NORTH LAWNDALE, Ill. — The Illinois chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots networks, released the following statement in response to the shooting of nine people, eight of whom were wounded, and one who was shot and killed in North Lawndale, Illinois early Sunday morning at a birthday celebration. Of the nine people shot, eight were women.
“Women deserve to live and thrive without the fear of being gunned down in another senseless act of gun violence,” said Valerie Burgest, a volunteer with the Illinois chapter of Moms Demand Action. “A night of celebration ended in gunfire, leaving one mother to grieve her second child taken by gun violence in the past four years. People should be free to celebrate a birthday with a group of friends without the fear of being shot. ”
According to reports, 21-year-old Kaneisha Gaines was shot and killed in the shooting – her mother Natasha Graham has already lost another child, Keshaun, to gun violence in 2019. Law enforcement stated that the group of women were gathered for a birthday party, enjoying the Hawaii-themed birthday celebration when armed individuals got out of a black SUV and started shooting at the women.The shooting in North Lawndale represents only a fraction of the gun violence across the city over the weekend, with at least 47 people shot and 5 killed according to police.
In an average year, 1,622 people die by guns in Illinois. With a rate of 12.9 deaths per 100,000 people, Illinois has the 35th-highest rate of gun deaths in the US. In Illinois, Black people are 38 times more likely than white people to die by gun homicide, and the intimate partner firearm homicide rate is over six times greater for Black people than it is for white people. Nationally, Black women are three times as likely as white women to be fatally shot by an intimate partner. Read about gun violence in Illinois here. More information about Illinois’ gun laws is available here.