NIU Victim’s Mother Speaks Out Against Concealed Weapons

UPDATED 03/29/11 12:01 p.m.

CHICAGO (WBBM/CBS) — The mother of a young woman murdered in the Northern Illinois University massacre three years ago, is among those speaking out against a bill that would allow Illinoisans to carry concealed weapons.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Regine Schlesinger reports, the concealed carry bill passed the state House Agriculture Committee by a vote of 12-2 earlier this month. But the committee is dominated by downstate pro-gun rights lawmakers, and the bill must pass the full state General Assembly.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Regine Schlesinger reports

Supporters of the measure argue that the measure has the potential to save lives, and that if people had been permitted to carry concealed weapons, someone could have stopped gunman Steven Kazmierczak as he opened fire on a lecture hall on Feb. 14, 2008.

But the mother of one of the five students killed does not agree. Mary Kay Mace, the mother of massacre victim Ryanne Mace, 19, tells Chicago Sun-Times columnist Mark Brown that the claim that concealed weapons could have stopped the massacre is “b.s.” She tells Brown it is “like blaming the victim” to suggest that her daughter could have survived if she had been armed.

Mary Kay Mace tells Brown it is “crazy” to allow everyone to carry concealed weapons.

She joined other gun control activists at a news conference Tuesday, organized by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. The news conference was held at the Thompson Center, 100 W. Randolph St.

Former Cook County State’s Attorney Richard Devine was also at the news conference, and expressed disagreement with the claim that ugns make people safer.

“No one is against keeping our people safe. That’s not what we’re talking about,” he said. “We’re talking about putting thousands more guns on the streets.”

He argued that guns do, in fact, make killing people far easier.

“I heard for 12 years as State’s Attorney that guns don’t kill people,” he said. “In all those years, I’ve never heard of drive by knifing. Guns make it easier.”

The organization was founded by former White House press secretary James Brady. Wednesday marks 30 years since he was shot and permanently disabled by John Hinckley Jr., who also shot and wounded President Ronald Reagan.

In the NIU massacre, Kazmierczak burst into a geology lecture in Cole Hall, and opened fire. Five people were killed in the incident – Catalina Garcia, 20; Julianna Gehant, 32; Ryanne Mace, 19; Daniel Parmenter, 20; and Gaybe Dubowski, 20. A total of 21 others were injured.

Kazmierczak had purchased the firearms he used in the massacre legally in Champaign.

  • Dirty Harry

    Lady wake up and smell the coffee,this isn’t America like it was 50yrs ago,.

  • Dirty Harry

    Lady when went to school do you ever remember someone coming in and shooting up the place,and there was guns back then??

    • T OZZY

      You are so correct, PEOPLE need to realize, an UNARMED SOCIETY ARE “SUBJECTS, AN ARMED SOCIETY A FREE PEOPLE.

  • Dirty Harry

    Lady what do you think about your president calling a polise officer stupid and racist when he answer a call of a house break-in on a national tv news conf. and you are worried about guns.

  • Mr. Justice

    The woman is still hurting from the loss of her child. However, the person that shot he was a bit “touched” in his head. Plus, the firearms he had were when there was no CCW, as today, in Illinois. I

    No, we need CCW here in Illinois. Don’t forget those who will obtain a CCW, must first go thru an FBI background check. I have a Utah Non Resident, am presently in Iowa on business, and guess what, I am carrying my .45. I have no desire to shoot anyone, but I do have the right to protect myself. Thank God for states similar to IA, IN, and about another 46 states that do allow CCW in their state. With my Utah Non Resident CCW, I am legally allowed to carry in over 30 states. Once again, Illinois has its head up its butt do to the puking liberals. PLEASE CONTACT YOUR STATE SENATOR AND STATE REPRESENTATIVES AND URGE THEM TO SUPPORT CCW HERE IN ILLINOIS.

  • Evergreen Park

    The thing to do is a little research: do the states that allow concealed weapons have any higher incidence of homicide? Probably not (maybe less). If so, then maybe it’s a problem, I don’t know.

    • JustinFromNJ

      Every state that has passed a “shall-issue” concealed carry law has seen their violent crime rates decrease, in some cases significantly so. Criminals fear potentially armed victims more than the police. When criminals do not know who is legally carrying a firearm, they think twice before committing crimes against anyone. In Illinois, criminals know that no law-abiding citizens are armed, because by law they cannot be. Not having concealed-carry laws gives power to the criminals. Passing concealed-carry laws gives that power back to the honest and law-abiding citizens.

  • Security

    I was shot in the chest back in 1989 from an armed robbery, I went to school to become an armed security guard the following year and have been one every since, I carry my weapon 24/7 and out of the last 12 years I hav’nt had to pull my weapon one time, better to be caught with it than without it.

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