Yet it was the desire to see something different in Springfield which motivated Bob Morgan—a Deerfield attorney and Jewish Democrat—to campaign for a seat in the Illinois House of Representatives 58th District which will be vacated by fellow Democrat Scott Drury as he makes a bid to replace Lisa Madigan as Illinois Attorney General.
Morgan is a Midwest Regional Board member of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and served as the Jewish Outreach Director for Hillary Clinton, former Illinois Governor Pat Quinn and, in 2008, Barack Obama.
“I was raised with the concept that, when you see injustice, you stand up and fight against that,” he said adding that he saw injustice not only in the 2016 Presidential election but “the inaction in Springfield which has led to a lot of harm to human service agencies, to children and adults through seniors and the safety net in social services provided in Illinois.”
Morgan is determined to be a part of the solution particularly to seemingly irresolvable issues such as the State budget. Like Weisman, there’s a Mitzvah at the forefront of his mind.
“Judaism is a core part of my life,” he said. “The issues that I’m fighting for have been evoked from my faith and involvement in the Jewish community; the idea of Tikkun Olam and protecting those in the community who can’t support themselves. That is the very essence of my priorities and goals as a potential legislator
Should he prevail, gun violence will inevitably be an issue Morgan will have to address.
“My parents were Chicago Public School teachers on the South Side,” he said. “The neighborhoods most impacted by this violence are communities I’m familiar with. It’s difficult to wrap your head around the level and degree of the constant violence that we read and hear about in the news and the horror of what we are seeing. On the political level, I refuse to believe that we can’t do better to make life easier and safer for people in the inner city of Chicago and throughout the State. There are many levels to that; both the weapons themselves and the motivation for people to commit violence. There’s no reason for us to sit idly by as we see this happening.”
While Morgan wants to focus on addressing motivations such as “rampant feelings of hopelessness” among inner city youth, he added that he was “not aware of any personal story of someone who sought a gun for the protection of their family and followed the law in [that] purchase who did not have access to one.”
“Yet, it doesn’t really address the problem of rampant guns on the South Side of Chicago for anyone and everyone who wants one,” he said. “I think there is a way for us to address reasonable restrictions on access to weapons by those who have committed and continue to commit heinous crimes—something that I think a vast majority of the public would agree with. But that conversation is very raw on all sides. For example, in the inability to pass legislation to prevent the sale of guns for those on the terrorist watch list. The concern is what happens next and that it is an overreach by the Federal government.”
He noted that whether or not Suppressor or Bump Stock devices is addressed, the industry will, ultimately, have the last word.
“If we put a ban one particular type of Silencer and, literally the next day, a manufacturer creates a different type of Silencer that’s not captured by the definition of that law, then what was the point of that exercise?” Morgan wondered. “There are certainly things that can be done but are we able to have an honest conversation about it without the extreme fear that guns are being taken away from people which is not what anyone that I know is recommending. We have enough weapons in the United States to arm every man, woman and child. The idea that we might not have enough to protect us against a regime really falls outside of a rational argument.”
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