Highland Park Democrat tried to get an assault weapon ban passed to no avail
Photo: marchello74/shutterstock

Rep. Brad Schneider (D-IL) faced a crowd of angry constituents last weekend at a town hall meeting that came on the heels of a mass shooting at the city's July Fourth parade.

The Chicago Tribune reported that there were a number of women in the crowd wearing red Moms Demand Action t-shirts. He explained that lawmakers can't eliminate guns but they try to mitigate the epidemic of mass shootings.

“We’re not going to end gun violence, but we can take steps to reduce it," he told the crowd.

“After that, it was announced we were going to move ahead on an assault weapons ban. I’ve been making calls to my colleagues who I think are on the fence, and I think we have the votes. We have to get these weapons of war off our streets," he told the Tribune.

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There were some in the crowd opposed to any kind of ban, but a Vietnam combat veteran spoke out about his experience with a variety of rifles and grenade launchers. He said that a ban certainly wouldn't eliminate them but it would make it harder for people to get them.

“I’ve been shot at a couple of times in defense of my country,” said Ronald Arnett. “With that kind of background, I have no need whatsoever for an AR-15 and neither does anyone else. The only thing they’re made for is to kill people, plain and simple.”

But after Wednesday's public hearing with gun manufacturers, Schneider revealed that the vote wasn't happening.

Speaking with Highland Park survivors around him, Schneider explained the mass shooting "traumatized the entire community."

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"After that, the people I represent looked at me – called and wrote me, reached out – and they asked, ‘Why are these weapons of war in our community? Why are they on our streets? Why are people bringing them into our schools, into our grocery stores, movie theaters, houses of worship? Why are we mourning once again the people who should be with us?’" he continued.

He noted that what seems to be the most prominent in most mass shootings are assault weapons. Describing it as a gun "designed for war," Schneider explained. He explained that such a weapon was designed to kill as many people as quickly as possible.

“We were hopeful that this bill was going to come to the House this week," Schneider said. He maintained he was still confident it could happen.

"We all share a disappointment that we won’t be voting on this bill on Friday," Schneider said. "But, also, I believe I speak on behalf of everybody here that we also share the absolute resolve to make sure that we do vote on an assault weapons ban. Because that’s what the American people deserve."