Sen. Durbin on 'Mean Streets': Add 'Trauma Counseling' to Gun Control Effort

( – Democrat Dick Durbin, from Springfield, Illinois, has been in the Senate since 1997, but it was only recently that he did a deep dive into the violence plaguing inner-city Chicago.

Durbin spoke about his findings at a Democrat news conference on Tuesday, telling reporters that “gun violence comes in many forms. The laws we need to pass to end it will take many forms as well.”

Durbin said he supports bans on assault weapons and ghost guns, universal background checks, and penalties for straw purchases — the basic gun control agenda. But he said he would now add trauma counseling to the list.

Mass shootings are one thing, “but the gun violence that I represent in the City of Chicago is a different gun violence,” Durbin said:

“I spent my break this last week trying to get inside of this and understand it better. I went to several off-the-record meetings with Chicago policemen, and we sat down and talked about what it meant to walk those mean streets and all of the killing that takes place every weekend, weekend after weekend.

“And then I went into the violence intervention (center) and sat down with young people from the neighborhood, closed the door, and said, tell me what I need to know about gun violence in your life? And they opened up and educated this senator on what gun violence means to them.

“So I’m on board for basics, I’ve been on board, co-sponsoring these bills. But I want to add to the list, trauma counseling. Give these kids a chance. Some of them come from struggling families. They have no support. They have no guidance at critical moments of their life, and there’s a guy standing the street corner who offers membership in a gang that gives them some rules and rewards.

“We’ve got to replace it with trauma counseling. So if there’s a conversation going on with (Sen.) Chris Murphy, I bless him for what he is doing. Include in it an attack on gun violence in the cities, too — and that means going beyond just the conversation about what’s happening in these terrible mass shootings. That’s part of bringing peace to America’s streets.”


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