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In the Aftermath of Horrific Highland Park Shooting, Darren Bailey’s Record Speaks Louder than His Words

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One week after the horrific Highland Park shooting, Illinoisans everywhere continue to mourn the seven lives lost. Republican gubernatorial nominee Darren Bailey has had lots to say — but his record speaks for itself.

At a press conference last week, Bailey said: “We must do whatever it takes to address the breakdown in mental health…We must bring everyone involved in mental health care to the same table to look for solutions.”

But, as a state senator, Darren Bailey voted against increased funding for mental health services time and time again. He voted against all four budgets Gov. JB Pritzker has enacted since taking office, all of which appropriated an unprecedented amount of funding for critical gun violence prevention, public safety, and mental health programs.

At last week’s press conference, Bailey admitted that the Firearms Restraining Order Act is an effective piece of legislation in the fight to end gun violence, saying: “​​The Illinois Firearms Restraining Act is on the books and should have been used…The Firearms Restraining Act would have prevented the tragedy on the Fourth…”.

But as a state senator, Bailey voted against strengthening this very Act. He’s voiced his opposition to red flag laws on the whole, saying: “I believe the community and members of the law enforcement and schools, if everyone would be doing their job when someone reaches out about a concern and we’d deal with that, we could do that without having to have a law.”

Finally, a constant refrain from Bailey at his press conference was: “Use the laws on the books.” But Bailey has long advocated for the complete elimination of one such “law on the books”: Illinois’ FOID program. As a state senator, he voted against FOID modernization legislation that passed with strong bipartisan support and went further to propose his own legislation to fully repeal the FOID Card Act.

Here’s what people are saying:

NBC News: AR-15 raffle video puts Illinois Republican in hot seat after parade shooting

Chicago Sun Times: Republican Bailey apologizes for telling public shortly after Highland Park massacre to ‘move on’ and ‘celebrate’ the Fourth

Chicago Tribune: GOP governor nominee Darren Bailey apologizes for comments after Highland Park parade shooting but struggles to move past controversy

MSNBC: GOP’s Bailey backtracks after post-shooting ‘move on’ comments

New York Post: Darren Bailey ripped for call to ‘move on’ after Highland Park parade shooting