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Reducing Gun Violence in Our Communities

I heard it during the gun violence roundtable I hosted last month, and I continue to hear it every day: Congress must act now to help reduce gun violence we see too often in our communities.

We see it on our TVs every day.  Random shootings, innocent lives lost, families shattered. Here in Illinois it feels like an epidemic.  And nationally, more 33 people die every day due to gun violence. 

In just the past two years, the tragedies in Tucson, Aurora, Oak Creek and Newtown shocked us to our cores. These mass shootings blind us with grief and pain, but they also open our eyes to the tragedies—the less publicized ones—that occur each and every day, from big city streets to small town homes.

More often than not, the localized instances of violence don’t command the attention of the nation, but once in a while one does.

Hadiya Pendleton was an honor student, and as a majorette in the band, she performed at the President’s inauguration. Hers was a life full of promise and hope. She would make a difference in this world because she was determined to. But Hadiya’s life was tragically cut short on a rainy January afternoon.

Cleopatra Cowley, Hadiya’s mother, said what we all felt in our hearts: no parent should ever have to experience this. No parent should ever experience the pain of burying a child.

Joining a number of my colleagues seeking to highlight the importance of addressing gun violence, I chose to invite Cleopatra to the President’s State of the Union address Tuesday night. I was so pleased that she and Hadiya's father, Nate, had the chance to sit beside First Lady Michelle Obama during the speech.

Cleopatra is a powerful and heartbreaking new voice joining a chorus calling for common sense action to reduce these senseless acts. She should be an inspiration to us all as we work to sensibly reduce the gun violence in our communities.

And while I know no matter what we do that we can’t completely prevent these tragedies from ever occurring, we do have the opportunity to save lives.

I heard it during the gun violence roundtable I hosted last month, and I continue to hear it every day: Congress must act now because we all have a responsibility to seize this moment and make a difference.

We need to implement universal background checks—a smart step that more than 90 percent of Americans support.

We need to finally make gun trafficking a federal crime.

We need to expand access to mental-health treatment.

We need to limit access to large capacity magazines and military-style assault weapons.

We need act for Hadiya and the countless other young people whose lives are abruptly ended in senseless acts of gun violence.  We need to act for those killed in Newtown, in Aurora, in Oak Creek, in Tucson.  We need to act for the 33 we lose each and every day to gun violence.

This is the moment.  This is our time.  Let's get to work.

