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Addressing Gun Violence in Our Local Communities | July 8, 2022

Gun violence spiked over the Fourth of July weekend, with shootings reported in nearly every U.S. state that killed a total of at least 220 people and wounded close to 570 others. In the city of Chicago alone, 71 people were shot this past weekend, and at least eight were fatal. Furthermore, the nearby suburb of Highland Park is also mourning the loss of seven people in the mass shooting incident that occurred during their Fourth of July Parade.

HC3 joins our members, community partners, policymakers, and stakeholders in mourning this week’s devastating and incomprehensible losses. We share in your grief, honor the memories of loved ones lost in our local communities, and stand ready to support.

There is much to be done to address the root causes of these tragic events. HC3 remains committed to supporting solutions that promote the health and safety of our local communities. We understand there will be no one-size-fits-all solution. We support advocacy efforts to advance smart bi-partisan policies that will address these systemic challenges, and we will continue to collaborate and connect to local organizations and stakeholders to address issues at the ground level by treating violence as a public health issue. The health care industry can and should be part of the solution to addressing these issues.

We stand in solidarity with all of you to continue to build a healthier and safer Chicago.

Coping Resources (courtesy of the National Traumatic Stress Network)

Health Care Toolbox—website for pediatric health providers working with injured children

After the Injury—website for families with injured children

Emotional Support Resources (courtesy of NAMI)

Disaster Distress Helpline is available 24/7 at 1-800-985-5990: Spanish-speakers should press ‘2’ for 24/7 bilingual support. Staff are trained to help people through large traumatic events including mass shootings.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24/7 at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) – bilingual operators are available. If you or a loved one are feeling suicidal or are experiencing an acute mental health crisis, do not hesitate to call. If you are or a loved one are in imminent danger, please call 911.

Illinois Call4Calm Text Line is available 24/7 by texting the word ‘TALK’ (or ‘HABLAR’) to 552020. You will be called by trained mental health professional from your own community within 24 hours of your for support. Participation is anonymous – your information is used only to help you make the connection.

The Illinois Warm Line is available for caring support for mental health and/or substance use challenges at 866-359-7953. Monday-Saturday 8 to 8, except holidays.

The NAMI HelpLine, 1-800-950-NAMI (6264) is open 9 am to 9 pm Monday through Friday. You will speak with trained volunteer who will listen, answer questions, and help you find local resources. Visit our interactive map to find any of our 19 Illinois NAMI affiliates.

News Coverage

Gun violence spiked over the Fourth of July weekend, with shootings reported in nearly every U.S. state that killed a total of at least 220 people and wounded close to 570 others, according to the Gun Violence Archive. Of all gun violence incidents accounted for during the holiday weekend, at least 11 were classified as mass shootings by the Gun Violence Archive. Any situation where four or more people, excluding the shooter, are killed or wounded by gunshots is considered a mass shooting. (Article here)

The attack in Highland Park over the weekend was one of two mass shootings and other incidences of gun violence in the Chicago region alone on Monday. As of early Monday morning, at least 57 people had been shot in Chicago over the Fourth of July weekend, nine of them fatally, according to NBC Chicago. That did not include the toll from the Highland Park shooting outside the city. (Articles here, here, here, here, and here)

Chicago has had the most mass shootings in the U.S. since 2018, with a majority of violence occurring in disadvantaged areas on the South and West sides of Chicago. While Chicago has restrictive gun laws, many individuals buy their guns in neighboring states with very weak laws – like Wisconsin and Indiana. (Article here)

The death toll from the shooting at a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, Illinois has risen to seven, Deputy Chief Christopher Covelli of the Lake County Sheriff’s Office said Tuesday. Authorities announced at a press conference Tuesday that Robert "Bobby" Crimo III had been charged with seven counts of first-degree murder. Lake County's state's attorney said at the press conference that he expects Crimo will face "dozens" of charges for each of the victims. (Articles here, here, here, here, here, here, and here)

Memorials, candlelight vigils, flowers, orange ribbons, and more are beginning to line areas of Highland Park and Highwood as community members continue to gather together to mourn the victims and support the survivors. Funeral services have been set for three of the seven people killed Monday during the shooting at the Fourth of July parade in Highland Park. (Articles here and here)

Illinois has the eighth strictest gun laws in the nation, according to Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. A WBEZ podcast discusses what separates Illinois from other states with even stricter gun laws. (Listen here)

A special session of the Illinois General Assembly to strengthen statewide reproductive rights may not be expanded to include gun control and anti-violence measures. After the Supreme Court struck down New York's concealed-carry law, many expect challenges in states like Illinois to be next. Illinois' current concealed-carry law prohibits municipalities from enacting their own assault weapons ban. (Article here)

Governor Pritzker issued a disaster proclamation to assist Highland Park’s recovery efforts. Pritzker said the State of Illinois will provide every available resource to Highland Park and surrounding communities in the coming weeks as they recover from the horrific tragedy that occurred over the holiday weekend. (Article here)

A letter led by Sandy Hook Promise urged U.S. Senate leaders to pass bipartisan gun and mental health legislation. Shortly after the letter was sent, the Senate and then the House passed S. 2938, the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act. President Biden signed the bill into law on June 25. This important legislation boosts funding for school-based mental health resources and expands nationwide certified community behavioral health centers (CCBHCs), which provide mental health and addiction treatment, around the clock crisis care, and comprehensive outpatient services through a Medicaid grant program. The new law also adds more than $1 billion in funding for suicide and violence prevention programs, early identification and intervention programs, school-based mental health professionals and wrap-around services, and telehealth access to mental health care for children and young adults. (S. 2938 bill here; Summary of the bill here; Letter here)


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