The Illinois chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, part of Everytown for Gun Safety, today released the following statement after 102 people were reportedly shot in Chicago over the weekend, including 14 fatally. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, a 3-year-old and four teenagers were among those killed in shootings across the city over Father’s Day weekend, which saw the most shootings of any weekend this year in the city.
“My heart aches for this city and for each and every family and loved one mourning this weekend,” said Valerie Burgest, volunteer with the Illinois chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Gun violence in Chicago – which disproportionately impacts Black and brown communities at higher rates – won’t stop until we begin to dismantle the systemic racism that has allowed it to thrive.”
The weekend’s shootings came just three weeks after 24 people were killed and at least 61 others were shot and wounded.
Children and teens who live in cities are at a significantly higher risk of gun homicides and assaults compared to their peers in rural areas. Black and brown children experience gun violence more than white children, in part due to deliberate policy decisions that created segregated neighborhoods and drove income inequality in Black and brown communities.
As a whole, gun violence takes a disproportionate toll on Black communities. Black people represent the majority of homicide and nonfatal shooting victims in the U.S. and are far more likely than white people to be victimized by and exposed to assaultive gun violence. In Illinois, Black people are 34 times as likely as white people to die by gun homicide. Research indicates that gun homicides and assaults are disproportionately concentrated in cities like Chicago. And within the 50 cities with the highest murder rates, gun violence reflects and intensifies this country’s long-standing racial inequities. Black Americans account for 81 percent of the victims, despite making up only 38 percent of the population in those cities.
In Chicago, local gun violence intervention programs use evidence-informed approaches tailored to their communities to put a stop to violence and save lives. More information about gun violence in Illinois is available here, and more information about gun violence in cities is available here.