-Brad 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

RB February 20, 2013 at 11:10 PM
The nice thing about all this is that while you folks are trying to keep the Government from taking your guns, the citizens are discovering more reasons to continue voting for Democratic Presidents. You didn't lose 5 of the last 6 popular votes for President because your social reengineering project is being well received. It's being recognized for what it does....set society back. The Constitution does not prevent regulation or interpretation of amendments. The Supreme Court has said there CAN be regulation around the 2nd ammendment and said the Government CAN'T take your guns. You still get your panties all in a bunch. You folks typically want to take rights and benefits from many citizens while fighting against imaginary dissolution of the 2nd Ammendment. God, Guns and Gays. Been that way for decades and it remains the hot buttons for the intellectually suppressed and ideologically misguided. Mr. Schneider will be a good Representative for the District.
McCloud February 20, 2013 at 11:30 PM
Your comment is creepy. What is a reengineering project? Sounds alot like Obamacare, Dodd-Frank and other intrusive Democrat policies. We just want to be left alone, to be free and persue happiness. Maybe you should turn off the wacky radio where these weird ideas get passed. How ironic, you guys are the engineers who pass costly legislation that grab power in violation of the Constitution. Wack job.
Charles February 20, 2013 at 11:35 PM
I'm an atheist who could care less about the gay issue one way or the other. Nice try though. The rest of your diatribe is just more of your usual. I think I'm done with this thread for today.
RB February 21, 2013 at 12:03 AM
After getting constant illogical pushback about 'Obama's fault' to anything from McCloud I cracked and lumped more of you into the ' intellectually suppressed''category than true. So, to most of you I apologize. I realize most of you have legitimate concerns about being able to own guns. I also strongly agree you have that right, within reason. Regulations are already placed on that right (such as no felons), so to those that say regulations destroy the right to bear arms, wrong! Secondly, the gang problem is something we should all care about. It is not just a South Side Issue. They are a criminal business with deep roots through the city and some of the burbs. They deal drugs and yes they traffic guns. Any fewer guns in their hands is a good thing. Enough, have at it.
Deerfield Resident February 21, 2013 at 04:57 AM
Lets get to work....building more prisons!
Gary February 21, 2013 at 03:15 PM
Background checks. So the Obama administration is making their stand on background checks. OK. Let's think this through. Let's say someone wants to buy a gun and their background check reveals the following: 1. They spent 20 years as a member in a group that promoted anti-black, anti-American rhetoric. 2. They were closely tied to criminals involved in shading real estate deals. 3. Their career was launched in the home of an anti-American terrorist who tried to blow up federal buildings. Would you give a gun permit to such a person?
Gary February 21, 2013 at 03:32 PM
... or better yet. Imagine what would happen if we took someone with that kind of background and put them in charge of the program doing the background checks! What could we expect? We would expect that person to do the best they could to keep guns out of the hands of black people who he perceives to be his enemies, while doing everything he could to funnel high powered weapons to the worst elements of society, like vicious drug gangs. Good thing this is all hypothetical. We all know that could never happen in real life.
McCloud February 21, 2013 at 04:34 PM
"You didn't lose 5 of the last 6 popular votes for President because your social reengineering project is being well received." Imagine, this from the guy who wants to restructure our healthcare system by empowering yet to be defined boards to make decisions only congress is granted in the Constitution, boards that cannot be revoked or challenged by Congress or any other branch of the government. This is the guy who wants to punish financial institutions with a similar board, with more power than Congress, this from a guy who wants mandates and carbon credits and will do so without Congressional authority, this from a guy who wants forced benefits to include all paying for contraceptive despite religious affiliation, this from a guy who wants to mandate gun restrictions that violate the Constitution. Really, who the the re-engineeer or am I missing something?
Targets_Whiny_libturds February 21, 2013 at 05:01 PM
It's safe to assume this individual would not follow the proper channels in obtaining a firearm.
Targets_Whiny_libturds February 21, 2013 at 05:04 PM
I think we need to dust off Old Sparky.
RB February 21, 2013 at 07:39 PM
What gun restrictions that violate the Constitution? Shouldn't that be left to the Supreme Court? By the way, they have ruled that some regulation of guns does not violate the 2nd ammendment. So, if you are such a strict Constitutionalist, why would you buck the Supreme Court.
McCloud February 21, 2013 at 08:27 PM
I'm surprised you have time to ask, with all that telling us what to eat, how to light and heat our homes, what we should be paying for in our insurance, who we should be listening to on the radio, how much money we can make that is fair and what is too much, what banks are bad, what cars we should be driving.... http://reason.com/blog/2010/06/28/supreme-court-overturns-chicag
Sean G. February 22, 2013 at 12:45 AM
Hi Brad Schneider - there is no gun violence in our community for obvious reasons.
Sean G. February 22, 2013 at 12:55 AM
