* Sen. Sims makes some valid points in Politico today…
On the same day of the mass shooting in Highland Park, five people in Chicago were injured by gunfire and another died. Over the long weekend, Chicago saw 68 people shot and eight killed.
The Chicago violence, down by 14 percent from a year ago. according to the city’s police chief, drew passing attention while the governor of Illinois and vice president converged on Highland Park to offer condolences and raise their voices about how “enough is enough.” Even the pope offered prayers.
Highland Park isn’t experienced with such violence. Not a single murder was logged between 2000 and 2020, according to FBI crime stats, and other violent crime was a fraction of what it is in the rest of the state, The New York Times reported.
But the attention paid to the mostly white suburban town hasn’t been lost on some residents on Chicago’s South and West sides, where the brunt of the city’s violence occurs.
State Sen. Elgie Sims Jr., who carried much of the criminal justice reform measures that lawmakers passed last year, said interns in his office and seniors he visited yesterday have spoken out about the disproportionate attention.
“A woman pulled me aside to say, ‘I appreciate the work you do on gun violence, but when violence happens in our community, where’s the outpouring of support? Where are the national leaders when it happens in my community?’” Sims told Playbook.
“It’s a reasonable question,” said Sims, who has worked with fellow Democratic lawmakers to call out systemic racism in the justice system.
“It’s not to diminish the pain in Highland Park. What happened is horrible and horrific,” he said, “But it’s also horrible when it happens on the South and West sides.”
* Meanwhile, the Sun-Times reports about a possible special session on guns…
The goal in the aftermath of the July Fourth Highland Park massacre is to limit military style weapons and keep those and other firearms out of the hands of people considered dangerous to themselves or others. […]
Pritzker’s office is looking at everything from training and education about the Firearm Restraining Order, or the “Red Flag” law designed to keep guns away from those deemed a danger to themselves or others — to putting into state statute the amount of time a “clear and present danger” file should be kept, even if it’s unfounded.
State law requires police and teachers to file such reports when someone exhibits dangerous behavior that should bar them from having a gun.
The state currently keeps such records for just six months but lawmakers are seeking “clarity in the law.”
Pritzker’s office has also had discussions about potentially lowering the levels of proof required for a report to trigger action, according to a source with direct knowledge.