HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. — Hundreds rallied in Highland Park Saturday to show support for the community and call for better gun reform laws.
Organizers for the event said they wanted to create a space for people to cope with Monday’s parade shooting as well as turn hurt into hope and anger into action.
“It’s a small town. It’s a small community,” organizer Rachel Jacoby said. “We’re all just a few degrees of separation away. I know people who were shot and who survived and were shot and didn’t survive. And it’s been a really tough week.”
The rally started off somberly as the crowd was asked to participate in a moment of silence while the names of each of the seven victims fatally shot and killed were read aloud.
Survivors from the parade along with law enforcement, medical professionals and people who stepped into help during Monday’s tragedy were also honored.
Hundreds of people from Highland Park and beyond filled Sunset Woods Park with signs demanding more comprehensive gun control laws and an end to gun violence all across America. Those who came out demanded change and hope their voices make a difference as they fight for the many lives impacted by gun violence.
The Safer Communities Act, which President Joe Biden signed last month, aims to prevent dangerous people from getting their hands on firearms. A few of the law’s key components includes more money for mental health, expanding background checks for gun buyers under 21 and funding for Red Flag Laws, permitting authorities to temporarily take guns from dangerous people.
Jacoby said more needs to be done.
“Until they take further steps like universal background checks, like an assault weapons ban, we’re all not safe,” she said.
A traveling exhibit called “Enough” showing various types of orange fabric and surrounded the crowd. It represents the impact gun violence has had over the last ten years.
Jacqueline von Edelberg is the artist.
“30,000 children since Sandy Hook have lost their lives to gun violence,” she said. “This is an installation that’s been done across the country. It’s been on the wall of the United States capitol three times.”
According to the GunViolenceArchive website there have been more than 300 mass shootings in the U.S. this year. The site claims that collectively more than 3,000 children in the U.S. have been killed and injured by guns in 2022.
WGN was told Saturday that around 6:30 a.m. on Sunday, owners with establishments along the parade route where the shooting took place will be allowed back to check on their property.