In the wake of a mass shooting at a Texas elementary school that left 14 students and a teacher dead, three of the Republican candidates running for governor of Illinois were asked to reveal what they would have done had such an attack occurred on their watch in the executive’s chair.
“Tonight, there has been a school shooting in Texas at an elementary school. Fifteen are dead, 14 of them are young students. If you were governor, how do you stop this from happening?,” NBC 5 Political Reporter and Forum Moderator Mary Ann Ahern asked.
Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin said that he would work to prevent guns from getting into the hands of criminals, and also added that he would make sure that responsible gun owners could still own firearms.
“I can imagine after seeing that pain of those parents with the pain of these children, these little kids must feel this horrific act of violence. We need a governor who's going to stand up and fight against these acts,” he said. “We need a governor who's going to stand strong and make sure that not only do we heal after these events that seem to be happening so much throughout our country day in and day…(we must) make sure that we support our police and and we support our neighbors and our families and our friends and these school children, (and) that we don't allow weapons to get into the hands of criminals and those with mental illnesses.
“And as governor, I will take a strong stance to ensure that we do what's necessary to protect ourselves,” he added.
State Sen. Paul Schimpf said that he would work to “support law enforcement,” and that he would work to push for more funding to help those with mental illness.
“After the tragedy of Sandy Hook, we all hoped that we would never see something like this happen again in our lifetimes,” he said. “As governor, what you have to do is you have to support law enforcement. You have to try to keep our students safe by helping law enforcement to do their job. We also have to be exploring mental illness and the challenge that mental illness faces, poses for our country.”
Schimpf also said that the governor needs to “bring residents together” in the wake of such tragedies.
Attorney Max Solomon called for armed security at Illinois schools in the wake of the shooting.
“I will make sure that every school in the state of Illinois has armed security guards that are going to prevent these kinds of things from happening again,” he said. “My heart goes out to you about the 14 kids in Texas that are not going to be going home tonight. And the parents are not going to be picking up their kids.
“Latasha fields and I are running a campaign not only to make sure that kids are secure in what they learn, but their physical safety is ensured,” he added. “I've always believed personally that it takes a good guy with a gun to stop a bad guy with a gun. I believe strongly that our schools should not be able to be accessed by bad guys with guns where kids like this will be shot and killed.”