In the two years since the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, Americans from across the country have called for tougher legislation on gun licensing and gun violence prevention. As advocates in Illinois have pushed for tougher legislation on the state and national level, they have also worked with communities plagued by gun violence to end the violence.
On the second anniversary of the massacre (Dec. 11), JCUA joined the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence, Purpose Over Pain, and Chicago Citizens for Change in a national vigil for victims of gun violence. Dozens of people participated in this nationally coordinated action, including the relatives and loved ones of the deceased.
The Cook County medical examiner’s office has reported more than 400 homicides, many of them due to shootings, in Chicago this year. That is why groups galvanized by a national tragedy came together with local organizations to hold a vigil for Chicago’s victims of gun violence.
The vigil featured powerful testimony from community leaders and elected officials, including Humboldt Park community leader Beti Guevara and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. Rabbi Capers Funnye, of Beth Shalom B’nai Zaken, participated in reading a portion of the names of people lost to gun violence in Chicago this year. Among the victims whose names were read was Ambrose Cannon, Rabbi Funnye’s nephew. Cannon died in 2003 at the age of 25.
As we conclude another year of high rates of gun violence in Chicago, won’t you work with us in the coming year to bringing an end to gun violence? Become a JCUA member now, and join us in 2015 with a Jewish voice for ending racism, inequality, and gun violence in Chicago.