CWTA, partners united in our commitment to end gun violence

On this day of grief and shock, Chicago Women Take Action (CWTA)  joins our country and the world in expressing our sorrow for the horrific gun violence in Las Vegas.  We send our thoughts and heartfelt condolences to the families and loved ones of the victims and hope for a full and quick recovery for the wounded. 

However, sentiments alone will not end the horrors of gun violence.  CWTA has long been committed to strengthening our city, state and federal gun laws and mental health resources  — which are necessary for the health and well-being of women and our families.  While neither nor both are a panacea, the passage of sensible gun laws and the provision of accessible, affordable mental health services together represent a strong foundation on which personal and public safety must be built. We urge everyone in the country to come together to work on preventing these tragedies. CWTA will continue to work with groups, organizations, civic associations, elected officials and everyone here in Chicago who is committed to ending this gun violence.

What follows are powerful actions and shares from our partners in Illinois and nationwide. 


Vote YES on IL SB 1657, The Gun Dealer Licensing Act
Message from The Illinois Gun Violence Prevention Coalition 

Dear Friends:

On this  day of grief and shock, let us not be hopeless. There is very specific work to be done in Illinois in a short amount of time.  

The Gun Dealer Licensing Act, SB 1657  has a GOOD chance of becoming law. This spring it passed the Illinois Senate. It will  be introduced in the Illinois House later this month. We only have a short time to make sure this bill will pass. 

SB 1657  will require  gun dealers in Illinois to be licensed and require background checks on all employees  who are selling  guns. SB 1657  will require  people who sell guns to be trained properly so they know how to conduct background check on purchasers.  The bill has additional provisions that  guard against thefts from gun shops and allow inspection by state authorities. 

Lest people think that all guns bought in Chicago come from Indiana, please know that at least one gun shop, known as Chuck’s Gun Shop in Riverdale, is a source of many guns recovered by Chicago police. 

Please contact your State Representative to request that he or she vote for SB1657. The legislature will be meeting Oct. 24, 25 and 26, and Nov. 7, 8 and 9.  They must hear from us before then.  

Also, please inform friends and family who live in parts of Illinois outside Chicago to ask their State Representatives to vote for this bill as well.
— The Illinois Gun Violence Prevention Coalition 

Make it #OurOneJob to keep Illinois safe from gun violence
Message from Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence

While we all are upset and frustrated about senseless shootings, this is one tangible move we all can make. Right now, we can keep kids safe by passing the Gun Dealer Licensing Act; this legislation will reduce a major source of illegally trafficked guns from entering our communities in Illinois. 87% of Illinois voters support safety measures to save children’s lives. We need 100% to get involved.

Children should have the right to grow up free from gun violence. Join our coalition of more than 100 members across Illinois and put a stop to gun violence.

Here’s what you can do today.

  • Share this message  on Facebook and Twitter
  • Contact your State Representatives and tell them to support the Gun Dealer Licensing Act. Here’s how.
  • Join a day of action
  • Contribute to fund our fight.

It’s #OurOneJob to keep all kids safe. Can we count you in?

— Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence

It Is Time to Redefine Terrorism and Legislate Firearms
Message from Women’s National Democratic Club

October 3, 2017

And we mourn again today. We mourn the countless dead and wounded in Las Vegas, Nevada. Not at the hands of the destruction unleashed by forces of nature or the targeting by foreign militants, but the chilling and deliberate killing by one of us – a white man with guns. Why do we remain silent as we witness a slow-motion massacre unfolding before us? Ordinary people’s lives are in danger. From school shootings to crowd-carnage, we are becoming anesthetized to this very real danger in our midst. Firearm regulation, or the lack thereof, is now a serious public health and safety issue.

Twenty years of government-funded research has shown several effective ways to address the issue of gun violence. Among these efforts, which need political support and a bit of money, are:

  •      Assault-weapons ban
  •      Universal background checks
  •      A national push to curb urban violence

There are about 300 million privately owned firearms in the US – that works out to about one gun for every American. The US has the highest gun ownership in the world, followed by Yemen. We are the most powerfully armed civilian population. Most Americans don’t own guns though. Most gun-owners own more than two firearms. Gun ownership is higher among whites than blacks; higher in the country than in the city; higher among older people. Due to the inaction of Congress, anyone on the terrorism watch list can buy a gun. Any felon, convict, or suspect can buy a gun as well.

So, yes, people’s lives are in danger, and we do need to make America safe again. But it’s not by fixating solely on our narrow definition of terrorism. Between 2001 and 2013, 3,030 people were killed in terrorist attacks on U.S. soil — a number that includes the terrible toll of September 11, 2001, according to University of Maryland data. But during that same time frame, records from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that 406,496 people were killed by gunfire.

And yet the power of the gun lobby is on the rise. Since 1980, 44 states have passed gun laws allowing concealed weapons. A federal ban in 1994 to possess, transfer, or manufacture semi-automatic assault weapons was allowed to expire in 2004. Twenty-four states have passed “Stand Your Ground” laws allowing citizens to use deadly force if they think they are in danger of being assaulted.

Adding another potential danger is the SHARE Act (Sportsman’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act) currently before Congress. Among other things, it would make it easier to buy silencers to disguise the sound of gunfire. The tragedy in Las Vegas likely would have been even worse if the shooter had used a silencer.

Forty percent of guns purchased in America are bought from private sellers at gun shows, or through classified ads – thus creating an unregulated marketplace. One in three Americans knows someone who has been shot. “We live in a society now that is Balkanized,” claims David Keene, past president of the NRA. “But that has nothing to do with guns.” Really, sir?

Former Chief Justice Warren Burger got it right. “The new interpretation of the Second Amendment was one of the greatest pieces of fraud on the American public by special-interest groups,” he said.

It is time to address this fraud, to right this wrong. It is time for our nation to wake up to the very real and present danger that lurks in our society and flourishes in plain sight.

Nuchhi Currier

President, Women’s National Democratic Club