims were children under the age of 15.

It’s readily apparent that violent crime is on a continuous upswing across the nation. If it was only an inner-city problem the bill would still be necessary, but this is not the case. Quiet, tree-lined suburbs are no longer safe from the threat of murder by handgun and people have had enough.

In fact, for the first time ever a majority of Americans are in favor of a national ban on handguns and assault weapons. Public support for the Brady Bill has been overwhelming. The public agrees wholeheartedly that regulations are needed at the very least.

However, the gun lobby is a force to be reckoned with, as it always has been. Apparently Hastert has caved in along with a sizable group of House members. Let’s hope the majority of the Senate won’t do the same.

It’s a great irony that Illinois has used its own five-day waiting period with felony background checks, which has stopped the sales to almost 3,000 individuals who were determined disqualified under the state statute.

Hastert must not have much faith in the Illinois system, otherwise he may have sold his soul to the NRA since the U.S. law won’t have much effect in the Land of Lincoln.

It’s more than likely that both Illinois Senators will vote for the Brady Bill. It’s about time the American people get what they want and need when it comes to gun control instead of special interests.