'I'm Not Against Guns' Says 2nd District Candidate Robin Kelly
One of the frontrunners of the race to fill Jesse Jackson Jr.'s vacated seat is taking a strong stance on this controversial subject. In today's Patch Exclusive, we learn more about Kelly's key issues: gun violence and economic development.
On Friday, Jan. 25, I met Robin Kelly at an office in downtown Chicago.
We talked about a number of things including the possibility of a woman representing the 2nd Congressional District for the first time, ever.
It didn’t take long for Kelly to give a clear picture of her priorities going into this upcoming election.
By now, it's no secret that Kelly has made gun control a massive focus of her campaign. To sum it up, I've copied and pasted her recently unveiled "Five Point Pledge" as it appears on her campaign website:
- Pass a comprehensive ban on assault weapons.
- Eliminate the gun show loophole.
- Pledge never to receive support from groups that oppose reasonable gun safety legislation.
- Ban high capacity ammunition magazines.
- Support laws that prohibit conceal and carry permits.
Kelly says economic development of the 2nd District is also of concern to her. From getting more jobs to housing, she says the issue is a broad one and needs to be treated as such. Kelly says economic development is also related to her No. 1 priority: gun violence. She argues business owners need to feel safe to move into the district.
“I’m not against guns. I grew up in a family of cops. It’s generational now, and my grandfather was a hunter... but we have to stop the violence.” —On her “Five Point Pledge” against gun violence.
“In the South Suburbs, a lot of people know me as a unifier, a coalition builder, and that’s how I’ve led my life. I’ve done a lot of diversity work and really breaking down barriers that tend to divide us.” —On the seeming divide between Chicago and the South Suburbs.
“I’d be very proud, but also in 2013 that’s kind of sad too. We have to do better and get more women into office.” —On the possibility of being the first woman to represent the 2nd District.
In an abbreviated election, Kelly has taken an aggressive stance on a controversial issue.
This could be smart, from a campaigning standpoint. Maybe a clear dividing line on the role of the 2nd Amendment makes the decision easier for voters. She doesn't seem to straddle the fence on this issue and some voters may find that respectable.
At the same time, the 2nd District is incredibly diverse and Kelly’s resolute stance could alienate a sizable percentage of the population.
What do you think? Has Robin Kelly's focus on gun control swayed your vote in one direction or another? Tell us in the comments!
NEXT: Republican candidate James Taylor tells us about the "ignored" part of the 2nd District.
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