The Illinois chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots network, released the following statement after seven individuals, including a child, were shot and wounded in East St. Louis on Thursday. Details are still developing.
There was also another incident of gunfire involving children in Illinois on Thursday. Yesterday afternoon, a school bus was hit by a bullet while children were inside. Reports indicate that there were no injuries.
“The recent shooting in East St. Louis is a tragedy that should not have happened. Our hearts are breaking for the loved ones of those wounded in this heartbreaking incident.” said Christine Peters, a volunteer with the Illinois chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Parents and children should not have to live in constant fear of gun violence, especially in their own communities, or on the bus ride home from school. As lawmakers look to the next session, they should prioritize gun violence prevention legislation that directly addresses communities most affected by gun violence, specifically in Black and Latinx communities.”
In an average year, 1,400 people die and 4,148 people are wounded by guns in Illinois. Gun deaths have increased 32% from 2010 to 2019, compared to a 17% increase nationwide. In Illinois, Black people are 32 times more likely than white people to die by gun homicide, compared to 10 times nationwide. Gun violence costs Illinois $10.6 billion each year, of which $668.9 million is paid by taxpayers.