We in Chicago have seen too many innocent lives lost, too many of our children slaughtered by the epidemic of gun violence. We know that this is an issue that must be addressed at the national level, and we raise our voices today to demand passage of the President’s proposal requiring universal background checks.
Despite Chicago’s strict gun laws, too many guns find their way onto our city’s streets and endanger our citizens. Federal law prohibits firearm purchases by criminals, gang members, and those who suffer from mental illness but the “gun show loophole” allows members of these categories to purchase guns without fear of that law’s enforcement. To thwart the danger that comes from guns falling into the wrong hands, we ask that you and your colleagues in the Senate support background checks on all gun purchases.
We know you stand behind us on this issue, so while nationally we gather to ask Congress for action, locally we ask you for leadership. Your constituency has played host to the some of the worst of America’s gun violence. As Senator from Illinois, you can speak to that violence as few others in the Senate chamber can. We urge you to assume leadership on this issue. We urge you to lead Washington negotiations to end that violence.
Now is the time to make a change. Now is the time to enact universal background checks. Thank you for your leadership on this important issue.