FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 27, 2021
Andrew Patrick, Coalition to Stop Gun Violence
Overnight Shootings in Chicago, Philadelphia, Virginia Beach Are Reminders of Urgency to Address Community Gun Violence
WASHINGTON — While we still await details in multiple shootings over Friday night into Saturday morning, preliminary reports indicate that three people are dead and at least 22 others wounded in shootings on Chicago’s South Side, at the Virginia Beach oceanfront, and at a social club in the Fishtown area of Philadelphia. The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence extends our sympathies to the survivors and families affected, and following a difficult week in our nation, our organization once again calls for meaningful, swift action from Washington to invest in solutions and enact laws that will work to address this ongoing devastating epidemic.
Lauren Footman, Coalition to Stop Gun Violence Director of Outreach and Equity, who is based in Greater Philadelphia, issued the following statement:
“Our nation has mourned the past week following the highly publicized shootings in Atlanta and Boulder. We saw a return to the all too familiar media coverage and to the back and forth political football debate about our nation’s gun violence epidemic. If the past is prologue, the next step of the process is the media moving on to the next topic du jour and the American public losing interest in the issue until the next mass casualty shooting tragedy unfortunately and inevitability occurs. As an organization and as a nation, we must not let that happen.
“Neither Virginia Beach nor Philadelphia or Chicago will trend as hashtags with the word ‘strong’ attached to them. Flags across the nation will not fly at half-mast to remember the lives killed in these shootings, or in shootings in other cities across the nation. Three people are dead and multiple others remain in critical and life-threatening conditions this morning. These are not statistics, they are Americans. And they are a reminder that this debate and the absolute need for true policy discussions around the ease and availability of guns, meaningful violence interruption program investments at the local, state, federal level, and a nationwide framework of strong evidence-based policies put into law to reduce gun violence and save lives.
“The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence is one of many gun violence prevention and social justice organizations to sign on to a letter calling on the Biden administration to not hesitate and take immediate action on gun violence prevention. We are encouraged by preliminary reports of executive orders being readied by the president’s team — including a national investment in violence interruption programs and policies. But we must do more.
“The improvements to the background checks system that have passed the U.S. House and await action in the Senate must be a top priority. A functioning background check system is the foundation — the ground floor — on which all evidence-based gun violence prevention policies at both the state and federal level are built upon. We implore Majority Leader Schumer, Senator Murphy, Senator Blumenthal, Senator Manchin, and Senator Toomey — who has three constituents in critical condition right now in a Philadelphia hospital who were simply out enjoying a Friday night in a social club — to get this done and begin the process of turning back this deadly epidemic.
“#TheTimeisNow to finally address and end gun violence in all of its forms.”
The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence has team members in both Philadelphia and Virginia for additional comment — Lauren Footman in Greater Philadelphia, and CSGV’s Senior Director of Advocacy and Virginia State Director Lori Haas in Richmond.
About the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence
Founded in 1974, the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence is the nation’s oldest gun violence prevention organization. We believe gun violence should be rare and abnormal. CSGV develops and advocates for evidence-based solutions to reduce gun injury and death in all its forms.