Dear Chicago Aldermen,
I was overjoyed this past week when you all decided at City Council to vote in favor of an assault weapons ban. I believe the city has taken a positive and much-needed step toward preventing the senseless deaths of Chicagoans — for any death by guns in this city is a senseless one.
As a young Chicagoan who has a close friend who lives in Newtown, Connecticut and has grieved for a friend who was gunned down in this city in May, I believe that the less guns on the street makes all of our communities safer. In these past eight months I have cried more tears of sadness than I have wanted to. Yet on Wednesday I cried tears of joy. I was shown that my aldermen truly are investing in our city’s future: the people who will undoubtedly be saved by these preventive measures.
Though most of the gun violence that occurs in our city is done with handguns that does not mean we should shy away from preventing forms of tragedies that our city is simply unfamiliar with. Reaction when there could have been proaction is careless. This decision is also a reminder that we have more work to do and more decisions to make to reverse this tide of gun violence that is claiming so many people — your constituents — too soon. This past week I read California Attorney General Kamala Harris’ book “Smart on Crime,” which opened my eyes to the fact that a new path, somewhat of a third way, must be taken if we are going to take back our streets and build safer communities.
I’m tired of waking up each morning and reading about the shooting incidents that occurred overnight. Though I may not wake up tomorrow and this problem be solved (or the next day or week, year, decade after for that matter) I am still adamant that with directed focus, undying compassion and the will to not maintain the status quo but elevate it to a higher plane. On Wednesday I was shown that when all of you poll together your strength your votes can create change.
So once again, I applaud you for voting in favor of Chicago. Thank you for voting in favor of me. Keep up the great work.