It is unfortunate that Democrat McHenry County Board member Kelli Wegener has resorted to deploying the old Democrat playbook when it comes to people with whom they disagree.
Recently Wegener penned an op-ed in the Northwest Herald where she refers to some of our county citizens as “extremists” for opposing the new Protect Illinois Communities Act banning the sale and distribution of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. The bill was approved by a Democrat-dominated legislature and was signed into law by a Democrat governor. Democrat Kelli Wegener and I represent the same district which makes it even more disappointing when you consider that many of the people she denigrates with the label “extremist” are our own constituents.
Constituents of McHenry County, including District 5, spoke in support of the Second Amendment and upholding the U.S. and Illinois constitutions in a bipartisan manner. Some who spoke against the Second Amendment were not residents of McHenry County. The McHenry County Board heard the 11-plus hours of public comment and took action to support the McHenry County state’s attorney, with every Democrat voting in opposition.
Democrats in Kane County recently became enraged when their Democrat sheriff strayed from the playbook denouncing the gun bill. Many sheriffs in Illinois are opposed to the gun law because despite the fact the legislation was touted to “make us safe” it does just the opposite by disarming our citizens of firearms in common use for lawful purposes. It does nothing to prevent mass shootings and prevent crime. Are these sheriffs “extremists,” too?
In her op-ed Wegener cites a case in the U.S. District Court Northern District of Illinois (Bevis vs. the City of Naperville) that may somehow make an argument for the constitutionality of the gun law. The ruling has questionable arguments in favor of upholding the ban including the assertion that a few short-lived regulations from the early 1900s support that the ban is on weapons not covered under Second Amendment’s protections. Opponents of the gun law argue the legislation is unconstitutional. The case Wegener cited could go to the U.S. Appellate Court, and maybe to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Only one Republican in the Illinois House and Senate voted for the gun legislation. It was a partisan bill that had very limited input from law enforcement as the Democrat sheriff in Kane County points out. Wegener now joins those who want no discussion of opposing views on issues and if you manage to be able to offer your view they will shout you down with labels like “extremist.”
Wegener has done nothing to advance the conversation and has further divided our community. It’s time to collaborate together and lead.
• McHenry County Board member Terri Greeno represents District 5.