At Mundelein town hall, Rep. Schneider calls for action in wake of school shooting; ‘The story coming out of Texas really shook me’

A Meridian School fifth grader came to Rep. Brad Schneider’s Congress on Your Corner town hall concerned about school shootings. A Buffalo Grove man also expressed concern about his grown sons raising children in an America growing more dangerous.

Schneider, D-Highland Park, touched on Tuesday’s killing of 19 fourth graders and two teachers in Uvalde, Texas, the economy and health care before answering nearly a dozen questions from a crowd of more than 75 people Saturday at Mundelein High School.

Jackson Libbey, the Meridian student and a Buffalo Grove resident was in the audience with this father, Nathan Libbey, a member of the Aptakisic-Tripp School District 102 Board of Education.

“I hope to learn what he can do about shootings in schools,” Jackson said.

Fifth grader Jackson Libbey talks to U.S. Rep. Brad Schneider, D-Highland Park, left, as Jackson’s father, Nathan Libbey, listens. (Steve Sadin / Lake County News-Sun)

Speaking for about 10 minutes before taking questions in the town hall lasting just over an hour, Schneider began talking about the shooting in Texas and one May 14 in a Buffalo, New York, grocery store which left 10 dead.

“The whole country is grieving,” Schneider said. “We’re seeing an epidemic of gun violence throughout the country. We’ve got to do something about guns. The story coming out of Texas really shook me. As a country, there are things I think we can be doing so much better.”

Shortly into his remarks, Schneider read the names of the 21 Texas victims as he did two days before during a vigil in Deerfield. He talked about legislation passed by the House of Representatives requiring universal background checks. He called for a quick vote in the Senate.

People pay their respects at a memorial outside Robb Elementary School to honor the victims killed in this week’s school shooting in Uvalde, Texas Saturday, May 28, 2022. (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills) (Dario Lopez-Mills/AP)

“We can make it harder for people who shouldn’t have guns to get them, while respecting the right of law-abiding citizens to hold on to them, while at the same time make sure our schools, our churches and our grocery stores are much safer,” Schneider said. “That’s something I’ll work on.”

While asking a question, Gary Ross of Buffalo Grove said he told his grown sons they should consider whether they want raise a family in the United States because of gun violence, as well as fears about threats to people’s voting and reproductive rights.

Schneider said he recently had a similar conversation with his grown sons. In his answer, he said climate change is a crucial issue where there are solutions.

“This is what this generation is thinking about,” Schneider said. “I pushed them. I want grandkids. We have to do more. No matter what we do, it is not enough. That doesn’t excuse us from not doing anything.”

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is an issue Schneider talked about, particularly legislation he authored to reduce pollution from airplane fuel. The bill became part of President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better plan. It passed the House with bipartisan support, but it stalled in the Senate.

“The 60-vote filibuster is a huge problem,” Schneider said.

One person asked what Schneider has done to help Mundelein. Schneider said he was able to secure $600,000 so the village can make the pedestrian Park Street mall in downtown Mundelein permanent. It was part of the $19.7 million secured for the 10th Congressional District as part of the 2022 Fiscal Year Omnibus Funding Bill. It goes beyond commercial benefits.

“It brought the community together. You started having concerts and people were coming together,” Schneider said. “When people come together they start talking to each other,” he added, referring to what he and his colleagues need to do more to improve people’s lives.

One of the last questioners wanted to know if Schneider believed Ukraine should cede some land to Russia to end the conflict, and whether he was concerned about the United States “getting dragged into a wider war.

Schneider said only Ukraine should make decisions about what, if any, concessions the country should make to the Russians after the nation was the victim of an unprovoked invasion. He does not want to see a wider war.

“I do think its imperative Russian fail, or (not) have a victory over this unprovoked attack,” he said. “I think it’s important the U.S. and our allies help Ukraine defend herself as a country, and not take any actions to attack Russia. If that were to happen, Ukraine should stop that.”

Some of the other subjects discussed arising from questions from the audience included student loan burden, immigration and the baby formula shortage.

Stan Schultz of Mundelein said he wanted to get to know Schneider better. Before the Illinois General Assembly redrew the state’s congressional districts, he was represented by Rep. Lauren Underwood, D-Naperville. Should Schneider win reelection in November, he will represent Schultz.

via Chicago Tribune

May 29, 2022 at 10:04AM

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