2nd District Candidates Kelly, Hutchinson Spar on Gun Control

Eager to identify herself as a supporter of gun control -- one of the most important issues in the 2nd Congressional District special election -- state Sen. Toi Hutchinson released a video of herself talking about the issue -- and criticized opponent Robin Kelly for her “hypocrisy” in attacking her as an National Rifle Association ally.

In the video, Hutchinson noted she has signed on as a co-sponsor to the assault weapons ban and the ban on high capacity magazines favored by Gov. Pat Quinn.

However, she said, “it’s not enough to do that if we don’t talk about what the root cause of violence really is: that’s joblessness, that’s hopelessness, that’s lack of resources. That’s the erosion of the social services safety net.”
Kelly has pointed out that Hutchinson received a 92 percent rating from the NRA, and that  former Rep. Debbie Halvorson was endorsed by the organization during her 2010 re-election campaign. Kelly and Hutchinson also differ on their views of Illinois’ conceal carry ban: Kelly believes it should be statewide, while Hutchinson believes individual counties should be able to set their own standards.

Kelly has asked all her opponents to sign on to a five-point pledge to reduce gun violence: banning assault weapons and high capacity magazines, closing the gun show loophole, supporting Illinois’ conceal carry ban, and refusing support from “organizations that oppose reasonable gun safety legislation.” 

None have signed, and Hutchinson seemed to dismiss the request as grandstanding.

“Robin Kelly’s attacks are disappointing attempts to score political points,” Hutchinson said in a statement. “Robin not only endorsed me in my re-election last year but even contributed money to my campaign. I have had hundreds of conversations with her and not once has she told me that she disagrees with my position on gun safety. She knows that as a mother of three teenagers I am deeply committed to keeping them and their peers safe.”
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