Abigail, they want to disarm us because that is the last stop before tyranny. Total control can't be had unless its' citizens are defenseless. This debate has nothing to do with hunting or even protection in the home it has everything to do with tyranny. The state run media has to make up the debate but when you cut right to the quick, its tyranny plain and simple. Just ask Hitler, Mao, Stalin... Death by government happens each day, about 500 person were killed in Chicago by their government alone just last year.
McCloud February 22, 2013 at 01:27 AM
Love this comment about the Libyian terrorist attack and fiasco.... P.S. Pause for a moment -- just one moment -- and think about how insane it is that the media knows these emails and memos are out there and is doing absolutely nothing to pressure our government to obtain them. The media loves to joke about what's happening on Earth 2, but that's where we're living.
Sully February 22, 2013 at 01:30 AM
Maybe you should run for office, Mac. Or would you rather sit on your backside all day and complain? You have all the answers? Then put your vast knowledge and intellect to work.
McCloud February 22, 2013 at 01:36 AM
I would lose in a landslide, see, I'm not Santa Claus who doubles the food stamp rolls and welfare recipients, who vote to continue their trip to the mailbox every week.
Sully February 22, 2013 at 01:39 AM
Un-huh.
Just Sayin February 22, 2013 at 02:17 AM
Sully...Let's not let this rare moment go by unappreciated. McClown knows he is a loser. Soak that in...I sure am !
RB February 22, 2013 at 03:46 AM
Look up Heller. Scalia said there can be restrictions upon gun ownership and there were restrictions when the framers wrote the Constitution...you pick and choose data like Schulte used to. http://www.nationaljournal.com/politics/why-liberals-should-thank-justice-scalia-for-gun-control-20130119
Deerfield Resident February 22, 2013 at 04:31 AM
Prison guards = jobs ! Hey....got it....may I ask from whom?
Charles February 22, 2013 at 03:36 PM
AG Madigan's en banc appeal denied. Let's see if she's stupid enough to take it to the Supreme Court. Damn I love it when you antis get your butts handed to you.
RB February 22, 2013 at 05:15 PM
Charles, clear this up for me. I think you have the right to own guns for hunting and protection. I believe there should be background checks of anyone purchasing a gun, including closing the Good Show and Individual Sales loopholes. How is that anti gun ownership?
Charles February 22, 2013 at 05:24 PM
This regards to concealed carry. At this point, CCW will become reality on June 8th. The rest of your question/statements have been answered time and time again.
RB February 22, 2013 at 07:25 PM
She should appeal for two reasons. One, I doubt that our State Leglislature can get it together enough to put some control around concealed carry. If they don't it will be the Wild West around here. Two, the Supreme Court needs to decide for once. As the dissenting opinion said...“The Supreme Court has not yet decided whether .. the individual right to keep and bear arms at home under the Second Amendment extends beyond the home". Why wouldn't you want it settled for once? I know you and others want to be able to carry anywhere, anytime and you feel it's your constitutional right, so why not? Maybe you're a little worried about Scalia?
Charles February 22, 2013 at 07:47 PM
First of all, at some point it will go in front of the SC and I have no illusions about that. Whether baby Madigan is the one or not, I won't speculate. The monkey she has on her back if she does is that it's there are "May Issue" states with democratic majority that won't want her to and I'd bet good money they are on the phone with her today probably trying to discourage her from going further. So far the Federal courts have ruled in favor of the 2nd amendment at all turns. Chicago anti gun democrats are 0 for 0. If the Feds rule in favor of this issue to our satisfaction, the "May Issue" states become "Shall Issue" states. If you want more info on this, start reading up on it. I don't worry about Scalia or anyone else for that matter. I follow the law as I have been in the past. I don't like 35 mph speed limits on some roads, but I follow them just the same. Having the right to carry "if" I want to doesn't necessarily mean I will all the time. As pro-firearm, ccw and what ever as I am, for me there are very few places I go that I would need or want to. I have a cc permit in two other states and only one of them I carry more often than the other. CC is for self protection only.... if I am CCing in some public place it's not my job to do a cop's job to prevent an incident unless it is a direct threat to me. 49 other states did not turn into wild west scenarios so that part of your comment is just more cr@p that is unfounded.
Charles February 22, 2013 at 07:51 PM
There's already a bill that has been drawn up. HB0997 and it was crafted by a southern Democrat, Brandon Phelps. He's one of the good guys.
RB February 22, 2013 at 07:55 PM
Most other States have some regulation around CC and if the Leglislature does not act, we will have NONE. So, no that's not like 49 other States.
Charles February 22, 2013 at 08:01 PM
We tried time and time again to get good cc amendments passed. The Chicago machine kept telling us no.. no.. no.. at every turn. Now that the 7th, last December ruled in our favor, the Chicago Democrats want to "act". We made a lot of concessions in previous bills... not so now.... They had 180 days from last Dec. what ever... June 8th, whether they pass this bill or not (unless Madigan appeals to the SC), we get get it either way. Anti's had their chance, told us no... now they reap what they sew. Your WW theory is still unfounded.
Vicky Kujawa March 02, 2013 at 09:28 PM
Unfortunately, it's the citizens of this country that are the ultimate losers.

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