Ald. Ray Lopez (15th) plans to introduce a resolution at the City Council meeting on Wednesday to address the issue of gun violence and the illegal use of automatic and semi-automatic weapons.
“These weapons exist for only one reason, to create mass carnage and human casualty,” Lopez said Tuesday at a press conference. “Forty-nine lives were taken in the Orlando shooting, but these rifles are also used in the city of Chicago. We are here to say enough is enough.”
His resolution is in response to a drive-by shooting outside a church in the Back of the Yards neighborhood on Sunday afternoon, when Salvador Suarez, 21, was shot to death by an assailant with a high-powered assault rifle.
The resolution also calls for exploring “all constitutionally available avenues” to end the violence caused by the use of automatic and semi-automatic weapons in the Back of the Yards community, Chicago and throughout the nation.
Representatives from the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence, Gads Hill Center, the Resurrection Project and other community organizations gathered at City Hall on Tuesday to support Lopez’s proposal and speak about the threat of gun- and gang-related violence.
Lopez said his resolution will call for hearings and seeks to bring in experts, victims, community leaders and law enforcement members “to testify to the effects assault weapons have on our community and how we can rid them from our streets” at Wednesday’s City Council meeting.
Andrea Ortiz, 22, an intern from the Brighton Park Neighborhood Council, said she is no stranger to gun violence, and that’s why she supports Lopez’s resolution.
“On Father’s Day, I was walking down the streets and four shots were fired in front of me,” Ortiz said. “Violence is something I grew up with living in the Brighton Park neighborhood . . . and it’s something I think elected officials haven’t been doing anything about it. That’s why I’m passionate about” ending gun violence.
Ald. Milly Santiago (31st) said stopping gun violence is a community effort to ensure that “what happened in Orlando doesn’t happen in Chicago,” and she calls upon parents to lead the way.
“It will take the whole community to come together to be more vigilant and speak louder about gun control,” Santiago said. “Parents, I want to call on you to do what you need to do to make sure all these guns that are out there are turned into police, because we are not going to continue to tolerate innocent people being gunned down for no reason.”