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Highland Park Has a Ban on AR-15s and AK-47s, But That Didn’t Stop the Fourth of July Shooting

The shooting in Highland Park, Illinois, that killed seven people and injured dozens more during a parade on Monday was undoubtedly a tragedy. It also highlights the disasters that can occur under the gun bans leftists have been pushing nationwide. According to NBC News, the city passed an ordinance banning so-called “assault weapons,” including both AR-15s and AK-47s, in June 2013. The effort was led in part by Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering, who is still in office today. Residents were deeply divided on the idea during a citywide meeting preceding the City Council’s vote in 2013, Chicago Tribune reported. One resident named Mary Smith said the ban would be illogical considering automobiles were responsible for many more deaths than these weapons. “Are you considering banning automobiles as well?” Smith said. Meanwhile, left-leaning residents said the ban was deeply necessary to protect citizens. “We do not need Sandy Hook in Highland Park,” resident Tom VandenBerk said. “People are being slaughtered because of assault weapons, because of an unregulated industry that has taken over this country in fear.” The City Council eventually voted to ban both the so-called “assault weapons” by a vote of 6-1. The case went all the way to the Supreme Court, NBC News reported. However, SCOTUS decided not to hear the case, meaning a lower court ruling upholding the ban remained in place. Justices Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia dissented and said the ban contradicted the Second Amendment. “The overwhelming majority of citizens who own and use such rifles do so for lawful purposes, including self-defense and target shooting,” the justices stated in the dissent. While the ban is still in effect, it did not prevent a shooter from using what officials called a “high-powered rifle” in Monday’s attack, NBC News reported. “I don’t know where the gun came from, but I do know that it was legally obtained, and I think at some point, this nation needs to have a conversation about these weekly events involving the murder of dozens of people with legally obtained guns,” Rotering said. “If that’s what our laws stand for, then I think we need to re-examine our laws.” Rotering did not clarify exactly which weapon was used, but if it was an AR-15 or AK-47, the suspect was acting illegally by carrying it in Highland Park. Violent criminals are not typically too keen on following the law, which is exactly why weapons bans are largely counterproductive. The people who are likely to abide by these bans are law-abiding citizens who would have used their guns responsibly. Highland Park and other cities with similar bans are simply disarming law-abiding citizens who could use their weapons to protect themselves and others in an attack like the one on Monday. The result is a vulnerable population without a means to protect themselves, which makes them a prime target for deranged criminals who plan mass shootings. While it is impossible to say for sure whether the Highland Park gun ban contributed directly to the shooting, it clearly did nothing to prevent it. At the very least, this proves how ineffective weapons bans are. This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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