Gun control debate erupts at Northbrook board meeting
Retired fire Chief Patrick Crown jokes about the turnout for Tuesday evening's meeting at Northbrook Village Hall where he was recognized for his 29 years of service. The large crowd was made up of people who came to speak on the issue of gun control. |
Updated: February 13, 2013 12:32PM
NORTHBROOK — Although gun control wasn’t on the Village Board’s agenda Tuesday, about 200 people jammed into Village Hall to present opposing views.
When members of the audience were allowed to speak about non-agenda items, several residents who wanted to “start a conversation about gun safety and mental health” were greatly outnumbered by members of the Illinois National Rifle Association.
Village President Sandra Frum told the crowd there would be no board discussion about gun control; there was no pending ordinance before the trustees and she regretted that they had been misinformed.
She added that she believed the issue should be addressed at the state and federal levels, and not at the local level.
However, those who wanted to speak were given two minutes over the course of a half hour to state their positions.
“We need to look at our municipal code and have a discussion as to whether the current laws are acceptable to our community,” said Northbrook resident Johannah Hebl. “I believe that the board should issue an opinion on the state and federal proposals. Many mayors have come forward with their positions on the state and federal legislation, and I request we ask the public for input.”
Susan Troester, of Northbrook, said the community’s focus should be on safety, especially for children, and she asked for an increased police presence outside the schools.
Marc Albertario of Prospect Heights, a member of the National Rifle Assocation, said he was not in favor of gun control and local communities have no right to infringe on the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
“Gun control is not kosher,” said Joel Siegel, a Lincolnwood resident and member of Jews for Preservation of Firearms Ownership. He added that increasing gun control laws would be anti-Semitic.
James Hopkins, a licensed gun dealer from Antioch, said he served in the Navy to defend the constitution, and he is against anyone challenging the Second Amendment.
“There are 100 million gun owners in this country. We don’t use firearms to commit crimes. It’s the mentally challenged who do that,” he said. “I perform background checks on all my customers and damn those who don’t.”